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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of…
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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (urspr publ 2016; utgåvan 2016)

av Nancy Isenberg (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,485588,933 (3.61)86
"A history of the class system in America from the colonial era to the present illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, citing the pivotal contributions of lower-class white workers in wartime, social policy, and the rise of the Republican Party,"--NoveList.
Medlem:runningbeardbooks
Titel:White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Författare:Nancy Isenberg (Författare)
Info:Viking (2016), Edition: First Edition, 480 pages
Samlingar:personal list of to-reads
Betyg:*****
Taggar:favorite

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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America av Nancy Isenberg (2016)

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En su innovadora historia sobre el sistema de clases en Estados Unidos, Nancy Isenberg expone el crucial legado de la embarazosa, siempre presente y ocasionalmente entretenida white trash. Los votantes que pusieron a Trump en la Casa Blanca han sido una parte permanente del tejido estadounidense: los pobres, marginados y sin tierra han existido desde la epoca del primer asentamiento colonial británico hasta los actuales hillbillies.
Los blancos pobres fueron fundamentales para el ascenso del Partido Republicano a principios del siglo xix y la Guerra Civil en sí misma se libró casi tanto por cuestiones de clase como por la esclavitud. Por otro lado, la escoria blanca siempre ha estado en el centro de los principales debates sobre el carácter de la identidad nacional. Examinando la retórica política, la literatura popular y las teorías científicas a lo largo de cuatrocientos años, Isenberg cuestiona los mitos de la supuesta sociedad libre de clases estadounidense, donde la libertad y el trabajo duro garantizan la movilidad social.
  bcacultart | Jan 11, 2021 |
This was uncomfortable to read. But so necessary , and revealing, in these times, where division and hate-mongering are considered political leverage, and the class divide is getting more wide, every year.
Isenberg gives examples of how TV programs stereotype class, race, and cultural icons, as well as President's; and how they weave a story of oppression and class division, that has always existed. Using slurs, such as Half-Breed, Clay-Eaters, Poltroons and Mudsills, it is explained how the Confederate ideology converted the civil war into class war, where hierarchy was rooted in land ownership, and the ownership of slaves. The more land and slaves, the more successful you were. Reference to race and class, and the names used to refer to them, were usually used to denigrate economic "inferiors".
Ms. Isenberg discusses the use of stigmatizing "poor" people by questioning a persons racial identity and authenticity, ( "purity"). Thomas Jefferson's belief in slave trade, Jackson's instituting a squatters rights bill, all helped formulate the opinion of poor white folk as lazy squatters....white trash were people living off the government. Theodore Roosevelt favored the eugenics movement, for example. He believed in targeting certain classes of people for sterilization, to keep control of the the population of "inferior" races.The roots of economic and racial inequality lie entwined within our countries foundations. ( )
  over.the.edge | Nov 30, 2020 |
This was one of the selections that appeared on a list of books that was supposed to help explain why Trump won the election in 2016.

It has taken me this long to start it – and according to Good Reads where I keep track of when I started and finished a book, it took me from June 22 thru Sept 15 to read.

It’s not an easy or comfortable read. But it did take me through a lot of history that I was not familiar with – and the bottom line is that the US has never been the classless meritocracy many would have you believe it to be.

The most poverty-stricken classes have endured a variety of abuse and scape-goating and often are prohibited from accessing the opportunities to improve their situations.

Do I understand the election of Donald Trump? No. But I more understand the anger of stigmatized people.

A few quotes from the book to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same:

“But the message of Jackson’s presidency was not about equality so much as a new style of aggressive expansion. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson invaded Florida without presidential approval; as president, he supported the forced removal of the Cherokees from the southeastern states and willfully ignored the opinion of the Supreme Court. Taking and clearing the land, using violent means if necessary, and acting without legal authority, Jackson was arguably the political heir of the cracker and squatter.” P 113
***
“The Depression revealed that liberty for some – for the select, the privileged – was not liberty for all. In a remarkable article of 1933, titled “The New Deal and the Constitution”, a popular writer named John Corbin questioned the claims of Americans to an exclusive quality of freedom He posed a rhetorical question: “Can a nation call itself free if it finds itself periodically on the verge of bankruptcy and starvation in the face of the fact that it possesses all the materials of the good life?” He meant that freedom was compromised when a nation allowed the majority of its people to suffer devastating poverty and enduring economic insecurity. Regulation regional planning, and readjustment (the last a favorite New Deal term) were beeded to correct market abuses, control the exploitation of natural resources, and adjust class imbalance, and to do so in President Roosevelt's phrase, “not to destroy individualism but to protect it.” P 216 ( )
  streamsong | Oct 19, 2020 |
It was a bit redundant after a while. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
I'm not sure listening is the best way to deal with this book. In the same vein as These Truths, Isenberg exposes the beginnings of this country as extremely class-conscious, in spite of rhetoric that would make us think otherwise. By the 1830s and 1840s, the distinction was no longer based on color, but also on a perceived lack of value of poor and landless people otherwise classified as 'white'. I'm up to the inclusion of Texas and the development of California, where the hidalgo level of society was accepted as Spanish (European) and everyone else was relegated to a level of society dictated by their degree of mixed blood.

The intensity of this scrutiny is depressing, as is the general tone of the Age of Jackson, so much like our age today. No wonder Trump has a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office - they are much the same in their attitudes toward power, their declared prejudices, and their disregard for those they consider beneath them.

There's a lot more to go, of course. I wish I had the text, for there were a few phrases I would have liked to quote here. I have reached the era of bloodlines, for people as well as horses, and it was explicit. What is wrong with people?

The good news(?) is that Isenberg is passionate about calling it as the evidence sees it, willing to explode any and all myths and heros of our past, right up to the most recent. Her detailed descriptions of how people justified class distinctions, especially against the 'white trash', are harrowing in their folly, and the mistreatment of the poor is heartbreaking.

But I did also detect a bit of private prejudice toward the end, as she describes the 'white trash' emergence in such entertainments as Nascar racing. Elvis, and TV comedies, even as she describes how proper schooling, nutrition and other useful supports are denied the people she otherwise champions.

The last part of her book, so close to our own time, is most chilling, as she exposes the ambivalences and prejudices of even the best of our leaders, and the follies of the worst of them. I"m sure her views would continue with our current governments, state and federal.

It was hard to listen to this book, partly because she repeats stories and quotes in different parts of the book. It would be easier to skip the repetitions on the page than on the recording. But overall, this book smashes a lot of icons that need smashing and suggests a change in perspective when we think about class, cycles of poverty, and prejudice. I think this book exposed at least as much of my white privilege as any book of racial injustice has done, and given some of my family tree, I should not have been so shaken. ( )
  ffortsa | Jul 19, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Nancy Isenbergprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Belanger, FrancescaFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Miceli, JayaOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Potter, KirstenBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Preface
One of the most memorable films of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), a classic portrait of the legacy of slavery and racial segregation in the South.
Introduction
We know what class is.
In the minds of literate English men and women, as colonization began in the 1500s, North America was an uncertain world inhabited by monstrous creatures, a blank territory skirted by mountains of gold.
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"A history of the class system in America from the colonial era to the present illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, citing the pivotal contributions of lower-class white workers in wartime, social policy, and the rise of the Republican Party,"--NoveList.

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