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Buying Whiteness: Race, Culture, and Identity from Columbus to Hip-hop [Hardcover]

Gary Taylor


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Book Description

December 23, 2004 1403960712 978-1403960719
What does it mean to be white? When and why did men buy the idea that they were "whites," and who sold it to them? The secret history of whiteness is told, for the first time, in this important book by an internationally-acclaimed cultural historian and journalist. Gary Taylor tracks the growth of modern white identity through the history of art, law, literature, science, and sexuality--and through the eyes of black and brown observers. From Columbus to George W. Bush, from Shakespeare to Eminem, from John Bunyan to George Wallace, Buying Whiteness will transform the way you read our past and present.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gary Taylor's meditation on whiteness is learned, articulate, and deeply felt. Much of the material will be unfamiliar to most readers, and the argument, original and provocative, genuinely transforms an essential part of the social and cultural landscape. This is an important and exciting book."--Stephen Orgel, J.E. Reynolds Professor in Humanities, Stanford University

"In this wide-ranging, deftly coordinated, incisively focused book, Gary Taylor addresses two Renaissances. Making a major contribution to the new subfield of whiteness studies in the English Renaissance, Taylor locates the origin of an explicit appeal to white racial identity in the second decade of the 17th century--a turning point he illuminates through strong comparative analysis of the transition from Shakespeare to Thomas Middleton. Moreover, since the book's reach extends to the 19th-century American literary Renaissance, revised to include African-American voices, Taylor also brilliantly reconfigures the overall framework of whiteness studies as a whole. Gary Taylor speaks with contemporary urgency about the persistent problem of white blindness to white skin privilege: presenting a comprehensive, detailed history of white identity formation, Taylor opens our eyes. Future scholarship starts here."--Peter Erickson, author of Patriarchal Structures in Shakespeare's Drama and Rewriting Shakespeare, Rewriting Ourselves

From the Inside Flap

“Gary Taylor’s meditation on whiteness is learned, articulate, and deeply felt. Much of the material will be unfamiliar to most readers, and the argument, original and provocative, genuinely transforms an essential part of the social and cultural landscape. This is an important and exciting book.”--Stephen Orgel, J.E. Reynolds Professor in Humanities, Stanford University

“In this wide-ranging, deftly coordinated, incisively focused book, Gary Taylor addresses two Renaissances. Making a major contribution to the new subfield of whiteness studies in the English Renaissance, Taylor locates the origin of an explicit appeal to white racial identity in the second decade of the 17th century--a turning point he illuminates through strong comparative analysis of the transition from Shakespeare to Thomas Middleton. Moreover, since the book’s reach extends to the 19th-century American literary Renaissance, revised to include African-American voices, Taylor also brilliantly reconfigures the overall framework of whiteness studies as a whole. Gary Taylor speaks with contemporary urgency about the persistent problem of white blindness to white skin privilege: presenting a comprehensive, detailed history of white identity formation, Taylor opens our eyes. Future scholarship starts here.”--Peter Erickson, author of Patriarchal Structures in Shakespeare’s Drama and Rewriting Shakespeare, Rewriting Ourselves


Product Details

  • Series: Signs of Race
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (December 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403960712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403960719
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,152,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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