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The History of White People Hardcover – March 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Painter begins in antiquity, a time in which race was not important so much as place; where you were from, a time of social hierarchy and class more so than racial consciousness. The disturbing truth is that class served more to define one's status and place than ethnicity or race for many centuries. Slavery, the great sin of any age, was racially colorblind in antiquity, and even in colonial America it was initially colorblind if indentured servitude is included. Painter guides readers through the evolution and construct of whiteness leading up to the harsh realities of the 19th Century, a time where whiteness took on further nuances, differences, and distinctions owing to increased immigration. It was a time when the Irish, Italians, Jews, and "others" were denigrated for their otherness; for not fitting the Anglo-Saxon ideal of whiteness.Read more ›
I was very impressed by her thorough research into the lives of the people who created the theory of race. Yes, she does make a point to highlight that the main actors were Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic Nordics. So what? Yes, she's a black woman and yes she has a leftist viewpoint. But she would be less than competent as a historian if she had not pointed this out.
My only objection is that sometimes she gets bogged down in too much minutiae on the lives of the scholars she's describing. On the other hand, she also delves into the personal and collegial relationships of these race theorists to each other and that's interesting.
Very good book and well worth reading.
I was in university before black studies and had not even heard of white studies until I read this book.Read more ›
The book even explains why our past history stills plays-out heavily in many complicated and destructive ways in the present. It goes far deeper, broader and more honest than what we learned throughout high school, college and in today's news media. In fact, the book explains the deeper and bigger truths of what we are and where we have come from as a civilization across the world. All of our pretentious modern day social, racial, class, cultural, political and economic rhetoric will be exploded and transformed into a more factual reality of our real identities upon reading this book.
I bought the hardcover and Audible versions to ensure that it becomes a permanent part of my home and travels. This book is worthy of becoming an instant classic. I absolutely guarantee, after reading even the first few chapters of The History of White People, you will never honestly look at America, Americans, yourself and the world the same way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do not share the author's views on several basic ideas, nor do I think this book is particularly well-organized or appropriately focused, and I found the concluding pages... Read morePublished 9 days ago by RollaJ
Brilliant, insightful book about our heritage evolving from a myriad of countries and customs and coming together
as simply Americans.
Racism is a fact of life, but the existence of racism does not presuppose the existence of race the way nationalism presupposes the existence of nations. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mark Grannis
This book is mind boggling. It contains information I never thought existed. It answered questions and beautifully put into context the answers which shaped the lives of all people... Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. A. Stowers
What is the origin of the beauty ideal of pale, slender, young women? How did Nazism start? How did men get so fixated on their genitals as symbols of their worth? Read morePublished 3 months ago by Belenen
The title of Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People is deceptively provocative. As Painter herself acknowledges, she could have named the book something like... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lindsey M
I was really looking forward to learning about the creation of the idea of whiteness, so I was disappointed when I found the writing so dry that I couldn't connect to the material. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Zeke