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The History of White People Paperback – April 18, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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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 ›
A History of White People provides a coherent chronology of the creation, propagation and defense of "whiteness." At the same time it clears up common misconceptions about the targets of racism. For example, despite the fact that that the term "race" is likely to generate an image of the oppression of people of color resulting from the African slave trade and colonialism, this is in reality only one manifestation of racial patterning in a very long story of how difference has been identified and exploited. Whiteness is about superiority and belonging, the creation and defense of privilege, and above all, the shaping of an ideology that has penetrated social structures, politics, economics, colonialism and warfare.
While beginning her overview in classical times, Painter soon moves into the heart of the story, the development of the concepts of race and beauty in European thinking since the Renaissance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 4 days 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 1 month ago by Lindsay E. Katai
All I had to do was take one look at the author and upon seeing a black woman with a shaved head, I knew it was going to be some third wave marxist feminist BS. Read morePublished 1 month ago by N. Brown
To say that Nell Irvin Painter's newest book, The History of White People, is absolutely astounding and highly enlightening would be an extreme understatement. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Moore No Less
Did I read somewhere the original title of this book was supposed to be "The History of Wealthy, Educated, Self-Serving, Dishonest, Violent and Dangerous Swindlers"?Published 4 months ago by WathArt
"The History of White People," is possibly the most important book ever published on race in the United States. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Osha Gray Davidson