The size and stability of the American middle class were once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways. These battles continued to rage from that day to now, while everyone has fallen behind economically except the wealthy. Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of "other" Americansblack people, feminists, gays, immigrants, union membersto court a fearful white working- and middle-class base with ever more bitter "us vs. them" politics. Liberals tried, but mostly failed, to make the case that we're all in this together.
In What's the Matter with White People?, popular Salon columnist Joan Walsh argues that the biggest divide in America today is not about party or ideology, but about two competing narratives for why everything has fallen apart since the 1970s. One side sees an America that has spent the last forty years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the underachieving, the immoral, and the undeserving, no matter the cost to Middle America. The other sees an America that has spent the last forty years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the very rich, while allowing a measure of cultural progress for the different and the downtrodden. It matters which side is right, and how the other side got things so wrong.
Walsh connects the dots of American decline through trends that began in the 1970s and continue todayincluding the demise of unions, the stagnation of middle-class wages, the extension of the right's "Southern Strategy" throughout the country, the victory of Reagan Republicanism, the increase in income inequality, and the drop in economic mobility.
Citing her extended family as a case in point, Walsh shows how liberals unwittingly collaborated in the "us vs. them" narrative, rather than developing an inspiring, persuasive vision of a more fair, united America. She also explores how the GOP's renewed culture war now scapegoats even segments of its white base, as it blames the troubles of working-class whites on their own moral failings rather than on an unfair economy.
What's the Matter with White People? is essential reading as the country struggles through political polarization and racial change to invent the next America in the years to come.See all Editorial Reviews
Wow can we get ANY more racist of a title?
Open season for white hate here.
It is a refreshing read for me. The only negative [to me] is her light-hearted approach to describing the white American CAUSE to present-day effects of that same group's... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Big_Z
and present day resistance. Americans got government-issued boots with straps!Published 2 months ago by Lerond Mallard
Another way to breed racism. This is all propaganda for the left. Thanks to people like this their are more racist in the U.S.A (both black and white ). Read morePublished 4 months ago by amy timms
Rich white guilt to the extreme. This liberal fool, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and brought up with marxists teachings tries to say she is sorry for all of the good... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nowayjose
A book written BY an idiot, FOR idiots. Joan Walsh hasn't the slightest clue of what she speaks. One would be better off reading the ingredients on the back of a can of spam than... Read morePublished 4 months ago by TheRealDeal
A good read. More people, especially New Yorkers, should read this book. It also is a good story about how cultures are used to work the race card.Published 4 months ago by I. Martinez