Customer Review

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!, June 11, 2003
This review is from: White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945 (Hardcover)
This is one of the best books I've read this year. Written in a lively and engaging manner, this book powerfully documents how immigrants have experienced and lived race in the US. With chapters on gangsters, race riots, fascism, tensions over public housing, labor unions, and international relations, this book is FILLED with riveting stories that force the reader to consider the role of everyday working-class folks in perpetuating and challenging white supremacy. The author's goal is to make us think critically about how we have arrived at our contemporary reality -- where race structures so much of our daily lives -- by examining how the descendents of impoverished and often marginalized European immigrants have played a role in keeping that structure in place. This is an incredible book!! I recommend it to anyone who loves a good story, but also to those who are looking for historical background to current debates over affirmative action, reparations, and anti-racist collective action.... and anyone who wants some factual info to support your arguments with family & friends who insist that "we" (meaning "white ethnics") had is "as bad" as "them" (people of color). This author finally lays this argument to rest once and for all (thankfully) by showing how the color line ensured that Italians had a leg up, and that their "whiteness" became their most valuable asset in a country so deeply defined by race.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 7, 2011 6:14:59 AM PDT
Thank you for your perceptive comments on this book and on racism.

Posted on Oct 7, 2011 11:14:33 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 9, 2011 5:21:25 PM PDT]

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 8:15:52 AM PST
wow! your enthusiasm alone makes me want to read this book. Very encouraging.
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