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The History of White People Paperback – April 18, 2011
30 of the World's Greatest Historical City Maps
A beautifully illustrated history of the world's most celebrated historical city maps, from the hubs of ancient civilization to sprawling modern mega-cities, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Learn more
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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 ›
Stated in the second sentence, Painter’s main argument in this book is that “race is an idea, not a fact.” (ix) This argument is hardly new, as others before her such as Stuart Hall have argued that the concept of race is a “floating signifier” with no biological basis. However, Painter points out that despite academia’s general acknowledgement of race as a discursive construct, the average person still views race in biological terms and “many Americans cling to race as the unschooled cling to superstition.” (xii)
Painter begins the book in the depths of antiquity long before there was a USA. She points out the oft forgotten fact that there was an extensive and complex history of white slavery beginning as far back as the Greeks and Scythians.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author begins her search for whiteness in the midst of Greek and Roman Myths, where, as is still true today, power determined the markers of ethnic differences rather than... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Herbert L Calhoun
Another wonderful work attempting to diminish and denigrate western civilization.Published 1 month ago by B Bob
We all bleed red but if one does not learn about the difference in nationality and the different culture across this world that God created peace cannot be stillPublished 1 month ago by Lawrence Trimblett
If anything, she (author) is super-intelligent and impeccably thorough with research. An interesting read for anyone who seeks to expand his/her base when it concerns issues of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sean A. Hinton
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 3 months 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 4 months ago by Mark Grannis