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The Invention of the White Race (Volume One: Racial Oppression and Social Control) (Haymarket Series) Paperback – March 17, 1994

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A monumental study of the birth of racism in the American South which makes truly new and convincing points about one of the most critical problems in US history a highly original and seminal work.”—David Roediger, University of Missouri

About the Author

Theodore W. Allen (1919–2005) was an anti–white supremacist, working-class intellectual and activist who began his pioneering work on “white skin privilege” and “white race” privilege in 1965. He co-authored the influential White Blindspot (1967), authored “Can White Workers Radicals Be Radicalized?” (1969), and wrote the ground-breaking Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975) before publication of his seminal two-volume classic The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (March 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086091660X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860916604
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Allen begins volume 1 by reviewing the many histories of American racism written in the 20th century. Dividing the arguments into the psycho-cultural school and the socio-economic school of thought, he teases out the strengths and flaws of their scholarship. Allen then posits racial oppression as a deliberate ruling-class decision (constantly undergoing renewal) to prevent property-less European Americans from allying themselves with enslaved and free African Americans by offering the European Americans privileges based on white skin. His solution is to study "racism" rather than "race" because studies of race always devolve onto discussions of the body--onto those who are perceived to possess race--and thus avoids the real issue. That issue is the institutionalization of racism, how it functions systemically. He argues that race(ism) should be treated like any other oppression such as those oppressions practiced on people of a certain class or gender. It is a strong, well researched, tightly argued work. He proves that the "white race" can be "gotten on a technicality" because it was and is indeed an invented rather than a natural category.
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This is the work of a true People's Scholar. If you ever want to learn about the unspoken, unmentionable power structure of the US and its role in creating the concept of Whiteness and therefore Blackness, you must read this book. Every page is a delight!
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By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
gee, we don't have any common interests after all.
European Descendan
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By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
gee, we don't have any common interests after all.
European Descendan
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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