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The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (Haymarket Series) Paperback – July 17, 2007
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“A timely and important intervention in the current debates over ‘race’ and ethnicity.”—Catherine Hall, New Left Review
“Roediger’s exciting new book makes us understand what it means to see oneself as white in a new way. An extremely important and insightful book.”—Lawrence Glickman, The Nation
“The Celestine Prophecy of whiteness studies.”—SPLN
About the Author
Mike Davis is the author of several books including Planet of Slums, City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa’aloa, Hawaii.
Michael Sprinker was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His Imaginary Relations: Aesthetics and Ideology in the History of Historical Materialism and History and Ideology in Proust are also published by Verso. Together with Mike Davis, he founded Verso’s Haymarket Series and guided it until his death in 1999.
Top Customer Reviews
The book basically explores how white workers (with an emphasis on Irish Americans) sought after a "wage" for their color, by placing on Black Americans the mantle of "other", objectifying and stratifying blacks into an object of prejudice and discrimination.
After a lengthy discussion of the historiography of labor and race issues, Roediger writes eloquently of the cultural formation of words such as slave, servant, hired hand, freeman, white slave, master and boss. All of which, he argues, were used to diferentiate between blacks and white laborers. He is careful to point out that it was the workers themselves who created the terms as a means to divide the races and elevate whites on the hierarchy of social status. It is a convincing arguement. The text concludes with an enlightening discussion of "black face" and the social struggles of the Irish, whom many felt in the majority viewed as "white negroes."
This book is scholarly and a read that demands one's attention.
Overall, a great work of historical scholarship that should be read by every serious historian.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides a perspective of the racial element of labor and class construction that everyone should read.Published 9 months ago by Ben
Oh, please! I can understand why college professors assign this book. It is important to understand why historiography moves through phases. Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Winston
Roediger knows which side his bread is buttered on. The so called social sciences are nothing more than pseudo scientific leftist grandstanding. Read morePublished on July 23, 2011 by clash715
A small but very significant difference in terminology prevented me from getting far with this book. Read morePublished on July 30, 2008 by Green Stone
This book is yet another attempt at degrading the white race. There is nothing wrong with being white, just like there is nothing wrong with being black. Read morePublished on June 8, 2004 by Fearless