The New York Times bestseller A New York Times Notable and Critics’ Top Book of 2016 Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction One of NPR's 10 Best Books Of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On NPR's Book Concierge Guide To 2016’s Great Reads San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2016: 100 recommended books A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2016 Globe & Mail 100 Best of 2016 “Formidable and truth-dealing . . . necessary.” —The New York Times “This eye-opening investigation into our country’s entrenched social hierarchy is acutely relevant.” —O Magazine In her groundbreaking bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash. “When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg. The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity. We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.
"A history of the class system in America from the colonial era to the present illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, citing the pivotal contributions of lower-class white workers in wartime, social policy, and the rise of the Republican Party"--NoveList.
In this landmark book, Nancy Isenberg argues that the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of the American fabric, and reveals how the wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlements to today's hillbillies. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics - a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society; they are now offered up as entertainment in reality TV shows, and the label is applied to celebrities ranging from Dolly Parton to Bill Clinton. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the centre of major political debates over the character of the American identity. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society - where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility - and forces a nation to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class.
From the author of White Trash, a controversial challenge to the views of the Founding Fathers offered by Ron Chernow and David McCullough Lin-Manuel Miranda's play "Hamilton" has reignited interest in the founding fathers; and it features Aaron Burr among its vibrant cast of characters. With Fallen Founder, Nancy Isenberg plumbs rare and obscure sources to shed new light on everyone's favorite founding villain. The Aaron Burr whom we meet through Isenberg's eye-opening biography is a feminist, an Enlightenment figure on par with Jefferson, a patriot, and—most importantly—a man with powerful enemies in an age of vitriolic political fighting. Revealing the gritty reality of eighteenth-century America, Fallen Founder is the authoritative restoration of a figure who ran afoul of history and a much-needed antidote to the hagiography of the revolutionary era.
Author: Matt Wray
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2006-10-13
Genre: Social Science
White trash. The phrase conjures up images of dirty rural folk who are poor, ignorant, violent, and incestuous. But where did this stigmatizing phrase come from? And why do these stereotypes persist? Matt Wray answers these and other questions by delving into the long history behind this term of abuse and others like it. Ranging from the early 1700s to the early 1900s, Not Quite White documents the origins and transformations of the multiple meanings projected onto poor rural whites in the United States. Wray draws on a wide variety of primary sources—literary texts, folklore, diaries and journals, medical and scientific articles, social scientific analyses—to construct a dense archive of changing collective representations of poor whites. Of crucial importance are the ideas about poor whites that circulated through early-twentieth-century public health campaigns, such as hookworm eradication and eugenic reforms. In these crusades, impoverished whites, particularly but not exclusively in the American South, were targeted for interventions by sanitarians who viewed them as “filthy, lazy crackers” in need of racial uplift and by eugenicists who viewed them as a “feebleminded menace” to the white race, threats that needed to be confined and involuntarily sterilized. Part historical inquiry and part sociological investigation, Not Quite White demonstrates the power of social categories and boundaries to shape social relationships and institutions, to invent groups where none exist, and to influence policies and legislation that end up harming the very people they aim to help. It illuminates not only the cultural significance and consequences of poor white stereotypes but also how dominant whites exploited and expanded these stereotypes to bolster and defend their own fragile claims to whiteness.
A new history of school desegregation in America, revealing how girls and women led the fight for interracial education The struggle to desegregate America's schools was a grassroots movement, and young women were its vanguard. In the late 1940s, parents began to file desegregation lawsuits with their daughters, forcing Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers to take up the issue and bring it to the Supreme Court. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, girls far outnumbered boys in volunteering to desegregate formerly all-white schools. In A Girl Stands at the Door, historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of these desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. Highlighting the extraordinary bravery of young black women, this bold revisionist account illuminates today's ongoing struggles for equality.
Author: Nancy Isenberg
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2000-11-09
With this book, Nancy Isenberg illuminates the origins of the women's rights movement. Rather than herald the singular achievements of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, she examines the confluence of events and ideas--before and after 1848--that, in her view, marked the real birth of feminism. Drawing on a wide range of sources, she demonstrates that women's rights activists of the antebellum era crafted a coherent feminist critique of church, state, and family. In addition, Isenberg shows, they developed a rich theoretical tradition that influenced not only subsequent strains of feminist thought but also ideas about the nature of citizenship and rights more generally. By focusing on rights discourse and political theory, Isenberg moves beyond a narrow focus on suffrage. Democracy was in the process of being redefined in antebellum America by controversies over such volatile topics as fugitive slave laws, temperance, Sabbath laws, capital punishment, prostitution, the Mexican War, married women's property rights, and labor reform--all of which raised significant legal and constitutional questions. These pressing concerns, debated in women's rights conventions and the popular press, were inseparable from the gendered meaning of nineteenth-century citizenship.
Author: Andrew Burstein
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Release Date: 2013-01-15
A provocative analysis of the historically pivotal friendship between the third and fourth presidents offers insight into their complex characters while presenting a sobering assessment of how politics were conducted in the country's early years.
No one would have guessed that Donald Neesewho grew up poor in Alabama in the 1940s and 1950swould become an Air Force pilot, a CIA agent, and a senior executive with Lockheed Martin. But Neese always had a way of surprising folks. No one ever saw him coming, which may be why he made a great spy. He looks back at his adventure-filled life, from growing up with an abusive father and an overly religious mother to trying to live up to his valedictorian brother and then flying missions over the battlegrounds of Vietnam and beyond. Not everything turned out as planned, for instance, there was a painful divorce, but his love of country and family got him through the toughest of times. Hed also discover love again. In Poor White Trash No More, Neese looks back at an incredible life filled with surprising turns. His story will inspire you to keep chasing your dreams even during the darkest of times.
Author: Robert P. Jones
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-07-12
"The founder and CEO of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and columnist forThe Atlantic describes how white Protestant Christians have declined in influence and power since the 1990s and explores the effect this has had on America,"--NoveList.
Author: Ernest Matthew Mickler
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Release Date: 2011
More than 200 recipes and 45 full-color photographs celebrate 25 years of good eatin’ in this original regional Southern cooking classic. A quarter-century ago, while many were busy embracing the sophisticated techniques and wholesome ingredients of the nouvelle cuisine, one Southern loyalist lovingly gathered more than 200 recipes—collected from West Virginia to Key West—showcasing the time-honored cooking and hospitality traditions of the white trash way. Ernie Mickler’s much-imitated sugarsnap-pea prose style accompanies delicacies like Tutti’s Fancy Fruited Porkettes, Mock-Cooter Stew, and Oven-Baked Possum; stalwart sides like Bette’s Sister-in-Law’s Deep-Fried Eggplant and Cracklin’ Corn Pone; waste-not leftover fare like Four-Can Deep Tuna Pie and Day-Old Fried Catfish; and desserts with a heavy dash of Dixie, like Irma Lee Stratton’s Don’t-Miss Chocolate Dump Cake and Charlotte’s Mother’s Apple Charlotte.
The Philadelphia-born author describes how he returned to live near the West Virginia birthplace of his father--a difficult, disappointed, and defeated man who had left his home in the mountains in the wake of a family scandal--and discovered a world of great beauty whose inhabitants, despite hardship and exploitation, remain true to a traditional way of life. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Author: Jeff Forret
Publisher: LSU Press
Release Date: 2006
"As Forret makes apparent, colonial-era flexibility in race relations never entirely disappeared despite the institutionalization of slavery and the growing rigidity of color line. His book offers a complex and nuanced picture of the shadowy world of poor white-slave interactions, demanding a refined understanding and new appreciation of the range of interracial associations in the Old South."--Jacket.