The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class

The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class

The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class

The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class

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Overview

Combining classical Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the new labor history pioneered by E. P. Thompson and Herbert Gutman, David Roediger’s widely acclaimed book provides an original study of the formative years of working-class racism in the United States. This, he argues, cannot be explained simply with reference to economic advantage; rather, white working-class racism is underpinned by a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforce racial stereotypes, and thus help to forge the identities of white workers in opposition to Blacks.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781839768309
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 11/22/2022
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 561,271
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David Roediger is Kendrick Babcock Chair of History at the University of Illinois. Among his books are Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day (with Philip S. Foner), How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, and The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. He is the editor of Fellow Worker: The Life of Fred Thompson, The North and Slavery and Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White as well as a new edition of Covington Hall’s Labor Struggles in the Deep South. His articles have appeared in New Left Review, Against the Current, Radical History Review, History Workshop Journal, The Progressive and Tennis.

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Preface to the Third Edition ix

Introduction Kathleen Cleaver xix

Introduction to the Fourth Edition Priyamvada Gopal xxvii

Part I Introducing the White Worker

1 On Autobiography and Theory: An Introduction 3

2 The Prehistory of the White Worker: Settler Colonialism, Race and Republicanism before 1800 19

Part II Race and the Languages of Class from the Revolution to the Civil War

3 'Neither a Servant Nor a Master Am I': Keywords in the Languages of White Labor Republicanism 43

4 White Slaves, Wage Slaves and Free White Labor 65

Part III Work, Culture and Whiteness in Industrializing America

5 Class, Coons and Crowds in Antebellum America 95

6 White Skins, Black Masks: Minstrelsy and White Working Class Formation before the Civil War 115

7 Irish-American Workers and White Racial Formation in the Antebellum United States 133

Part IV The Limits of Emancipation and the Fate of Working Class Whiteness

8 Epilogue: A New Life and Old Habits 167

Selected Writings 185

Index 189

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