Book Review|White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America

White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America

by Nancy Isenberg

white-trash

 

All of our lives, as Americans, we have been told we live in the land of opportunity. If you work hard, magically the kingdom of the land of endless opportunities will open to you.

Nancy Isenberg challenges that belief by examining the roots of the American class system to discover why the American dream has been unattainable for many citizens.

Far from being a classless society, America is plagued by class divisions. Why is that? Isenberg answers at least some of those questions. White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America attempts to address the issues spawned by a class system set in place at the beginning of our nation with the American British colonies. This is a daunting task but Isenberg does a fair job of bringing the topic of America’s  marginalized underclass to our attention.

Tracing how our American societal hierarchy influences a myriad of attitudes and beliefs,  Eisenberg examines the consequences on racism, class structure, poverty, politics, and entertainment. Viewing these topics through the lens of the largely ignored class structure firmly entrenched in American society may challenge what you think you know.

This is not a dry textbook approach, and packs a lot of history into a small package. It is far from boring. When I finished reading this book I wanted to talk about it. I would like to read more books on these issues to get more perspectives and interpretations of American class structure and the struggle to achieve equality.

I would recommend this book for everyone.

If you are interested in American history, class structure, politics, social history, or race relations. You may want to read this book.

White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America

is a book about class divisions, containing terminology and references to incidents in our history many would rather forget, including but not limited to, racial tensions, mistreatment of the poor, political scandals, social injustice, and the like.

C-Span Q&A with Nancy Isenberg White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America 

Nancy Isenberg’s Website

 

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