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  • 2 years ago
Summer Reading   White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

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

No line about class in the United States is more famous than the one written by the German sociologist Werner Sombart in 1906. Class consciousness in America, he contended, foundered “on the shoals of roast beef and apple pie.” In “White Trash,” Nancy Isenberg joins a long list of historians over the last century who have sent Sombart’s theory crashing on the shoals of history. The prolific Charles and Mary Beard, progressive historians in the first third of the 20th century, reinterpreted American history as a struggle for economic power between the haves and have-nots. W.E.B. Du Bois interpreted Reconstruction as a great class rebellion New York Times

Nancy Isenberg has produced, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, a dreadfully stupid and lazy book. It is badly written, poorly conceived, and incompetently executed. Isenberg would join the long line of American debunkers and would-be debunkers of a familiar and surpassingly tedious sort: Kevin D. Williams

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