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White Trash
Cover of White Trash
White Trash
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
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The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as "waste people," "offals," "rubbish," "lazy lubbers," and...
The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as "waste people," "offals," "rubbish," "lazy lubbers," and...
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  • The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. 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. In White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society. 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. 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. 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.

About the Author-

  • Nancy Isenberg is the author of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and won the Oklahoma Book Award for best book in nonfiction. She is also coauthor, with Andrew Burstein, of Madison and Jefferson.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Because WHITE TRASH is ultimately an academic tome, its narration needs to be energetic enough to make it a successful audiobook. Kirsten Potter's performance does not hold the listener's attention. This history of poor, white Americans (though it includes other races) considers topics such as the rise to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, who was born into poverty, and the sociological implications of "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." In Potter's favor, her narration is rhythmic, filled with regularly emphasized syllables and brief pauses that signal a significant point ahead. Overall, though, her performance is not enough to make this complex work a compelling listen. G.S.D. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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    Tantor Media, Inc.
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White Trash
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The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Nancy Isenberg
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