White Trash: The 400-Year Old History of Class in America

Book Café

Looking for interaction and social connections? Are you maxed out on Netflix? Want to virtually meet new friends and discuss books and ideas with like-minded bibliophiles? The Book Cafe is open and offers five interest groups: Non-Fiction, General Fiction, Cozy Reads, Young Adult, and Children’s. Sign up individually or with friends. Even Great Uncle Albert who lives in Montana can join in the fun. All you need is an internet connection to listen in and discuss!

Date

Jul 26 2021

Time

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

White Trash: The 400-Year Old History of Class in America 

by Nancy Isenberg

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.

Join the discussion via Zoom or watch LIVE on Facebook.


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