How the Irish Became White

How the Irish Became White
Author: Noel Ignatiev
Publisher: Routledge
Total Pages: 289
Release: 2012-11-12
Genre: History
ISBN: 1135070695

'...from time to time a study comes along that truly can be called ‘path breaking,’ ‘seminal,’ ‘essential,’ a ‘must read.’ How the Irish Became White is such a study.' John Bracey, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachussetts, Amherst The Irish came to America in the eighteenth century, fleeing a homeland under foreign occupation and a caste system that regarded them as the lowest form of humanity. In the new country – a land of opportunity – they found a very different form of social hierarchy, one that was based on the color of a person’s skin. Noel Ignatiev’s 1995 book – the first published work of one of America’s leading and most controversial historians – tells the story of how the oppressed became the oppressors; how the new Irish immigrants achieved acceptance among an initially hostile population only by proving that they could be more brutal in their oppression of African Americans than the nativists. This is the story of How the Irish Became White.

Working Toward Whiteness

Working Toward Whiteness
Author: David R. Roediger
Publisher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2006-08-08
Genre: History
ISBN: 078672210X

How did immigrants to the United States come to see themselves as white? David R. Roediger has been in the vanguard of the study of race and labor in American history for decades. He first came to prominence as the author of The Wages of Whiteness, a classic study of racism in the development of a white working class in nineteenth-century America. In Working Toward Whiteness, Roediger continues that history into the twentieth century. He recounts how ethnic groups considered white today-including Jewish-, Italian-, and Polish-Americans-were once viewed as undesirables by the WASP establishment in the United States. They eventually became part of white America, through the nascent labor movement, New Deal reforms, and a rise in home-buying. Once assimilated as fully white, many of them adopted the racism of those whites who formerly looked down on them as inferior. From ethnic slurs to racially restrictive covenants-the real estate agreements that ensured all-white neighborhoods-Roediger explores the mechanisms by which immigrants came to enjoy the privileges of being white in America. A disturbing, necessary, masterful history, Working Toward Whiteness uses the past to illuminate the present. In an Introduction to the 2018 edition, Roediger considers the resonance of the book in the age of Trump, showing how Working Toward Whiteness remains as relevant as ever even though most migrants today are not from Europe.

Whiteness of a Different Color

Whiteness of a Different Color
Author: Matthew Frye Jacobson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 365
Release: 1999-09-01
Genre: History
ISBN: 0674417801

America's racial odyssey is the subject of this remarkable work of historical imagination. Matthew Frye Jacobson argues that race resides not in nature but in the contingencies of politics and culture. In ever-changing racial categories we glimpse the competing theories of history and collective destiny by which power has been organized and contested in the United States. Capturing the excitement of the new field of "whiteness studies" and linking it to traditional historical inquiry, Jacobson shows that in this nation of immigrants "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation: ethnic minorities, in becoming American, were re-racialized to become Caucasian.

Treason to Whiteness Is Loyalty to Humanity

Treason to Whiteness Is Loyalty to Humanity
Author: Noel Ignatiev
Publisher: Verso Books
Total Pages: 449
Release: 2022-06-28
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 1839765011

A new collection of essays from the bomb-throwing intellectual who described the historical origins and evolution of whiteness and white supremacy, and taught us how we might destroy it. For sixty years, Noel Ignatiev provided an unflinching account of “whiteness”—a social fiction and an unmitigated disaster for all working-class people. This new essay collection from the late firebrand covers the breadth of his life and insights as an autodidact steel worker, a groundbreaking theoretician, and a bitter enemy of racists everywhere. In these essays, Ignatiev confronts the Weather Underground and recounts which strategies proved most effective to winning white workers in Gary, Indiana, to black liberation. He discovers the prescient political insights of the nineteenth-century abolition movement, surveys the wreckage of the revolutionary twentieth century with C.L.R. James, and attends to the thorny and contradictory nature of working-class consciousness. Through it all, our attentions are turned to the everyday life of “ordinary” people, whose actions anticipate a wholly new society they have not yet recognized or named. In short, Ignatiev reflects on the incisive questions of his time and ours: How can we drive back the forces of racism in society? How can the so-called “white” working class be wn over to emancipatory politics? How can we build a new human community?"

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization
Author: Thomas Cahill
Publisher: Anchor
Total Pages: 274
Release: 2010-04-28
Genre: History
ISBN: 0307755134

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A book in the best tradition of popular history—the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe. • The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift! Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars"—and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost—they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated. In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

The History of White People

The History of White People
Author: Nell Irvin Painter
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2011-04-18
Genre: History
ISBN: 039307949X

A New York Times bestseller: “This terrific new book . . . [explores] the ‘notion of whiteness,’ an idea as dangerous as it is seductive.”—Boston Globe Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of “whiteness” for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of “race” is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.

The Wages of Whiteness

The Wages of Whiteness
Author: David R. Roediger
Publisher: Verso Books
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2020-05-05
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 1789603137

An enduring history of how race and class came together to mark the course of the antebellum US and our present crisis. Roediger shows that in a nation pledged to independence, but less and less able to avoid the harsh realities of wage labor, the identity of "white" came to allow many Northern workers to see themselves as having something in common with their bosses. Projecting onto enslaved people and free Blacks the preindustrial closeness to pleasure that regimented labor denied them, "white workers" consumed blackface popular culture, reshaped languages of class, and embraced racist practices on and off the job. Far from simply preserving economic advantage, white working-class racism derived its terrible force from a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforced stereotypes and helped to forge the very identities of white workers in opposition to Blacks. Full of insight regarding the precarious positions of not-quite-white Irish immigrants to the US and the fate of working class abolitionism, Wages of Whiteness contributes mightily and soberly to debates over the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

Are Italians White?

Are Italians White?
Author: Jennifer Guglielmo
Publisher: Routledge
Total Pages: 344
Release: 2012-11-12
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 1136062424

This dazzling collection of original essays from some of the country's leading thinkers asks the rather intriguing question - Are Italians White? Each piece carefully explores how, when and why whiteness became important to Italian Americans, and the significance of gender, class and nation to racial identity.