Join Cindi and discuss books from a variety of genres at 7 pm, the first Monday of each month. Authors DO NOT attend.
Monday, May 6th, 7:00pm
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 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.