In White Trash: The 400-year Untold History of Class in America, historian Nancy Isenberg traces white poverty and class from the earliest British settlements through to the 21st century. What she finds is that the mythology of social mobility and classlessness of American Exceptionalism is just that, a myth. By taking a deep dive into a sub-class of Americans, Isenberg hopes that Americans can face a truth about the enduring poverty on inequality that has shaped the American consciousness. That not only do we have classes, but these classes have been built by policies going back to the very reason British citizens came to the colonies. Our discussion of the book looks at where this history contributes to our current political conversation and where it could have been more focused to tell the story in a more cohesive way.
Featuring Aubrey Hicks, Anthony Orlando, Lisa Schweitzer, and John Sonego
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of White Trash click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play
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Cultural and Scholarly Materials Discussed in Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash – a timeline by Lisa Schweitzer
Next Month …
Read American Gods by Neil Gaiman along with us, and listen to our discussion on January, 30,2017.
After December’s hard look at American Mythology through White Trash, we’ll take a drastically different look at the same idea through the fictional world of Neil Gaiman. We will be able to ask some of the same questions regarding what Americans believe about themselves and their country, whether those myths are based in reality or just stories we tell ourselves – all through a lens of supernatural beings arguing over territory.