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Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race Taschenbuch – 27. August 1999
Whiteness of a Different Color is nothing less than a powerful synthesis of American history. Viewing the U.S. through the prism of race, Matthew Frye Jacobson re-writes 'immigrant history' and, in the process, discovers the key to America's past and future.--Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels
Whiteness of a Different Color offers an unanswerable demonstration that the historical whitening of European immigrants intensified 'race' as the marker of a white/black divide. Jacobson challenges at once the revival of the Caucasian racial category and the real inequalities to which it points.--Michael Rogin, Robson Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
[Matthew Frye Jacobson's] analysis of the European immigrant experiences, American racial classifications and "their fluidity over time" is a valuable addition to the flourishing genre of "whiteness studies" in the fields of labour and working-class history...Racial categories and perceptions, Jacobson argues, are cultural and political fabrications, reflections of power relationships in a society that has periodically needed to construct (and reconstruct) an "American" and "white" identity out of an increasingly polyglot European immigrant population...Whiteness of a Different Color is a subtle and sensitive exegesis and deconstruction of the immigrant experience in American culture.--John White "Times Higher Education Supplement "
In this fascinating book, Jacobson traces the development of racial identity in America. Between the 1840s and the 1920s, racial differences and hierarchy between Anglo-Saxons and other white ethnic groups were given great significance. "White ethnics" were generally considered as distinct and inferior to the original Anglo Saxon immigrants...[Whiteness of a Different Color] explodes the myth of the American melting pot. Jacobson demonstrates how white racial inclusion was inextricably linked with the exclusion of non-whites and, interestingly, how their widely-recognised whiteness is partly due to the presence of non-white groups...This is a thought-provoking account of an often overlooked topic.--Claire Xanthos "The Voice "
This groundbreaking book advances the study of white identity (both as category and as consciousness) significantly. It takes intellectual chances and makes the risks pay off.--David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness
Jacobson builds a history of how the category of "whiteness" plays in American history...His goal is to demystify, and the tone he takes does exactly that. Wry and often sarcastic, his bite is sharpened by his ability to pick out the dark, unintentional humor from his sources.--Willoughby Mariano "New Haven Advocate "
Jacobson has written a provocative, nuanced account of American race formation and especially of the way in which many American immigrants from Europe were cast initially as "nonwhites" in the late 19th century...Using a variety of sources, including film and fiction, Jacobson concludes that whiteness is clearly a socially constructed category infinitely malleable as a political tool. This historical survey is highly recommended for all libraries.--Anthony O. Edmonds "Library Journal "
Jacobson's important book helps to fill an important gap in the literature about the history of European immigrants assuming different racial identities in the United States...Because of its broad sweep of history, Jacobson is able to reveal previously ignored ways in which anti-racism coalitions have succeeded without yielding to assimilationist ideology.--Louis Anthes "H-Net Reviews "
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
- Herausgeber : Harvard University Press; Reprint Edition (27. August 1999)
- Sprache : Englisch
- Taschenbuch : 368 Seiten
- ISBN-10 : 0674951913
- ISBN-13 : 978-0674951914
- Abmessungen : 15.88 x 2.54 x 23.5 cm
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1,891,314 in Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Bücher)
Spitzenrezensionen aus anderen Ländern
In other words, people who came from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Jews from Russia and other Slavic nations all became, by virtue of the "melting pot" ethic, "Caucasian" whites. But, the creation of whiteness was - and still is - by no means an easy, continuous process. The Celtic, Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean "races" were abolished in favor of the myth of one homogenous "white" race (with the adoption of the "scientific" term "Caucasian" providing a new legitimacy to the honorific "racial" term "white."
Jacobson contends that traditional historians have deliberately dismissed the "racial" distinctions of the 19th century and before as "misuses" of the word "race." Of course they didn't mean that Irish, Germans, Bohemians, Nordics, etc. were separate races; they just didn't know what they were saying. This is a courtesy not given to mulattoes. Jacobson, however, shows that there was no "misuse." "Patterns in literary, legal, political and graphic evidence" show that the perception of race was very different from the standard rhetoric promoted in today's U.S. I have a sense of deja vu here. As I stated in a review of Lawrence R. Tenzer's The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War, mainstream historians' inability to acknowledge the fact that 19th century Northern "whites" saw predominately European slaves as "white," makes them deliberately blind to the role "white slavery" played as a cause of the Civil War. Few historians wish to deal with the fact that, while "white" privilege in various forms has been a constant in American political culture since colonial times, whiteness itself has been subject to all kinds of contests and has gone through a series of historical vicissitudes.
Jacobson divides the history of whiteness in the United States into three great epochs:
The nation's first naturalization law in 1790 (limited naturalized citizenship to "free white persons") demonstrates the republican convergence of race and "fitness for self-government"; the law's wording denotes an unconflicted view of the presumed character and unambiguous boundaries of whiteness.
Fifty years later, however, beginning with the massive influx of highly undesirable but nonetheless "white" persons from Ireland, whiteness was subject to new interpretations. The period of mass European immigration, from the 1840s to the restrictive legislation of 1924, witnessed a fracturing of whiteness into a hierarchy of plural and scientifically determined white races. Vigorous debate ensued over which of these was truly "fit for self-government" in the old Anglo- Saxon sense.
Finally, in the 1920s and after, partly because the crisis of over-inclusive whiteness had been solved by restrictive legislation and partly in response to a new racial alchemy generated by African-American migrations to the North and West, whiteness was reconsolidated: the late nineteenth century's probationary white groups were now remade and granted the scientific stamp of authenticity as the unitary Caucasian race - an earlier era's Celts, Slavs, Hebrews, Iberics, and Saracens, among others, had become Caucasians so familiar to our own visual economy and racial lexicon.