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What's the Matter with White People?:…
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What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America (edició 2013)

de Joan Walsh (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
843250,478 (3.94)5
"This book began as a political history of the 60s and 70s, with a particular focus on why Americans have let our nation decline in almost every measurable way since then, and sometimes even cheered on those who engineered that decline. I wanted to tell it the way I saw it growing up, watching many of my working-class Irish relatives forsake the Democrats, a party they saw as forsaking them. But my family's story, and that of the Democratic Party, turned out to be more complicated"--… (més)
Membre:taxtorpedo
Títol:What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America
Autors:Joan Walsh (Autor)
Informació:Touchstone (2013), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Recovered books
Valoració:
Etiquetes:American history, white people, race, American politics

Detalls de l'obra

What's the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was de Joan Walsh

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it is not often i give up on a book. i wanted to earlier but since i'd waited so long to get it from the library i toughed it out about 80% of the way.

for some reason i expected the subtitle to be relevant, that it might be about the perception that the 50s were an upstanding, right-thinking time and that "moral decay" is a fuzzy thing to define and hard to defend. that would have been interesting, maybe?

what it's really about isa plea for more class consciousness in lieu of identity politics. she talks a lot about her family's white-ethnic identity and her relationships to people of color (she hates the term, i guess because it unites black physicists with puerto rican peasants, which she rejects as a useful construction, and i'm not sure that i do). there's not much that's new or convincing to me about her argument that the democratic party has been splintered from within by identity politics. this privileges the tragedy of assumed "wins" over democratic process and participation by marginalized people (one of the things i like best about identity politics is *it gets people into politics*). and it assumes some diabolical competence in republican leadership -- was she there for the shitshow that was the 2012 primaries?

it's also filled with detailed apologies and defenses of things she personally wrote or said during the 2008 primaries, which seemed so shockingly far from relevant! i flipped through looking for her Larger Point without finding one.

this is memoir more than argument. if you want to know more about joan walsh specifically, check it out. ( )
  mirnanda | Dec 27, 2019 |
Reading this in tandem with The Maid Narratives. Another book with fascinating content. This one is asking why so many people keep longing for an idyllic past, the world of Ozzie and Harriet, the Cleavers, Father Knows Best and others. Why do so many people dream of a world that never actually existed outside the media? Likewise, why do so many females believe in Disney's happily ever after? Maybe both dreams are a comfort in a changing world, a world where there is no certainty. That isn't new but what is new is folks pulling their comfort from mass media and entertainment rather than religion. ( )
  kwkslvr | Dec 13, 2012 |
The title of author Joan Walsh's book What's the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was is a bit misleading. As much memoir and history of Irish immigration to the United States as political polemic, she uses the example of her own working class Irish family to explain why so many from this group have moved to the right, a move which appears to be against their own self-interest.

Surprisingly, given the attitude of most liberals towards the white male working class, Walsh gives an extremely empathetic and enlightening explanation of the causes of the rightward shift. She doesn't completely let the white workers off the hook - she points out that much of their opposition to Affirmative Action programs lies in their desire to be able to keep the better paying union jobs such as police and firefighters for their own kids. However, she blames most of the shift on missed opportunities by the Democratic party and misinformation from the Republicans.

As a working class woman also of Irish descent (albeit Canadian), I found myself nodding frequently at much of what she had to say. She speaks with great love and sympathy for her own Republican relatives. Her story of how she became a liberal Democrat thanks to her father, who was able to live the American Dream only due to being given to the Catholic Brothers when he was thirteen, is both sad and poignant. Her explanation of the sometimes shared, sometimes hostile history between the Irish immigrants and black people of NY is fascinating. Her story of her own journey to understand both her conservative family and her liberal friends and to live within both groups is insightful.

Too often, the white male working class is dismissed as 'racist' or 'stupid white men' by liberals while the Conservatives play into their fears (most unfounded) as they quietly dismantle the institutions, like unions, that actually try to protect the working class. Finally, in Ms Walsh's book, someone is actually speaking out for this much maligned group in an honest and sympathetic manner and, if the Democrats ever want to win them back, they should pay attention. ( )
4 vota lostinalibrary | Sep 26, 2012 |
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"This book began as a political history of the 60s and 70s, with a particular focus on why Americans have let our nation decline in almost every measurable way since then, and sometimes even cheered on those who engineered that decline. I wanted to tell it the way I saw it growing up, watching many of my working-class Irish relatives forsake the Democrats, a party they saw as forsaking them. But my family's story, and that of the Democratic Party, turned out to be more complicated"--

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