Who's Afraid of the White Working Class?: On Joan C. Williams's 'White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America'
Book Review

Roediger, David
Date Written:  2017-05-17
Publisher:  Los Angeles Review of Books
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21191

A book review on White Working Class Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America (Written By Joan C. Williams).



"THE WHITE WORKING CLASS" -- as a phrase describing an alleged social group, not as a title for the book in question -- burst on the scene at a particular moment. It descended in the wake of Donald Trump's unexpected victory in the 2016 presidential election. During the campaign itself, as in all other such campaigns, mainstream candidates mentioned the "working class" hardly at all. Even Bernie Sanders directed his avowedly socialist appeals, as trade union officials now also do, primarily to the "middle class" or to "working families." Indeed Ngram searches through databases of scanned publications tell us that the "white working class" has been absent from US language throughout history -- with Tom Edsall's New York Times columns on the Democrats’ abandonment of the white working class as a noteworthy exception.

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