Whiteness of a Different Color

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Harvard University Press, Sep 1, 1999 - History - 338 pages
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America's racial odyssey is the subject of this remarkable work of historical imagination. Matthew Frye Jacobson argues that race resides not in nature but in the contingencies of politics and culture. In ever-changing racial categories we glimpse the competing theories of history and collective destiny by which power has been organized and contested in the United States. Capturing the excitement of the new field of "whiteness studies" and linking it to traditional historical inquiry, Jacobson shows that in this nation of immigrants "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation: ethnic minorities, in becoming American, were re-racialized to become Caucasian.
 

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Jacobson examines the concept of whiteness, beginning with the first restrictions on citizenship in 1790 (free white men) and tracing through how it changed into the twentieth century. Essentially ... Read full review

Contents

THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF WHITENESS
13
AngloSaxons and Others 18401924
39
Becoming Caucasian 19241965
91
HISTORY RACE AND PERCEPTION
137
Looking Jewish Seeing Jews
171
THE MANUFACTURE OF CAUCASIANS
201
Naturalization and the Courts
223
The Dawning Civil Rights Era
246
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Matthew Frye Jacobson, a professor of American Studies at Yale, is the author of "Whiteness of a Different Color" & "Special Sorrows". He lives in New York City.

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