The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality

Oxford University Press
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It wasn't so long ago that the white working class occupied the middle of British and American societies. But today members of the same demographic, feeling silenced and ignored by mainstream parties, have moved to the political margins. In the United States and the United Kingdom, economic disenfranchisement, nativist sentiments and fear of the unknown among this group have even inspired the creation of new right-wing parties and resulted in a remarkable level of support for fringe political candidates, most notably Donald Trump. Answers to the question of how to rebuild centrist coalitions in both the U.S. and U.K. have become increasingly elusive. How did a group of people synonymous with Middle Britain and Middle America drift to the ends of the political spectrum? What drives their emerging radicalism? And what could possibly lead a group with such enduring numerical power to, in many instances, consider themselves a "minority" in the countries they once defined? In The New Minority, Justin Gest speaks to people living in once thriving working class cities--Youngstown, Ohio and Dagenham, England--to arrive at a nuanced understanding of their political attitudes and behaviors. In this daring and compelling book, he makes the case that tension between the vestiges of white working class power and its perceived loss have produced the unique phenomenon of white working class radicalization.
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About the author

Justin Gest is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. He is also the author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2016
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780190632564
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Powered by original field research and survey analysis in the United States and United Kingdom, The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides a comprehensive and accessible exploration of white working-class politics and the populism that is transforming the transatlantic social and political landscape. In recent years, the world has been reintroduced to the constituency of "white working-class" people. In a wave of revolutionary populism, far right parties have scored victories across the transatlantic political world: Britain voted to leave the European Union, the United States elected President Donald Trump to enact an "America First" agenda, and Radical Right movements are threatening European centrists in elections across the continent. In each case, white working-class people are driving the reaction to the social change brought by globalization. In the midst of this rebellion, a new group consciousness has emerged among the very people who not so long ago could take their political, economic, and cultural primacy for granted. In The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Justin Gest provides the context for understanding this large group of people. He begins by explaining what "white working class" means in terms of demographics, history, and geography, as well as the ways in which this group defines itself and has been defined by others. Gest also addresses whether white identity is on the rise, why white people perceive themselves as marginalized, and the roles of racism and xenophobia in white consciousness. Finally, he looks at the political attitudes, voting behavior, and prospects for the future of the white working class. This accessible book provides a nuanced view into the forces driving one of the most complicated and consequential political constituencies today.
One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue” (Associated Press).

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history.

The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S.S. McClure.

Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men.

The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.
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This anxiety has helped to create the Tea Party movement, with its call to "take our country back." By means of a racialized nostalgia for a mythological past, the Right is enlisting fearful whites into its campaign for reactionary social and economic policies.

In urgent response, Tim Wise has penned his most pointed and provocative work to date. Employing the form of direct personal address, he points a finger at whites' race-based self-delusion, explaining how such an agenda will only do harm to the nation's people, including most whites. In no uncertain terms, he argues that the hope for survival of American democracy lies in the embrace of our multicultural past, present and future.

"Sparing neither family nor self…he considers how the deck has always been stacked in his and other white people's favor…His candor is invigorating."—Publishers Weekly

"One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation."—Michael Eric Dyson

"Tim Wise has written another blockbuster! His new book, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, is a cogent analysis of the problems of race and inequality as well as a plea for those who harbor views about race and racism to modify and indeed eliminate them. While the book's title addresses white people, this is really a book for anyone who is concerned about eliminating the issue of racial disparity in our society. This is must read and a good read."—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He is the author of a number of books, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America

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"The foremost white analyst of racism in America never fails to provide fresh takes as he punctures myths and defenses."—World Wide Work

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Powered by original field research and survey analysis in the United States and United Kingdom, The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides a comprehensive and accessible exploration of white working-class politics and the populism that is transforming the transatlantic social and political landscape. In recent years, the world has been reintroduced to the constituency of "white working-class" people. In a wave of revolutionary populism, far right parties have scored victories across the transatlantic political world: Britain voted to leave the European Union, the United States elected President Donald Trump to enact an "America First" agenda, and Radical Right movements are threatening European centrists in elections across the continent. In each case, white working-class people are driving the reaction to the social change brought by globalization. In the midst of this rebellion, a new group consciousness has emerged among the very people who not so long ago could take their political, economic, and cultural primacy for granted. In The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Justin Gest provides the context for understanding this large group of people. He begins by explaining what "white working class" means in terms of demographics, history, and geography, as well as the ways in which this group defines itself and has been defined by others. Gest also addresses whether white identity is on the rise, why white people perceive themselves as marginalized, and the roles of racism and xenophobia in white consciousness. Finally, he looks at the political attitudes, voting behavior, and prospects for the future of the white working class. This accessible book provides a nuanced view into the forces driving one of the most complicated and consequential political constituencies today.
Powered by original field research and survey analysis in the United States and United Kingdom, The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides a comprehensive and accessible exploration of white working-class politics and the populism that is transforming the transatlantic social and political landscape. In recent years, the world has been reintroduced to the constituency of "white working-class" people. In a wave of revolutionary populism, far right parties have scored victories across the transatlantic political world: Britain voted to leave the European Union, the United States elected President Donald Trump to enact an "America First" agenda, and Radical Right movements are threatening European centrists in elections across the continent. In each case, white working-class people are driving the reaction to the social change brought by globalization. In the midst of this rebellion, a new group consciousness has emerged among the very people who not so long ago could take their political, economic, and cultural primacy for granted. In The White Working Class: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Justin Gest provides the context for understanding this large group of people. He begins by explaining what "white working class" means in terms of demographics, history, and geography, as well as the ways in which this group defines itself and has been defined by others. Gest also addresses whether white identity is on the rise, why white people perceive themselves as marginalized, and the roles of racism and xenophobia in white consciousness. Finally, he looks at the political attitudes, voting behavior, and prospects for the future of the white working class. This accessible book provides a nuanced view into the forces driving one of the most complicated and consequential political constituencies today.
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