Racism: A Short History

Princeton University Press
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Are antisemitism and white supremacy manifestations of a general phenomenon? Why didn't racism appear in Europe before the fourteenth century, and why did it flourish as never before in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Why did the twentieth century see institutionalized racism in its most extreme forms? Why are egalitarian societies particularly susceptible to virulent racism? What do apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany, and the American South under Jim Crow have in common? How did the Holocaust advance civil rights in the United States?

With a rare blend of learning, economy, and cutting insight, George Fredrickson surveys the history of Western racism from its emergence in the late Middle Ages to the present. Beginning with the medieval antisemitism that put Jews beyond the pale of humanity, he traces the spread of racist thinking in the wake of European expansionism and the beginnings of the African slave trade. And he examines how the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century romantic nationalism created a new intellectual context for debates over slavery and Jewish emancipation.


Fredrickson then makes the first sustained comparison between the color-coded racism of nineteenth-century America and the antisemitic racism that appeared in Germany around the same time. He finds similarity enough to justify the common label but also major differences in the nature and functions of the stereotypes invoked. The book concludes with a provocative account of the rise and decline of the twentieth century's overtly racist regimes--the Jim Crow South, Nazi Germany, and apartheid South Africa--in the context of world historical developments.


This illuminating work is the first to treat racism across such a sweep of history and geography. It is distinguished not only by its original comparison of modern racism's two most significant varieties--white supremacy and antisemitism--but also by its eminent readability.

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About the author

George M. Fredrickson (1934–2008) was the Edgar E. Robinson Professor of U.S. History at Stanford University. His many books include Diverse Nations, Black Liberation, and White Supremacy. Albert M. Camarillo is the Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor of American History at Stanford University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 15, 2015
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781400873678
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Language
English
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Genres
History / World
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
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More than half a century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's Mimesis remains a masterpiece of literary criticism. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature. This new expanded edition includes a substantial essay in introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay, never before translated into English, in which Auerbach responds to his critics.

A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There he wrote Mimesis, publishing it in German after the end of the war. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive--and impassioned--response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours.


For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, Mimesis is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written. This Princeton Classics edition includes a substantial introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay in which Auerbach responds to his critics.

In Race: A Philosophical Introduction, Second Edition , Paul C. Taylor provides an accessible guide to a well-travelled but still-mysterious area of the contemporary social landscape. As in the first edition, the book blends metaphysics and social philosophy, analytic philosophy and pragmatic philosophy of experience. In this thoroughly updated and revised volume, Taylor outlines the main features and implications of race-thinking, while engaging the ideas of such important figures as Linda Alcoff, K. Anthony Appiah, W. E. B. Du Bois, Michel Foucault, Sally Haslanger, and Howard Winant. The result is a comprehensive but accessible introduction to philosophical race theory and to a non-biological and situational notion of race.

The book unfolds in a sequence of five chapters, each devoted to one of the following questions: What is race-thinking? Don’t we know better than to talk about race now? Are there any races? What is it like to have a racial identity? And how important, ethically, is colorblindness? On the way to answering these questions, Race takes up topics like mixed-race identity, white supremacy, the relationship between the race concept and other social identity categories and the impact of race-thinking on our erotic and romantic lives. The second edition’s new concluding chapter explores the racially fraught issues of policing, immigration, and global justice, and interrogates the thought that Barack Obama has ushered in a post-racial age. This volume is suitable for the educated general reader as well as for students and scholars in ethnic studies, philosophy, sociology, and other related fields.
Originally published in 1957, this classic work has guided generations of scholars through the arcane mysteries of medieval political theology. Throughout history, the notion of two bodies has permitted the post mortem continuity of monarch and monarchy, as epitomized by the statement, "The king is dead. Long live the king." In The King's Two Bodies, Ernst Kantorowicz traces the historical problem posed by the "King's two bodies"--the body natural and the body politic--back to the Middle Ages and demonstrates, by placing the concept in its proper setting of medieval thought and political theory, how the early-modern Western monarchies gradually began to develop a "political theology.?

The king's natural body has physical attributes, suffers, and dies, naturally, as do all humans; but the king's other body, the spiritual body, transcends the earthly and serves as a symbol of his office as majesty with the divine right to rule. The notion of the two bodies allowed for the continuity of monarchy even when the monarch died, as summed up in the formulation "The king is dead. Long live the king."

Bringing together liturgical works, images, and polemical material, The King's Two Bodies explores the long Christian past behind this "political theology." It provides a subtle history of how commonwealths developed symbolic means for establishing their sovereignty and, with such means, began to establish early forms of the nation-state.

Kantorowicz fled Nazi Germany in 1938, after refusing to sign a Nazi loyalty oath, and settled in the United States. While teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, he once again refused to sign an oath of allegiance, this one designed to identify Communist Party sympathizers. He was dismissed as a result of the controversy and moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he remained for the rest of his life, and where he wrote The King's Two Bodies.

Featuring a new introduction, The King's Two Bodies is a subtle history of how commonwealths developed symbolic means for establishing their sovereignty and, with such means, began to establish early forms of the nation-state.

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