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From the Publisher"This remarkable book not only offers an apt reminder of the extensive African American tradition of writing and theorizing about whiteness but also constitutes an arresting addition to that tradition. Ranging across a century of time and a variety of genres, Watson writes with texture, precision, and theoretical sophistication. She shows how African American thinkers made themselves experts on the ways whites apprehended and occupied the troubled realms in which they ruled."
—David Roediger, coauthor of The Production of Difference
"Veronica Watson offers a brilliant analysis of African American engagement with whiteness in U.S. literature. In this historical journey examining the works of Chesnutt, Du Bois, Yerby, Hurston, and Beals, Watson reveals whiteness to be a labyrinth of insecurity, twisted intimacies, and terror. Resisting the tendency to narrow race studies to the focus on the 'black problem,' Watson provides a searing examination of whiteness as a traumatized identity, a reality that makes even more remarkable a black willingness to understand, and in some instances, try to save white people from their own suffocation. The Souls of White Folk is a crucial contribution to critical whiteness studies and a beacon for understanding white estrangement from its own humanity."
—Becky Thompson, author of A Promise and A Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism