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The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940 / Edition 1

The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940 / Edition 1

by Matthew Pratt GuterlMatthew Pratt Guterl
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With the social change brought on by the Great Migration of African Americans into the urban northeast after the Great War came the surge of a biracial sensibility that made America different from other Western nations. How white and black people thought about race and how both groups understood and attempted to define and control the demographic transformation are the subjects of this new book by a rising star in American history.

An elegant account of the roiling environment that witnessed the shift from the multiplicity of white races to the arrival of biracialism, this book focuses on four representative spokesmen for the transforming age: Daniel Cohalan, the Irish-American nationalist, Tammany Hall man, and ruthless politician; Madison Grant, the patrician eugenicist and noisy white supremacist; W. E. B. Du Bois, the African-American social scientist and advocate of social justice; and Jean Toomer, the American pluralist and novelist of the interior life. Race, politics, and classification were their intense and troubling preoccupations in a world they did not create, would not accept, and tried to change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674010123
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/30/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Matthew Pratt Guterl is Professor of Africana Studies and American Studies at Brown University.

Table of Contents



1. Salvaging a Shipwrecked World

2. Bleeding the Irish White

3. Against the White Leviathan

4. The Hypnotic Division of America





What People are Saying About This

Walter Johnson

I enjoyed reading this book, which is smart, interesting, informative, argumentative, and beautifully written.
Walter Johnson, New York University

David Levering Lewis

A truly brilliant book. Conceptually arresting and beautifully written...may well become a benchmark for informed discussion of race in the construction of American identities in the early twentieth century.
David Levering Lewis, author of W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963

Nell Irvin Painter

The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940 examines how Americans, black and white, thought about race in the 1920s and 1930s. Guterl shows the ways in which several thinkers on both sides of the color line changed their thinking about races. Early in the twentieth century, they envisioned some fifty human races; by the 1930s, they had come to see people as categorized into two large groups, black and white or white and colored. This ambitious and very smart work makes an original contribution to the study of race in the United States.
Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University

Matthew Frye Jacobson

Guterl's keen analysis goes right to the very heart of American cultural and political life in the twentieth century. This is the only study of race I know of which so thoroughly addresses the political along with the cultural; sweeping epochal trends along with the specificities of the historical moment; lone figures along with surrounding economic and political structures; the local along with the global; conscious intellectual agendas along with reflexive ideologies; 'blackness' along with 'whiteness.' At once a bold thinker and a cautious researcher, Guterl is as expansive and far-reaching with his chapters as he is painstaking and precise with his words. The Color of Race is crisp, accessible, energetic, and always interesting.
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University, author of Whiteness of a Different Color

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