The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control

The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control

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Overview

When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no “white” people there. Nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. In this seminal two-volume work, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen tells the story of how America’s ruling classes created the category of the “white race” as a means of social control. Since that early invention, white privileges have enforced the myth of racial superiority, and that fact has been central to maintaining ruling-class domination over ordinary working people of all colors throughout American history.

Volume I draws lessons from Irish history, comparing British rule in Ireland with the “white” oppression of Native Americans and African Americans. Allen details how Irish immigrants fleeing persecution learned to spread racial oppression in their adoptive country as part of white America.

Since publication in the mid-nineties, The Invention of the White Race has become indispensable in debates on the origins of racial oppression in America. In this updated edition, scholar Jeffrey B. Perry provides a new introduction, a short biography of the author and a study guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844677696
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Series: Invention of the White Race , #1
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 372
Sales rank: 294,693
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Theodore W. Allen (1919–2005) was an anti–white supremacist, working-class intellectual and activist who began his pioneering work on “white skin privilege” and “white race” privilege in 1965. He co-authored the influential White Blindspot (1967), authored “Can White Workers Radicals Be Radicalized?” (1969), and wrote the ground-breaking Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975) before publication of his seminal two-volume classic The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997).

What People are Saying About This

David Roediger

A monumental study of the birth of racism in the American South which makes truly new and convincing points about one of the most critical problems in US history … a highly original and seminal work.

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