What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America

What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America

by Joan Walsh


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In What’s the Matter with White People? Walsh argues that the biggest divide in America today is based not on party or ideology but on two competing explanations for why middle-class stability has been shaken since the 1970s. One side sees an America that has spent the last forty years bankrupting the country by providing benefits for the underachieving, the immoral, and the undeserving—no matter the cost to the majority of Americans. The other side sees an America that has spent the last forty years catering to the wealthy while allowing only a nominal measure of progress for the downtrodden.

Using her extended Irish-Catholic working-class family as a case in point and explaining her own political coming-of-age, Walsh shows how liberals unwittingly collaborated in the “us versus them” narrative and how the GOP’s renewed culture war now scapegoats segments of its own white demographic.

Part memoir, part political history, What’s the Matter with White People? is essential reading to combat political and cultural polarization and to build a more just and prosperous multiracial America in the years to come.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476733128
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Edition description: Original
Pages: 335
Sales rank: 584,299
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are Saying About This

Clarence B. Jones

“Joan Walsh’s reflections and observations from her personal journey as an Irish Catholic daughter of a Northeastern blue collar family provides a unique window into the hearts, aspirations, anguish, anger, fears, and pride of white working class voters during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. No one can properly understand current class politics and race relations in America unless they’ve read this book.”

Robert B. Reich

“In this wonderfully insightful book, Joan Walsh shows how America built a large and vibrant (although mostly white) middle class that fueled the greatest economic boom in history and made a reality of the American dream. Hers is the story of postwar America told through a working class New York Irish Catholic family whose political divisions mirrored the nation’s. Moving and powerful, her account will help people of all races think through how we can build a just and prosperous multiracial America.”

Anne Lamott

“A brilliant and illuminating book about America since the upheavals of 60's and 70's. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH WHITE PEOPLE? is about the heart and soul of America, from our Founding Fathers to Hillary and Barack. It's about our middle class, which so recently flourished, and how it has been injured and diminished almost beyond repair by greed and racist fear-mongering. It's about America's greatness and delusion, the betrayal of the working class, and the fragmentation of the Democratic party. It's about how Walsh's own Irish Catholic family from New York was treated, responded, and fared in the years between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama. Walsh writes with passion, precision, and insight into how racism has made such a bold public comeback. Her book was heaven for a political junkie like me, somehow managing to be painful and exhilarating at the same time.”

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What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book wonderfully written by a superb social commentator.
MJS98 More than 1 year ago
Racist diatribe by an empty headed guilty white liberal.....avoid