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Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Birth of a White Nation is a fascinating new book on race in America that begins with an exploration of the moment in time when "white people," as a separate and distinct group of humanity, were invented through legislation and the enactment of laws. The book provides a thorough examination of the underlying reasons as well as the ways in which "white people" were created. ...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published February 27th 2013 by Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC
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Dona
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful

I think this book should be required reading for everyone in a position if leadership, whether in government, our school, our social service agencies, or our churches. Although the author’s style of writing is difficult to follow at times, the overall historical overview is clear and disturbing. If we are to understand the forces at work in our country today, we must understand the forces that shaped us.
Jocelyn
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A helpful review of US laws on immigration, citizenship, voting rights, property ownership, and marriage -- laws that reserved privileges for propertied Protestant men of English descent along with men who looked like them. Early on in the legislative process, these men designated themselves "white."

It's interesting to realize that the concept of a superior "white race" was in our linguistic currency until the Civil Rights movement. After that, the terminology went underground. The concept of "r
...more
Courtney
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Important information on the way that "whiteness" was written into law early on in the U.S., bestowing clear and enduring privilege on some, while holding others on the outside. Delineates membership history within the category of "white," showing the arbitrary and power-mongering nature of those who created and perpetuate the use of "white" as a legitimate category (more covert today than in history, obviously).

Does a good job of addressing gender/race/class intersectional issues.
Dana Harris
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
A critical and brief historical review of the invention of whiteness. A solid foundation for understanding the social construction of race in the United States: grounded in law, patriarchy, capitalism, nativism, and colonialism. The author's repetitiveness can be tough to take, but it also reiterated critical points in history that are so counter to what we are taught in school, it may be intentional. If you can stick with it, in spite of the repetition and some typos, your eyes will be opened.
Katrina
Jun 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Same ideas as Thandeka's Learning to be White and Ignatiev's Race Traitor, but poorly argued. Redundant.
Michael
Oct 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
I can't believe how inaccurate this book is.
Deafinition
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa
Jan 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shockingly poorly written. While the subject matter is fascinating, the writing itself is a constant distraction (word choice, grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, etc.). This book is poorly organized and redundant.

I also take particular issue with the author’s gratuitous use of graphic images in the Afterword. The images appear to be used for shock value rather than true necessity, as she spends several paragraphs describing what she thinks is important about the images anyway. The sheer
...more
carlos
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, I have been actively engaged in "We The People" for 6 years with the understanding of where it needs to go but lacking the knowledge to point it in the direction this book, with so much authority explained, for us as a people to go forward.

Excellent, I have been actively engaged in "We The People" for 6 years with the understanding of where it needs to go but lacking the knowledge to point it in the direction this book with so much authority explained for us as a people to go forward.
Charlie
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oasisbk, feminist
Great book how in 17th century the laws cementing slavery were created. Turns out it took quite a while and several iterations of laws. If you think the British elites just took the existing British laws, you are wrong, there was American "innovation" involved. Also great summary of the history of how Mexicans were legally white but were not treated as white. Also how Irish imigrants became white, when at beginning they were not seen as such.
Laura
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
It was pretty redundant, but informative. I think chapter 5 and the afterword were the most helpful. However, I find her call to interpersonal action (rather than structural and legal action) inadequate. She spent the entirety of the book exploring the legal and structural support of white supremacy so therefore that’s where the dismantling needs to occur.
Rebekah Sanderlin
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating, disturbing, thought-provoking examination into how and why races were created in the U.S. Everyone should read this book. It provides a necessary pivot away from the mythologized version of America and toward a more inclusive, honest origin story.
Letecia
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An essential read for understanding and dismantling systemic racism in the USA.
Chris Theule-VanDam
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pushing back on my own ignorance.
Where does "white" come from.
Rebekah
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Informative and powerful. It should be incorporated into educational curriculum throughout the United States.
TJ
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Heard the author at the White Privilege conference. Enjoyed her talk and loved her book. Must read!!
Faith Reidenbach
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-surj
Great information, too densely written. It would be great to have a popularized version of this academic dissertation.
Juanita Johnson
rated it it was ok
Aug 12, 2015
Meggie
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