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The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (Volume 2) (Haymarket Series)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  13 reviews
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King declared his dream of a racially integrated, non-discriminatory American society. Some three centuries before, that dream had in many ways been a reality, since white skin privilege was recognized neither in law nor in the social practices of the labouring classes. But by the early decades of the eighteenth ...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published August 17th 1997 by Verso
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Start your review of The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (Volume 2) (Haymarket Series)
David Anderson
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Volume II of The Invention of the White Race, Theodore Allen explores the transformation that turned African bond-laborers into slaves and segregated them from their fellow proletarians of European origin. In response to labor unrest, where solidarities were not determined by skin color, the plantation bourgeoisie sought to construct a buffer of poor whites, whose new racial identity would protect them from the enslavement visited upon African Americans. This was the invention of the white ...more
Malcolm
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Continuing on from the case in Volume One (Racial Oppression and Social Control) Allen moves from exploring the origins of the racial logic in social hierarchies of the emergence of American agricultural capitalism, where whiteness did not, for instance, apply to the Irish, to explore the transformation of African bond labourers into chattel slaves and their racialised separation from other European-sourced bond labourers. In short, Allen's case is that North American racial logic is grounded in ...more
Nikhil P. Freeman
"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time." - James Baldwin
Jeffrey B. Perry
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: U.S., African-American, Labor, Caribbean, History, Whiteness Studies, Politics, Economics, Sociology
To see reviewers' comments from scholars and labor, left, and anti-white supremacist activists CLICK HERE

“When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That arresting statement, printed on the back cover of the first volume of The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen, first published in 1994, reflected the fact that, after twenty-plus years of research in
...more
Under_rubble
This is actually the second volume of this essential work.
Teresa
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This is meticulously researched, well-supported, definitely worthwhile, and has many parts that are as dry as unbuttered toast. It's a well-argued history, but it's not really a fun read.
Redpoet
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tremendous validation of the whole theory of white skin privilege, etc. took a lot of work a d research.
Megan
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
What is fascinating here is the autodidactic nature of the author, which should be inspiring to all laypeople interested in the world around them.

What is good is the recognition and analysis of complex socio-economic class issues as they intertwined with race in early American history, as well as the detailed look at Virginia in particular.

What is less than ideal is the dryness that sometimes borders on tedium, as well as the personal opinions on the works of other historians that add little
...more
B Conatus
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second volume is a more detailed investigation of the emergence of whiteness as a race in Virginia. This is a long and super detailed read, but it’s super interesting and well worth a read for those who are interested in the material factors that may have shaped racialized identities in the US.
Barbara
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Allen proves that wealthy white men holding power increased their wealth and power by inventing racism.
Dawn Ellis
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a fascinating book. It is dense and a somewhat slow read, but the information has added a deeper understanding (for me) of race in the United States. Allen's examination of Protestant English treatment of native Irish in Ireland was particularly interesting as I had no idea that the racism in place there for so long, was as deeply entrenched and all-encompassing as it was. The parallels he draws between the historic Irish condition in Ireland and the historic African American ...more
Gina
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allen proves his case. It took two volumes, and studying years of history beyond 17th-century Virginia, but it all works out. There is so much information it is hard to know what to say about it, but I feel there is understanding here that is vitally important to how we need to proceed today.
sologdin
good stuff. in the US race poltics arise out of a specific set of class-bound circumstances. fine attention to detail and rigorous presentation.
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