What's the Matter With White People?

Why We Long for A Golden Age That Never Was
Walsh, Joan (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
What's the Matter With White People?

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How scapegoat politics is dividing America and bankrupting the middle class The size and stability of the American middle class was once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways--while economically, everyone fell behind except the wealthy. Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of "other" Americans--blacks, feminists, gays, immigrants, union members --to court a fearful white working and middle class base with ever more bitter "us" vs. "them" politics. Liberals tried but mostly failed to make the case that we′re all in this together. In All for None and None for All, MSNBC political analyst and popular Salon columnist Joan Walsh traces this deeply disturbing dynamic as it has played out over the last forty years, dividing the country, poisoning its politics, jeopardizing its future--and splitting her working class Irish Catholic family as well. Connects the dots of American decline through trends that began in the 1970s and continue today--including the demise of unions, the stagnation of middle class wages, the extension of the right′s "Southern Strategy" throughout the country, the victory of Reagan Republicanism, the widening partisan divide, the increase in income inequality, and the drop in economic mobility. Shows how liberals unwittingly collaborated in the "us" vs. "them" narrative and failed to develop an inspiring, persuasive vision of a more fair, united America Explores how the GOP′s renewed culture war--one which could conceivably make Rick Santorum president, and produced radical changes in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia--now scapegoats even segments of its base, as it blames the troubles of working class whites on their own moral failings rather than an unfair economy As the United States becomes a "majority-minority" culture, while the GOP doubles down on racial and cultural appeals to rev up its demographically threatened white base in 2012, Walsh talks about race in honest, unflinching, unfamiliar terms, acknowledging not just Republican but Democratic Party political mistakes--and her own. This book will be essential reading as the country struggles through political polarization and racial change to invent the next America in the years to come.
Authors: Walsh, Joan, 1958-
Title: What's the matter with white people?
why we long for a golden age that never was
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. :, Wiley ;, Chichester :, John Wiley [distributor],, 2012.
Characteristics: 278 p. ;,21 cm.
Local Note: 6 35 53 68 70 71 80 118 133 210 211 243 244 245
ISBN: 9781118141069
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Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • wraithby rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

"An author who is forever teetering on the brink of an identity crisis is extremely irritating to read. Walsh refers over and over again to “my Irish Catholic workingclass family” well after she first describes her ethnic vital signs, as if she fears that somebody somewhere out there in readerland has forgotten who and what she is. She may cite this as proof of unabashed pride in her background, but her unnecessary reiteration sounds more like the obsessive chant of a guilt-ridden child hopping down the sidewalk repeating, “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” It gets worse. We almost feel embarrassed for her when, analyzing failed legislation, she writes: “The result was, nobody got nothing, to use the workingclass vernacular of my childhood.” This is the sort of thing editors take out but it’s easy to imagine Walsh writing Stet! beside it because she needs it to re-emphasize her other identity as a college-educated elitist—though if she had half an ear she would write it as “nuttin’.” Fallen archness strikes again."

Report This Nov 08, 2012
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Walsh tells the story of many middle-class white families that have been divided by the political operatives that try to use race to convince whites that minorities are their enemies, rather than the 1% that pay the salaries of those operatives. Early in the Walsh family in America, it was the Irish that were the victims of Americans that had arrived before them. It is a sad tale of the anguish the divisions create among families and also of the separation of one ethnic group against another, just to benefit those in power. The story becomes personal to Ms. Walsh, as she tells of how the Republicans developed the "Southern Strategy" after the Democrats passed the Civil Rights bills of the 60's. This evil strategy, designed for profit and power, has caused many family splits in America. Ms. Walsh is ever hopeful that the liberals and progressives will seek out and work with the white working class as they are victims of the 1% along with the minorities of our society.


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