Episode 51: David R. Roediger’s The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class with Joshua A. Lynn

the-wages-of-whiteness-race-and-the-making-of-the-american-working-classCombining classical Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the new labor history pioneered by E. P. Thompson and Herbert Gutman, David Roediger’s widely acclaimed book provides an original study of the formative years of working-class racism in the United States. This, he argues, cannot be explained simply with reference to economic advantage; rather, white working-class racism is underpinned by a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforce racial stereotypes, and thus help to forge the identities of white workers in opposition to Blacks.

David R. Roediger teaches history and African American Studies at the University of Kansas. He was born in southern Illinois and educated in public schools in that state, with a B.S. in Ed from Northern Illinois University. He completed a doctorate in History at Northwestern in 1979. Roediger has taught labor and Southern history at Northwestern, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois. He has also worked as an editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers at Yale University. He has written on U.S. movements for a shorter working day, on labor and poetry, on the history of radicalism, and on the racial identities of white workers and of immigrants. His books include Our Own TimeThe Wages of WhitenessHow Race Survived U.S. HistoryTowards the Abolition of Whiteness, and Working Towards Whiteness.

picture-60-1506907094.jpgJoshua A. Lynn is a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions. His research focuses on the intersection of political culture with constructions of race, gender, and sexuality. Josh is also a historian of American conservatism. He previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his Ph.D. in History. His first book, Preserving the White Man’s Republic: Jacksonian Democracy, Race, and the Transformation of American Conservatism, will be published by University of Virginia Press.

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