Summary

At the vanguard of the study of race and labor in American history, David R. Roediger is the author of the now-classicThe Wages of Whiteness, a study of racism in the development of a white working class in nineteenth-century America. InWorking Toward Whiteness, he continues that history into the twentieth century. He recounts how American ethnic groups considered white today-including Jewish-, Italian-, and Polish-Americans-once occupied a confused racial status in their new country. They eventually became part of white America thanks to the nascent labor movement, New Deal reforms, and a rise in home-buying. From ethnic slurs to racially restrictive covenants--the racist real estate agreements that ensured all-white neighborhoods--Roediger explores the murky realities of race in twentieth-century America. A masterful history by an award-winning writer,Working Toward Whitenesscharts the strange transformation of these new immigrants into the "white ethnics" of America today.