Food for thought in the era of *President* Trump.

The Daily Context

This is the second in a series of posts reviewing the NY Times’ 6 Books to Help Understand Trump’s Win. The first installment is here

Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.

Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash uses class and the history of poor whites to reveal the lie at the heart of the American dream. Isenberg seeks to tell a story that “we as a people have trouble embracing: the pervasiveness of a class hierarchy in the United States” (xxviii-xxix). The continual presence of the poor “reveals an uneasy tension between what Americans are taught to think the country promises—the dream of upward social mobility—and the less appealing truth that class barriers almost invariably make that dream unobtainable” (xxvii-xxviii). Something, she argues, is rotten in the United States.

220px-richardhakluyt-bristolcathedral-stainedglasswindow Richard Hakluyt

American class hierarchies, Isenberg stresses, emerged from English…

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