The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Volume 1) (Haymarket Series)

The Invention of the White Race Racial Oppression and Social Control Volume Haymarket Series When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in there were no white people there nor according to colonial records would there be for another sixty years Historical debate about the origin of r

  • Title: The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Volume 1) (Haymarket Series)
  • Author: Theodore W. Allen
  • ISBN: 9780860916604
  • Page: 350
  • Format: Paperback
  • When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no white people there nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years Historical debate about the origin of racial slavery has focused on the status of the Negro in seventeenth century Virginia and Maryland However, as Theodore W Allen argues in this magisterial work, what needWhen the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no white people there nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years Historical debate about the origin of racial slavery has focused on the status of the Negro in seventeenth century Virginia and Maryland However, as Theodore W Allen argues in this magisterial work, what needs to be studied is the transformation of English, Scottish, Irish and other European colonists from their various statuses as servants, tenants, planters or merchants into a single new all inclusive status that of whites This is the key to the paradox of American history, of a democracy resting on race assumptions.Volume One of this two volume work attempts to escape the white blind spot which has distorted consecutive studies of the issue It does so by looking in the mirror of Irish history for a definition of racial oppression and for an explanation of that phenomenon in terms of social control, free from the absurdities of classification by skin color Compelling analogies are presented between the history of Anglo Irish and British rule in Ireland and American White Supremacist oppression of Indians and African Americans But the relativity of race is shown in the sea change it entailed, whereby emigrating Irish haters of racial oppression were transformed into White Americans who defended it The reasons for the differing outcomes of Catholic Emancipation and Negro Emancipation are considered and occasion is made to demonstrate Allen s distinction between racial and national oppression.

    One thought on “The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Volume 1) (Haymarket Series)”

    1. You have to work to get through these two volumes, but once you do, it will change your life and outlook forever. You simply can't understand America and who we are without this book, although with DuBois 'Black Reconstruction' and Amiri Baraka's (LeRoi Jones) 'Blues People'. Just knuckle down and do it.

    2. Gives the story of British rule in Ireland and the different strategies of trying to colonize that island. The history of British colonial rule in Ireland gives credence to the fact that the racial category of white has nothing to do with skin color(what the author calls phenotype). This history is put side by side with African-American slavery in the North American Colonies. The conclusion is that class and property rights play more of a bigger part in the separation of people. That white as a [...]

    3. There are easier to read books on the creation of the "white race" (for example Audrey Smedley's Race in North America}, but The Invention of the White Race (two volumes) is in my opinion, the classic, fundamental work on the subject. It destroys the widely held and totally wrong view that race determines character, is a biological reality, etc, in two important ways 1) documenting exactly how the idea of a Negro race was invented in America after Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, and 2) by demonstrati [...]

    4. See Other Reviewers' Comments HereTheodore W. Allen’s "The Invention of the White Race", with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the 20th-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. Its thesis on the origin and nature of the “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history. Its influence on our understanding of American, African American, and labor history will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.Reade [...]

    5. This is mandatory reading for all anti-racist progressives. Will open your eyes and change your life and your view of American history and society. Vol. I is a detailed examination of the similarities between English law and custom governing the Irish and the slave codes applied in the American South as a way of demonstrating that racial oppression as a means of social control actually has little to do with apparent differences of phenotype (skin color, etc.). (Vol. II will then detail the creat [...]

    6. Just ordered this door-stop (two large volumes) because I've given up on waiting for our society to get over it.

    7. This volume is largely a rundown of English oppression of the Irish as it contrasts and interacts with racial oppression in the United States. The conclusions are more hastily drawn than the informational set-up, and the book is very academic/intellectual in tone. I don’t mind that, but I imagine it could be a turn-off to many casual readers who could benefit from a less familiar but well-documented viewpoint on racial oppression. It would be good for a college class. It’s an interesting tak [...]

    8. More about Irish history than I really wanted to know, but proves that "race" has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the people with power holding on to power. Will stop by the library Monday to see if they have volume 2.

    9. Good information, but really long, and I find electronic versions harder, but that's what was available to me.It is interesting in that so many slavery defenders use the Irish as examples of "worse" treatment. Comparing the long-term history of the Irish under English persecution, going back hundreds of years, is a better grounds for comparison - though there were some ways in which the Irish were treated more like the American Indians, and some ways in which it makes sense to look at Scottish s [...]

    10. Utterly and thoroughly impressive. Allen starts from the basic point that when the first African bond labourers arrived in North America in the early 17th century, there were no white people there, and there would be until the end of that century – at least according to colonial records. This is a powerful attack on the notion that 'race' is a natural thing to reveal the ways that the class differences of European colonists ('masters', servants, and so forth) were overcome in the 17th and earl [...]

    11. The thesis is solid, the writing is nearly impenetrable. While it is obtuse it certainly rewards. Packed with more historical references than there are people in India.

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