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How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America Paperback – Oct. 1 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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  • How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America
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  • How the Irish Became White
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  • Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs
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Product details

  • Item Weight : 363 g
  • Paperback : 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 081352590X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0813525907
  • Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.29 x 22.86 cm
  • Publisher : Rutgers University Press (Oct. 1 1998)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Brodkin (Caring by the Hour), a professor of anthropology at UCLA, synthesizes much recent scholarship to assess the shifting notions of race?and changing objects of racism?in the U.S. She points out that racial inferiority has been ascribed to waves of immigrants only when they were used as unskilled labor. She notes how "Jewish whiteness became American whiteness" after WWII, when Jews began to speak as whites and Jewish intellectuals "contrasted themselves with a mythic blackness." A self-described secular Jew situated in leftist academic circles, Brodkin somewhat awkwardly weaves familial reflections into her otherwise academic book. While intriguing, Brodkin's treatment is hardly exhaustive. She argues that her New York parents and grandparents "lived in a time when Jews were not white"; however, that focus on Jewish racial self-assignment obscures the somewhat murkier role of Jews in the South, as well as those who ran shops or provided social services in the inner cities of the North. She repeats her overall thesis?that racism and the construction of racial identity is the foundational principle of American identity and American capitalism?over and over, but her argument is no more convincing for all the repetition.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Brodkin is a great storyteller and here she exposes the "story" of America and its ethnic others with the stories of people she knows, her family and herself. This book should reach a very wide audience, in just the way How the Irish Became White did." -- Jane Marcus, Distinguished Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
25 global ratings
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Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on February 5, 2004
Reviewed in Canada on November 16, 1999
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Reviewed in Canada on July 27, 2000
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Top reviews from other countries

Aobee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2015
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Nancy Axelrod
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Analysis of Assimilation and Whiteness
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting analysis of one of Americas most misunderstood minorities
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020
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Dr Doris M Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars No comment .
Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2019
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Alison Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Valuable!
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2015
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