About The Event
Saturday morning, January 6, via Zoom
10:30 to noon
Gather to discuss the first 200 pages of the NY Times Bestseller “The History of White People” by Nell Irvin Painter. Hosts and leaders for this discussion are Ron Zimmerman and Ivy Tillman. To register for what promises to be a provocative and informative discussion:
Book Review Comments
- “This terrific new book . . . [explores] the ‘notion of whiteness,’ an idea as dangerous as it is seductive.”―Boston Globe
- “Often, scholarly interpretation is transmitted through textbooks that oversimplify and even bore their readers with vague generalities. Far better for a large audience to learn about whiteness from a distinguished scholar in an insightful and lively exposition.” —A review by Linda Gordon, author and professor of history at New York University
- “I can’t really summarize this book because it is so information dense. It’s more textbook than summer-read-on-the-deck, more reference read than cover-to-cover read. I learned a lot from it, but I’ll probably forget a lot too—and that’s fine. Just know going in that while this isn’t what I would term inaccessible, it is definitely quite academic.
This is a book that is exactly what it claims to be: it’s about race, but it’s about white people.
Painter is very careful here, and I am trying to be similarly careful in the language I use. Neither of us mean to suggest there is such a thing as a “white race” any more than the idea that all Black people belong to a “Black race” (or whatever label you want to use). Part of Painter’s overall thesis is that whiteness is a mutable, permeable label rather than a hard-and-fast biological, genetic, or even social construct. In this way, Painter seeks to undermine any hope of white supremacists to claim that there is a historical or scientific basis for whiteness-as-race, whiteness-as-national-identity, etc.” —Babcock, K. (2021, Aug 19). [Review of the book The History of White People, by Nell Irvin Painter].