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The History of White People

Nell Irvin Painter (Author)

Overview | Contents | Formats

A New York Times bestseller: “This terrific new book . . . [explores] the ‘notion of whiteness,’ an idea as dangerous as it is seductive.”—Boston Globe

Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of “whiteness” for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of “race” is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33974-1
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 512 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe History of White People


Endorsements & Reviews

Also by Nell Irvin Painter All

  1. Book CoverExodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction


  2. Book CoverThe Narrative of Hosea Hudson: The Life and Times of a Black Radical


  3. Book CoverSojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol


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