White Riot editors Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay discussed punk, race and politics with Alexis Petridis for the Guardian Music Weekly podcast.
Going through the 'album' accompanying the book, the editors describe The Clash's 'White Riot' as
the quintessential articulation of radical whiteness ... It has all the complicated notions of the racial identity of punk rock - which is at one and the same time, a radical articulation of racial solidarity and anti-racist sentiment.
We purposely started the book with a non-punk piece, Norman Mailer's 'White Negro', because what we're trying to point out is that punk slips into a long line of bohemian cultural expressions of being able to and desiring to identify with the Other as a way of freeing oneself from white bourgeois restrictions; Patti Smith's 'Rock n Roll Nigger' is exactly within that tradition - and that haunts punk rock for 40 years.
Drowned In Sound's Alexander Tudor offers a largely positive review of Stephen Duncombe's White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race, praising the depth of the subject matter, and Duncombe's "fun" approach to the topic. He writes:
White Riot instantly raises itself above the various accounts of punk already available, by offering a panopticon of both UK and US punk in the Seventies and early Eighties, tracing its evolution into hardcore and straight-edge, while scattering snippets of numerous essays written on the subject, intelligently selected and edited.