David Roediger’s influential work on working people who have come to identify as white has so illuminated questions of identity that its grounding in Marxism has sometimes been missed. This new volume implicitly and explicitly reminds us that his ideas, and the best studies of whiteness generally, come from within the Marxist tradition. In his historical studies of the intersections of race, settler colonialism, and slavery, in his major chapter (with Elizabeth Esch) on race and the management of labor, in his detailing of the origins of critical studies of whiteness within Marxism, and in his reflections on the history of solidarity, Roediger argues that racial divisions not only tell us about the history of capitalism but also shed light on the logic of capital.
“No contemporary intellectual has better illuminated the interwoven social histories and conceptual dimensions of race and class domination. With this stunning new collection of essays, David Roediger once again demonstrates that he is a vital thinker for all of us seeking to bridge the imperatives of economic and social justice.”
“David Roediger’s work is always as learned as it is profoundly engaged with the pursuit of social justice. From his signature study of the ‘wages of whiteness,’ to the analysis of links between settler colonial dispossession, gendered social reproduction, plantation management, and immigrant labor in the making of modern racial capitalism—Roediger’s bold commitments to demonstrating the historical and ongoing implications of race and class in the United States are timely, and more necessary than ever.”
“These bracing essays express hard truths and grounded hopes as they help us to rethink a past too much with us still. Portraying a history of oppression and resistance made at the intersections of social identities, Roediger makes sophisticated analyses of culture and political economy accessible to scholars and to activists.”
“When it comes to thinking about the history of racism, anti-racism and the US working class, David Roediger has no peer. Incisive, provocative, and uncannily timely, Class, Race, and Marxism reckons honestly with the challenges of building class solidarity across the fissures of race, the difficulties of writing about it, and the ways in which the two are entwined. If there is a single lesson here, it is that solidarity is not forever—it is elusive, fragile, and hard as hell.”
“A wealth of interesting historical insights and a breath of fresh air for anyone who feels there is a space to be found between the caricatures that "Tumblr social justice warriors" and "old white men of the left" paint of each other.”
“David Roediger wades into the fray with refreshing nuance and generosity.”
“Roediger's book couldn’t have appeared at a more timely moment.”