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Race: The History of an Idea in America (Race and American Culture) epub download

by Thomas F. Gossett


When Thomas Gossett's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared in 1963, it explored the impact of race theory on American letters in a way that anticipated the investigation of race and culture being conducted today. Bold, rigorous, and broad in scope, Gossett's book quickly established itself as a critical resource to younger scholars seeking a candid, theoretically sophisticated treatment of race in American cultural history.

When Thomas Gossett's Race: The History of an Idea in. .Other books in the series. Race and American Culture (1 - 10 of 16 books). Books by Thomas F. Gossett.

When Thomas Gossett's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared in 1963 . Bold, rigorous, and broad in scope, Gossett's book quickly established itself as a critical resource to younger scholars seeking a candid, theoretically soph When Thomas Gossett's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared in 1963, it explored the impact of race theory on American letters in a way that anticipated the investigation of race and culture being conducted today.

Gossett's material terrain extends from U. S. literary nationalism, to representations of the Indian in the nineteenth century, to World War I and racism, and concludes with a look at anti-racist counter-discourses in science, social movements, and expressive culture.

Thomas F. Gossett is at Trinity University.

Because race theory in European thought had a great effect upon American race theory, it was necessary to trace in some detail the . My other purpose in the book was to examine the history of race relationships in this country.

Because race theory in European thought had a great effect upon American race theory, it was necessary to trace in some detail the nature of that influence. In the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin, though scarcely a racist at all himself, had developed an evolutionary theory which could be and often was used to "explain" the backwardness of non-white races. This so-called backwardness was often an excuse for discrimination against these peoples. This meant, for the most part, a history of the relations of the other ethnic groups with the dominant Anglo-whites.

Part of the Race and American Culture Series). by Thomas F.

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When Tom Gossett's book Race: The History of an Idea in.Race and American Culture. Description Julian Murphet. Reconstruction: A Concise History.

When Tom Gossett's book Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared more than a generation ago, it explored the impact of race theory. Race: The History of an Idea in America. When Tom Gosset's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared more than a generation ago, it explored the impact of race theory on literature in a way that anticipated the entire current scholarly discourse on the subject. Though it has gone out of print, it has never been rendered obsolete. The Melancholy of Race.

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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)Paperback.

The work is enormously learned, quoting liberally from authors spanning 2,500 years and packed with insightful and nuanced readings. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)Paperback.

When Tom Gosset's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared more than a generation ago, it explored the impact of race theory on literature in a way that anticipated the entire current scholarly discourse on the subject. Though it has gone out of print, it has never been rendered obsolete. Its reprinting is a boon to younger scholars in particular who are unfamiliar with its rich presentation of fact and its clear, efficient analysis, from which so much later theorizing has developed. With a new afterword by and about the author, and an introduction by series editors Arnold Rampersad and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, this edition should find a wide readership among young scholars and students working in African-American, literary, and cultural studies.

Race: The History of an Idea in America (Race and American Culture) epub download

ISBN13: 978-0195097771

ISBN: 0195097777

Author: Thomas F. Gossett

Category: Literature and Fiction

Subcategory: History & Criticism

Language: English

Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 14, 1997)

Pages: 544 pages

ePUB size: 1201 kb

FB2 size: 1740 kb

Rating: 4.5

Votes: 554

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Related to Race: The History of an Idea in America (Race and American Culture) ePub books

Bludworm
An enlightening, erudite discourse into how the foundations of US racism and white supremacy were birthed, engraved, solidified and permeated into the institutional racism encasing the United States today. The racist beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, educators, scientist, writers and other ruling class luminaries are exposed. I now see how the killers of Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin and countless other victims of US racism, are rewarded with hundreds of thousand of dollars in donations and acquittals.. A book well wroth reading.
Bludworm
An enlightening, erudite discourse into how the foundations of US racism and white supremacy were birthed, engraved, solidified and permeated into the institutional racism encasing the United States today. The racist beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, educators, scientist, writers and other ruling class luminaries are exposed. I now see how the killers of Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin and countless other victims of US racism, are rewarded with hundreds of thousand of dollars in donations and acquittals.. A book well wroth reading.
Wohald
I read the 1st edition of this book many years ago (in the 60s). It well describes the intellectual justifications for racism. It has a wonderful bibliography which allows the reader to find the original material. I have not re-read the book in years, but profoundly recall the author's discussion of how the intellectuals of the time produced literature to justify the US's continue subjagation of non-whites in American and outside--Kipling's "White Man's Burden" being one example. Highly recommended.
Wohald
I read the 1st edition of this book many years ago (in the 60s). It well describes the intellectual justifications for racism. It has a wonderful bibliography which allows the reader to find the original material. I have not re-read the book in years, but profoundly recall the author's discussion of how the intellectuals of the time produced literature to justify the US's continue subjagation of non-whites in American and outside--Kipling's "White Man's Burden" being one example. Highly recommended.
crazy mashine
Although written in the 1960s, this easy to read yet very scholarly and historical treatment of an issue that still bedevils America is an excellent resource. It relies on both primary and secondary sources and contains a robust bibliography on the issue of race.

The author's approach is to give a sweeping historical summary of the issue of race even before it was recognized and defined as a separate concept. This pre-history of race (even before it was invented) of course is invaluable but still is the weakest part of the book if only because here most of what he has to say about ancient times and the idea of race during that period is necessarily "soft" and speculative, and probably to a great extent also wrong. Despite this, I like his approach, which is to understand "what people were thinking about race" as the racial theories we have come to rely on were being invented. For seventeen chapters he follows this approach and throughout the book his research usually sparkles but does hit a few bumps in the road.

I will use one of these bumps in the road as the basis of this review. It occurs in chapter I where the author fumbles the ball right out of the blocks on what I think is one of the most important issues regarding race: that before the 18th Century, physical differences between peoples were simply of little consequence in the rest of the world; and were certainly never raised to the level of a national ideology. And even though the author begins with this point being an established fact, he nevertheless then meanders through elaborate and unnecessary contortions to somehow try to insinuate that sensitivities to physical differences did in fact exist all across the world in ancient times? However, his source material for such a contention is thin and does not back up his all-encompassing wishful thinking in this regard. He uses tales from Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Chinese mythologies -- with those of the Hebrew Bible thrown in for good measure.

It turns out that among all of the mythical tales he provides, the only compelling case he makes is the story of Ham in the Hebrew/Christian Bible. And although the author cleverly attributes this seminal race prejudice to "the Jews," as everyone knows, the Jewish Bible from which this example is taken just happens to be one of the mainstays of Western culture and civilization. So how can the story of Ham (because it is taken from the Jewish Bible) be an example of how the rest of the world was as preoccupied with racial differences as was the West? On its face, this "Jewish example" is indeed little more than an avowedly Western example, not a non-Western one? And given how often the story of Ham has been used in Christian theology to justify race prejudice and white superiority in the name of Christianity, this example is perhaps the worse possible one the author could have selected. For above all others, this is the single example that proves that race sensitivities are indeed primarily a Hebrew/Christian, i.e., Western invention?

At the risk of belaboring the point, allow me to add that it is safe to conclude that beyond the Christian bible, there is little hard evidence to support the author's suspicion that the rest of the world in ancient times also saw physical differences among peoples as important (as the West later came to do). This simply was not the case and the historical record has nothing firm to say on the matter.

I raise this point in passing only because, one of the stock rationalizations American racists use to justify their own racist views (as well as to justify America's racist history) is the: "everybody in the world engages in race prejudice" argument. But even if that had been the case -- as the author tried vainly to establish (and failed in my humble opinion) -- as we see from the rest of the book, the very elaborateness and complexity and the utter obsession with which racial theories were pursued in the West alone made racism a uniquely Western phenomenon. Plus, one can just as easily see that white superiority was built into the subtext of Christianity itself -- as all of the Colonists considered themselves at the very least culturally superior to the Indians.

Said somewhat differently, while both Catholics and Protestants used "saving souls" as a pretext for their missionary work, there were other equally compelling motives. For instance, in addition to "saving souls," the English wanted more land for farming; and if this land just happened to include Indian hunting grounds, then so be it. For the Spanish, saving souls was second to the desire to enslave the Indians. Only the French, who came as trading partners, confronted the Indians as equals. This leads to yet another distinction I believe it is important to note among the colonists, perhaps the most important distinction of them all. It also is an issue that lay in the subtext of all the early chronicles of Western exploration. It had to do with the issue of sex: whether the Settlers intermarried, interbred, or avoided sex with Indians altogether. Because there was a shortage of white women, this is a crucial matter in determining the character of racism among the Colonists. Although because of this shortage some English Settlers (and despite the legend of John Rolfe and the Indian Princess Pocahontas) did occasionally interbreed with Indians, rarely would they intermarry with them. And among the colonists, they were the only ones to consider having sex with Indians a violation of some unwritten racial superiority code, i.e. as a racial sin. Both the French and the Spanish intermarried and interbred with the Indians, and established mixed-race families.

In short, the idea of race as we have come to know it was invented, operationalized as cultural superiority theology and ideology (through Hitler, Apartheid, genocide against Native Americans, slavery and later Jim Crow and segregation, and a century of African and Asian Colonialism) and carried out with brutal and genocidal effectiveness first and foremost in the 18th Century West, and most energetically of all by the English, period. This alone makes the English experience with race a unique cultural fetish, that is to say an entirely sui generis cultural experience.

Beyond this, I had no problem with the book. Perhaps next to "Roll Jordan Roll," and "White over Black, " it is the most comprehensive treatment of race in existence. Five stars
crazy mashine
Although written in the 1960s, this easy to read yet very scholarly and historical treatment of an issue that still bedevils America is an excellent resource. It relies on both primary and secondary sources and contains a robust bibliography on the issue of race.

The author's approach is to give a sweeping historical summary of the issue of race even before it was recognized and defined as a separate concept. This pre-history of race (even before it was invented) of course is invaluable but still is the weakest part of the book if only because here most of what he has to say about ancient times and the idea of race during that period is necessarily "soft" and speculative, and probably to a great extent also wrong. Despite this, I like his approach, which is to understand "what people were thinking about race" as the racial theories we have come to rely on were being invented. For seventeen chapters he follows this approach and throughout the book his research usually sparkles but does hit a few bumps in the road.

I will use one of these bumps in the road as the basis of this review. It occurs in chapter I where the author fumbles the ball right out of the blocks on what I think is one of the most important issues regarding race: that before the 18th Century, physical differences between peoples were simply of little consequence in the rest of the world; and were certainly never raised to the level of a national ideology. And even though the author begins with this point being an established fact, he nevertheless then meanders through elaborate and unnecessary contortions to somehow try to insinuate that sensitivities to physical differences did in fact exist all across the world in ancient times? However, his source material for such a contention is thin and does not back up his all-encompassing wishful thinking in this regard. He uses tales from Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Chinese mythologies -- with those of the Hebrew Bible thrown in for good measure.

It turns out that among all of the mythical tales he provides, the only compelling case he makes is the story of Ham in the Hebrew/Christian Bible. And although the author cleverly attributes this seminal race prejudice to "the Jews," as everyone knows, the Jewish Bible from which this example is taken just happens to be one of the mainstays of Western culture and civilization. So how can the story of Ham (because it is taken from the Jewish Bible) be an example of how the rest of the world was as preoccupied with racial differences as was the West? On its face, this "Jewish example" is indeed little more than an avowedly Western example, not a non-Western one? And given how often the story of Ham has been used in Christian theology to justify race prejudice and white superiority in the name of Christianity, this example is perhaps the worse possible one the author could have selected. For above all others, this is the single example that proves that race sensitivities are indeed primarily a Hebrew/Christian, i.e., Western invention?

At the risk of belaboring the point, allow me to add that it is safe to conclude that beyond the Christian bible, there is little hard evidence to support the author's suspicion that the rest of the world in ancient times also saw physical differences among peoples as important (as the West later came to do). This simply was not the case and the historical record has nothing firm to say on the matter.

I raise this point in passing only because, one of the stock rationalizations American racists use to justify their own racist views (as well as to justify America's racist history) is the: "everybody in the world engages in race prejudice" argument. But even if that had been the case -- as the author tried vainly to establish (and failed in my humble opinion) -- as we see from the rest of the book, the very elaborateness and complexity and the utter obsession with which racial theories were pursued in the West alone made racism a uniquely Western phenomenon. Plus, one can just as easily see that white superiority was built into the subtext of Christianity itself -- as all of the Colonists considered themselves at the very least culturally superior to the Indians.

Said somewhat differently, while both Catholics and Protestants used "saving souls" as a pretext for their missionary work, there were other equally compelling motives. For instance, in addition to "saving souls," the English wanted more land for farming; and if this land just happened to include Indian hunting grounds, then so be it. For the Spanish, saving souls was second to the desire to enslave the Indians. Only the French, who came as trading partners, confronted the Indians as equals. This leads to yet another distinction I believe it is important to note among the colonists, perhaps the most important distinction of them all. It also is an issue that lay in the subtext of all the early chronicles of Western exploration. It had to do with the issue of sex: whether the Settlers intermarried, interbred, or avoided sex with Indians altogether. Because there was a shortage of white women, this is a crucial matter in determining the character of racism among the Colonists. Although because of this shortage some English Settlers (and despite the legend of John Rolfe and the Indian Princess Pocahontas) did occasionally interbreed with Indians, rarely would they intermarry with them. And among the colonists, they were the only ones to consider having sex with Indians a violation of some unwritten racial superiority code, i.e. as a racial sin. Both the French and the Spanish intermarried and interbred with the Indians, and established mixed-race families.

In short, the idea of race as we have come to know it was invented, operationalized as cultural superiority theology and ideology (through Hitler, Apartheid, genocide against Native Americans, slavery and later Jim Crow and segregation, and a century of African and Asian Colonialism) and carried out with brutal and genocidal effectiveness first and foremost in the 18th Century West, and most energetically of all by the English, period. This alone makes the English experience with race a unique cultural fetish, that is to say an entirely sui generis cultural experience.

Beyond this, I had no problem with the book. Perhaps next to "Roll Jordan Roll," and "White over Black, " it is the most comprehensive treatment of race in existence. Five stars
Wetiwavas
Nonsense
Wetiwavas
Nonsense
Oppebro
This reprint of a classic study of racism is one of the most important on the subject in the last fifty years, and significant for being the source of much later scholarly work. The place of racial pseudo-science in American history, indeed, American scholarship was once alarmingly strong, and the picture since the changes wrought in the sixties onwards tend to make one forget the insidious extent of the racist confusions. The book is quite comprehensive, and covers the issue of racism from the early modern onward, from the time of Las Casas and the Puritans to the time of Nazism, with interesting material on slavery, the treatment of the Indian, Reconstruction and afterward, Social Darwism, race in literature, and much more. As a teacher of English rather than a specialist the tone is precise yet informal, yet highly readable, and as the authors of the Forward to the new edition note, the text was an inspiration to many scholars of the time of the first printing.
Oppebro
This reprint of a classic study of racism is one of the most important on the subject in the last fifty years, and significant for being the source of much later scholarly work. The place of racial pseudo-science in American history, indeed, American scholarship was once alarmingly strong, and the picture since the changes wrought in the sixties onwards tend to make one forget the insidious extent of the racist confusions. The book is quite comprehensive, and covers the issue of racism from the early modern onward, from the time of Las Casas and the Puritans to the time of Nazism, with interesting material on slavery, the treatment of the Indian, Reconstruction and afterward, Social Darwism, race in literature, and much more. As a teacher of English rather than a specialist the tone is precise yet informal, yet highly readable, and as the authors of the Forward to the new edition note, the text was an inspiration to many scholars of the time of the first printing.