Daily Archives: Jun 25, 2022 at 03:27 am EDT

Book Bits: 25 June 2022

The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History of Debt, Misery, and the Drift to the Right
David Roediger
Summary via publisher (Haymarket Books)
The Sinking Middle Class challenges the “save the middle class” rhetoric that dominates our political imagination. The slogan misleads us regarding class, nation, and race. Talk of middle class salvation reinforces myths holding that the US is a providentially middle class nation. Implicitly white, the middle class becomes viewed as unheard amidst supposed concerns for racial justice and for the poor. Roediger shows how little the US has been a middle class nation. The term seldom appeared in US writing before 1900. Many white Americans were self-employed, but this social experience separated them from the contemporary middle class of today, overwhelmingly employed and surveilled. Today’s highly unequal US hardly qualifies as sustaining the middle class.

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