Historian to unpack 400 years of class-based injustices in America

By: Yvette Ndlovu,  A&S Communications
April 27, 2017

Historian Nancy Isenberg will take on the topic of class and privilege in America at the Krieger Lecture in American Political Culture.

The lecture, “White Trash: Class Politics, American Style,” will take place at 4:30 p.m., May 4, in the Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. Isenberg’s previous lectures have addressed and challenged long-held beliefs about a “land of opportunity” and the “American Dream” which have persisted from colonial times to the present. The event is free and open to the public.

Isenberg is the T. Harry Professor of American History at Louisiana State University. Her newest book, “White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America,” was a New York Times Notable and Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and was longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The book takes on the myth that America is a class-free society. It’s available at the Cornell Store and will also be sold at the event by Buffalo Street Books.

“Nancy Isenberg, a professor of history at Louisiana State University, has authored a gritty and sprawling assault on this aspect of American mythmaking,” says a Washington Post review. “Ours is very much a class-based society, she argues, and had been long before Occupy Wall Street or Bernie Sanders, long before we were a country at all.”

Isenberg was also awarded the 1999 “Best book” prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and her book “Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr” was shortlisted for the L.A Times Book Prize in Biography. Isenberg is a regular contributor to Salon.com and has published in The Nation, The Washington Post and the Journal of American History.

The Krieger Lecture in American Political Culture, an endowed lecture sponsored by the American Studies Program, focuses on American political culture and is often linked with recent topics of concern. 

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