Class, Race, and Marxism (Paperback)

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Winner of the Working-Class Studies Association C.L.R. James Award

Seen as a pioneering figure in the critical study of whiteness, US historian David Roediger has sometimes received criticism, and praise, alleging that he left Marxism behind in order to work on questions of identity. This volume collects his recent and new work implicitly and explicitly challenging such a view. In his historical studies of the intersections of race, settler colonialism, and slavery, in his major essay (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 division is part of not only of the history of capitalism but also of the logic of capital.

About the Author


David Roediger is the Foundation Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Kansas University. Among his books are Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day (with Philip S. Foner), How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, and The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class.

Praise For…


“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.”
—Nikhil Singh, New York University

“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.”
—Lisa Lowe, Tufts University

“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.”
—Kimberlé Crenshaw, Columbia University School of Law

“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.”
—Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression

“Excellent.”
Counterpunch

“David Roediger wades into the fray with refreshing nuance and generosity.”
In These Times

“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.”
—Nathan Akehurst, Morning Star

“Roediger’s book couldn’t have appeared at a more timely moment.”
Brooklyn Rail

“A scintillating compilation … Roediger’s book explains exactly why even the most sickening atavisms of racism are fully compatible with the capitalist order, with ramifications into the 21st century.”
—Alan Wald, Against the Current

“Roediger addresses the challenges that class and race continue to present for U.S. radicals … should be required reading for anyone trying to understand the era of Trumpian politics. This is an important book, with lessons that some way wish to ignore, but at their peril.”
—Working Class Studies Association C.L.R. James Award

“Studying, understanding, struggling against, and ultimately replacing this centuries-old, foundational, and deep societal reality remains essential, as Roediger, a consistently pathbreaking historian, makes clear in these insightful essays.”
Monthly Review

“Amid the cacophony of competing perspectives, David Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism not only expertly evaluates the historical, theoretical, and political stakes of contemporary debates on race and class, but also significantly contributes to scholarship that ‘refus[es] to place race outside of the logic of capital.’”
The Black Scholar Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9781786631244
ISBN-10: 1786631245
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: October 8th, 2019
Pages: 208
Language: English