A significant re-writing of the history of class formation in the US
The Rule of Racialization
Class, Identity, Governance
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An important history of the way class formed in the US, The Rule of Racialization offers a rich new look at the invention of whiteness and how the inextricable links between race and class were formed in the seventeenth century and consolidated by custom, social relations, and eventually naturalized by the structures that organize our lives and our work.
Arguing that, unlike in Europe, where class formed around the nation-state, race deeply informed how class is defined in this country and, conversely, our unique relationship to class in this country helped in some ways to invent race as a distinction in social relations. Martinot begins tracing this development in the slave plantations in 1600s colonial life. He examines how the social structures encoded there lead to a concrete development of racialization. He then takes us up to the present day, where forms of those structures still inhabit our public and economic institutions. Throughout, he engages historical and contemporary thinkers on the nature of race in the US, creating a book that at once synthesizes significant critiques of race while at the same time offers a completely original conception of how race and class have operated in American life throughout the centuries.
A uniquely compelling book, The Rule of Racialization offers a rich contribution to the study of class, labor, and American social relations.
"This book deserves to be consulted not just by students of race and ethnicity, but also by those interested in the failures of American socialism and ore concrete issues of affirmative action."
"[This book] makes an indispensable contribution to understanding the origins of racism in the United States, and [it] offers a useful framework to clarify the interconnection between economic and racial domination."
"This writer steps boldly forward with a comprehensive exploration of race and class in American history.... The prose is dense but lucid, theoretically rigorous but oriented to the problems of achieving equality. More than a work of historical analysis, it suggests a positive, large plan of action."
"This is a sweeping historical survey of racial construction in the United States since early European colonial settlement."
Steve Martinot is Instructor at the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs at San Francisco State University. He has edited two previous books, and translated Racism by Albert Memmi.
In the series
Labor in Crisis, edited by Stanley Aronowitz.
The hope for a revived progressive movement in American politics and culture depends to a large extent on the possibility of a revived labor movement. This series will stimulate debate and discussion about the state of the American labor movement and its relation to the future of America by publishing short, provocative books that offer varying analyses and prescriptions for labor's revival as well as diverse assessments of its prospects. Books in the series will be relevant to a vision of the labor movement that presupposes movements and people who care about the chances of more equality, more democratic participation in the institutions of political and social life, and more power for those traditionally excluded from economic and political decision making.