Since colonial times, poor whites – on tenant farms, and in trailer parks and backcountry cabins – were derided as “white trash.” Historian Nancy Isenberg offers a compelling account of their lives and class struggles. Many people in this group feel that progress tramples on their traditional views and conservative values, and threatens their jobs, beliefs and national identity. Meanwhile, Isenberg reports, society ignores, exploits, improves and admires them – but never views them as worthy citizens. Her treatise is a difficult discussion, but it is also timely, perceptive and evocative.
About the Author
Nancy Isenberg, PhD, is the T. Harry Williams Professor of American History at Louisiana State University. She writes regularly for Salon and is the author of a number of books, including Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr.