Racism
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Racism

A Short History

George M. Fredrickson

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eBook - ePub

Racism

A Short History

George M. Fredrickson

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About This Book

Are antisemitism and white supremacy manifestations of a general phenomenon? Why didn't racism appear in Europe before the fourteenth century, and why did it flourish as never before in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Why did the twentieth century see institutionalized racism in its most extreme forms? Why are egalitarian societies particularly susceptible to virulent racism? What do apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany, and the American South under Jim Crow have in common? How did the Holocaust advance civil rights in the United States?
With a rare blend of learning, economy, and cutting insight, George Fredrickson surveys the history of Western racism from its emergence in the late Middle Ages to the present. Beginning with the medieval antisemitism that put Jews beyond the pale of humanity, he traces the spread of racist thinking in the wake of European expansionism and the beginnings of the African slave trade. And he examines how the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century romantic nationalism created a new intellectual context for debates over slavery and Jewish emancipation.
Fredrickson then makes the first sustained comparison between the color-coded racism of nineteenth-century America and the antisemitic racism that appeared in Germany around the same time. He finds similarity enough to justify the common label but also major differences in the nature and functions of the stereotypes invoked. The book concludes with a provocative account of the rise and decline of the twentieth century's overtly racist regimes--the Jim Crow South, Nazi Germany, and apartheid South Africa--in the context of world historical developments.
This illuminating work is the first to treat racism across such a sweep of history and geography. It is distinguished not only by its original comparison of modern racism's two most significant varieties--white supremacy and antisemitism--but also by its eminent readability.

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Information

Year
2015
ISBN
9781400873678

INDEX

common
Adam and Eve story (Genesis), 52, 66
Adas, Michael, 61, 108
affirmative action decision (U.S.), 143
Afghanistan Taliban government, 149
African Americans: affirmative action and, 143
associated with Southern defeat, 106
“aversive racism” triggered against, 10
Benedict on equality of, 166
comparison of German Jews and, 82–85, 86–89, 93–94
competition between immigrants and, 86–87
Curse of Ham associated with, 29, 43–45, 51–52, 80, 176n.55
discrimination justified by “dysfunctional” subculture of, 142
emancipation of, 81–84
fear of sexual pollution or violation by, 119–121
French discussions on ugliness of, 68
Great Migration to urban North by, 115
intermarriage ban lifted and, 131
Jim Crow laws and, 83, 101, 102, 109, 110–111, 129, 130, 167
legacy of slavery and perception of, 94–95
post–World War II racial reform and, 129–132, 137–138
racial Darwinism and, 85–86
racialism on, 160–161
racism ideology of inferiority of, 79–81
racist reprisal response to equality of, 93
romantic racialism beliefs about, 154
slavery of, 80–81
voting rights protection given to, 130
World War II impact on racial reform and, 129–130. See also American white supremacy
African National Congress, 137
African slavery: Curse of Ham myth justification for, 29, 43–45, 51–52, 80, 176n.55
democratic revolution challenging, 64–66
lasting legacy of, 94–95
New World forced labor vs., 38–40
New World legal/religious status criteria for, 54–55
origins of race association with, 29–30
precolonial, 30
religious justification of, 38–39
skin pigmentation as justifying, 39. See also slavery
Afrikaner nationalism, 3–4
An American Dilemma (Myrdal), 129, 167
American Indians: assimilationism and, 73
assimiliation practiced by tribes of, 155
bifurcated wild man/noble savage images of, 36
“black legend” of Spanish treatment of, 41–42
European admiration of appearance of, 60
free from Crucifixion blame, 37, 41
Valladolid debate (1550) over status of, 36–38
American racial divisions, 57
“American School of Ethnology,” 66–67, 79–80
American South: association of defeat with African Americans in, 106
aversive racism tr...

Table of contents