How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon

Feb 15th, 2011 | By | Category: 22-3: Food Sovereignty, Spring 2011, Media Reviews

By David R. Roediger
Verso (2008)

Review by Michael W. Simpson

With current claims of a post-racial United States and the increasing use of colorblind racism by a power elite, this book comes at an important time. It reminds us that while “the Cadillac of white supremacy has undergone centuries of model changes,” there have been “no changes of substance.”

This author brilliantly explores race and white supremacy as central to understanding the United States. The matter is much more than black and white: He includes American Indians when he discusses the development of “personal whiteness” as an asset and an identity. U.S. Indian policy is exposed as a global model for imperialists and oppressors.

The book offers an exceptional narrative that can be used across various classes at different levels from high school to graduate school. The index is very useful, but the book is written without references, except what is provided in the narrative.

This book is highly recommended for purchase by tribal college libraries and for use in all of our schools.

Michael W. Simpson, J.D., M.Ed. is completing a Ph.D. in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. He offers nationwide workshops on linguistic- based discourse analysis of school textbooks. He may be reached at

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