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White Freedom

The Racial History of an Idea

Tyler Stovall

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


The racist legacy behind the Western idea of freedom

The era of the Enlightenment, which gave rise to our modern conceptions of freedom and democracy, was also the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. America, a nation founded on the principle of liberty, is also a nation built on African slavery, Native American genocide, and systematic racial discrimination. White Freedom traces the complex relationship between freedom and race from the eighteenth century to today, revealing how being free has meant being white.

Tyler Stovall explores the intertwined histories of racism and freedom in France and the United States, the two leading nations that have claimed liberty as the heart of their national identities. He explores how French and American thinkers defined freedom in racial terms and conceived of liberty as an aspect and privilege of whiteness. He discusses how the Statue of Liberty—a gift from France to the United States and perhaps the most famous symbol of freedom on Earth—promised both freedom and whiteness to European immigrants. Taking readers from the Age of Revolution to today, Stovall challenges the notion that racism is somehow a paradox or contradiction within the democratic tradition, demonstrating how white identity is intrinsic to Western ideas about liberty. Throughout the history of modern Western liberal democracy, freedom has long been white freedom.

A major work of scholarship that is certain to draw a wide readership and transform contemporary debates, White Freedom provides vital new perspectives on the inherent racism behind our most cherished beliefs about freedom, liberty, and human rights.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Slave rebellion, Anti-communism, Nazism, Eastern Europe, Imperialism, Republicanism, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Immigration, Racial segregation, Princeton University Press, White supremacy, Marxism, Self-determination, Cambridge University Press, World history, Liberalism, Working class, Civil liberties, Latin America, Insurgency, White Southerners, National identity, Piracy, Women's suffrage, Nazi Germany, Authoritarianism, Eric Foner, Citizenship, Legislation, Western culture, Liberal democracy, Racialization, Nationalism, Politician, Immigration Act of 1924, Black people, World War II, Racism in the United States, Classical liberalism, Political movement, Abolitionism, War, Race (human categorization), Philosopher, Decolonization, Universal suffrage, Resistance during World War II, Voting, Arthur de Gobineau, Slavery, Civilization, Representative democracy, Freedom Now, Democracy, Modernity, Ideology, Warfare, Atlantic slave trade, On Liberty, Nation state, Political culture, Metropole, Liberty, New Nation (United States), Suffrage, White people, White privilege, Activism, Refugee, Modern history, Americans, British Empire, Dictatorship, Popular sovereignty, Racial equality, Radicalism (historical), Lynching, Soviet Union, Communism, Totalitarianism, Universal manhood suffrage, Racism, The Passing of the Great Race, World War I, Slavery in the United States, Oppression, Atlantic World, Chinese Exclusion Act, War effort, Political freedom, African Americans, Sans-culottes, Aftermath of World War I, Supremacism, Historiography, Politics, Colonialism, Anti-imperialism, Jacksonian democracy, Scientific racism