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  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction 1

    George Washington: Porcelain, Tea, and Revolution / John Kou Wei Tchen 26

    Jefferson's Legacies: Racial Intimacies and American Identity / Duchess Harris and Bruce Baum 44

    Tocqueville and Beaumont, Brothers, and Others / Laura Janara 64

    "The Sacred Right of Self-Preservation": Juan Nepomuceno Cortina and the Struggle for Justice in Texas / Jerry Thompson 81

    "Shoot Mr. Lincoln"? / Catherine A. Holland 96

    Sarah Winnemucca and the Rewriting of Nation / Cari M. Carpenter 112

    The Politics of the Possible: Ida B. Wells-Barnett's Crusade for Justice / Patricia A. Schechter 128

    Meat vs. Rice (and Pasta): Samuel Gompers and the Republic of White Labor / Gwendolyn Mink, Abridged by Bruce Baum 145

    Theodore Roosevelt and the Divided Character of American Nationalism / Gary Gerstle 163

    Margaret Sanger and the Racial Origins of the Birth Control Movement / Dorothy Roberts 196

    W. E. B. Du Bois and the Race Concept / Joel Olson 214

    Displacing Filipinos, Dislocating America: Carlos Bolusan's America Is in the Heart 231

    Looking Through Sideny Brustein's Window: Lorraine Hansberry's New Frontier, 1959–1965 / Ben Keppel 247

    James Baldwin's "Discovery of What It Means to Be an American" / Bruce Baum 263

    Afterword: Racially Writing the Republic and racially Righting the Republic / George Lipsitz 281

    Bibliography 301

    Contributors 321

    Index 323
  • John Kuo Wei Tchen

    Duchess Harris

    Laura Janara

    Jerry Thompson

    Catherine A. Holland

    Cari M. Carpenter

    Patricia A. Schechter

    Gwendolyn Mink

    Gary Gerstle

    Dorothy Roberts

    Joel Olson

    Allan Punzalan Isaac

    Ben Keppel

    George Lipsitz

    Bruce Baum

  • “[A]ll fourteen essays in Racially Writing the Republic are boldly written, insightful, and thought provoking. . . . The history of the American republic, as racially written, ignores much of the multiracial contributions of non-Europeans. It also reconstructs an American identity through white hierarchical lens where meritocracy and equality of opportunity are uncontested. Racially Writing the Republic reminds us of America’s shortcomings, if not the failure, of such an identity.”

    “I have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending this wide-ranging analysis of the ‘racial writing’ of America to scholars and students within American Studies, Political Science, History, Race and Ethnicity and Sociology. I believe it is a welcome and significant addition to a growing body of literature on the critical analysis of racial formations.”

    “In bringing together in one volume new readings of classical political theory and explorations of protest thought historically excluded from the canon, this book will serve multiple readerships. . . . The book is a bold attempt to move the academic center to the left and disrupt the traditional ways we have come to conceive of both American studies and political thought.”

    Reviews

  • “[A]ll fourteen essays in Racially Writing the Republic are boldly written, insightful, and thought provoking. . . . The history of the American republic, as racially written, ignores much of the multiracial contributions of non-Europeans. It also reconstructs an American identity through white hierarchical lens where meritocracy and equality of opportunity are uncontested. Racially Writing the Republic reminds us of America’s shortcomings, if not the failure, of such an identity.”

    “I have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending this wide-ranging analysis of the ‘racial writing’ of America to scholars and students within American Studies, Political Science, History, Race and Ethnicity and Sociology. I believe it is a welcome and significant addition to a growing body of literature on the critical analysis of racial formations.”

    “In bringing together in one volume new readings of classical political theory and explorations of protest thought historically excluded from the canon, this book will serve multiple readerships. . . . The book is a bold attempt to move the academic center to the left and disrupt the traditional ways we have come to conceive of both American studies and political thought.”

  • “In asking how U.S. commitments to liberty and white supremacy have cohabited, this collection brings to bear state-of-the-art scholarship and a long historical view. Moreover, rather than only focusing on the white/African American color line, it shows that critically important variations have mattered where American Indians, Asian Americans, Latina/os, and ‘white ethnics’ are concerned.” — David Roediger, author of, How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon

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  • Description

    Racially Writing the Republic investigates the central role of race in the construction and transformation of American national identity from the Revolutionary War era to the height of the civil rights movement. Drawing on political theory, American studies, critical race theory, and gender studies, the contributors to this collection highlight the assumptions of white (and often male) supremacy underlying the thought and actions of major U.S. political and social leaders. At the same time, they examine how nonwhite writers and activists have struggled against racism and for the full realization of America’s political ideals. The essays are arranged chronologically by subject, and, with one exception, each essay is focused on a single figure, from George Washington to James Baldwin.

    The contributors analyze Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in light of his sexual relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings; the way that Samuel Gompers, the first president of the American Federation of Labor, rallied his organization against Chinese immigrant workers; and the eugenicist origins of the early-twentieth-century birth-control movement led by Margaret Sanger. They draw attention to the writing of Sarah Winnemucca, a Northern Piute and one of the first published Native American authors; the anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett; the Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan; and the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who linked civil rights struggles in the United States to anticolonial efforts abroad. Other figures considered include Alexis de Tocqueville and his traveling companion Gustave de Beaumont, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina (who fought against Anglo American expansion in what is now Texas), Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. In the afterword, George Lipsitz reflects on U.S. racial politics since 1965.

    Contributors. Bruce Baum, Cari M. Carpenter, Gary Gerstle, Duchess Harris, Catherine A. Holland, Allan Punzalan Isaac, Laura Janara, Ben Keppel, George Lipsitz, Gwendolyn Mink, Joel Olson, Dorothy Roberts, Patricia A. Schechter, John Kuo Wei Tchen, Jerry Thompson

    About The Author(s)

    Bruce Baum is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity. Duchess Harris is Associate Professor of American Studies at Macalester College. She is the author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton (forthcoming).

    Duchess Harris is Associate Professor of American Studies at Macalester College. She is the author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton (forthcoming).

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