What we're about

Welcome to our Meetup! The book club is structured around reading and discussing one non-fiction book each month, typically on the third Sunday of the month but rescheduled as needed based on holidays or other special events. Meetups are facilitated by the organizer (or an occasional guest) to provide structure and direction to the discussion. All members are encouraged to provide their opinions, and all opinions are valued and respected. At the end of the meeting members will vote on a list of possible options and the top two choices from that vote will go on to an online poll by the entire membership of the group. For more information about books we have previously selected or the process for choosing books click here (https://www.meetup.com/Undeniably-Non-Fiction-Book-Club/about/).

Upcoming events (1)

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Our book selection for February, which I am moving to the first Sunday to avoid the conflict with Valentine's Day is: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg “When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters that put Trump in the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg. The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity. We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.

Past events (126)

Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein

Online event

Photos (178)