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White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son [Paperback]

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Item description for White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise...

Racial privilege shapes the lives of white Americans in every facet of life, from employment and education to housing and criminal justice. Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise shows that racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits those who are "white like him" — whether or not they're actively racist. Using stories instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a compelling narrative that assesses the magnitude of racial privilege and is at once readable and scholarly, analytical yet accessible.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 28, 2007
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368993  
ISBN13  9781933368993  

Availability  0 units.

More About Tim Wise

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tim Wise: Constantly on tour, Tim Wise is one of the most prominent anti-racist essayists, educators and activists in the US. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner and Michael Eric Dyson. His essays are regularly published on Alternet, Counterpunch, Z-net, Black Commentator, the Black Agenda Report and the Daily Kos. His blog is widely followed at

Tim Wise has published or released items in the following series...
  1. City Lights Open Media
  2. Open Media

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Discrimination & Racism
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > Ethnic Studies

Reviews - What do customers think about White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son?

A terrific exploration of race in America  Aug 8, 2008
Tim Wise's name is well-known and I have read many of his essays over the years. So as I was about to read this book, it's safe to say I had some expectations for it. The verdict: it surpassed them. In the first few pages, the book seems a bit aimless, and at various points in the book his language is a little off-putting (by that, I mean his very free use of words like F-bombs). But after the first few pages, and getting past the occasional language obstacle, he shines with it.

He proves very adept at illustrating how ever-present race is in everyday life, and I don't make this point lightly. I already felt I had a good understanding of this, but some of his examples prove that wrong and show that it's present even in places I didn't think that was the case. He shares stories from his family as well as life outside of home that all drive home his points well.

Most of all, as is the case in his essays, Wise gets real about race as it concerns White people. He pulls no punches, evident in several parts of the book. He makes it clear more than once that merely "being a good person", for lack of a better phrase, will never be enough to make a significant dent in racism. He points out that for White people doing this work, the rewards are not what one might expect - don't expect to be on the cover of a major magazine or the top story on the six o'clock news, and don't expect to be loved by all the way athletes and entertainers are worshiped in America. And he does a great job of showing how racism hurts White people, examples including how privilege can put us in danger or rob us of our self-determination, and in perhaps an extreme example, how it can lead the poorest of Whites to support politicians and policies that don't help them at all but profess to be anti-Black - the latter being the reason they support the politician or policy.

This is a challenging book. It certainly was for me, and I haven't been a passive observer on this subject matter during my life. It made me examine myself and my thoughts on this subject, yet it also in some points affirmed that if nothing else, I may be on the right track, as there were certainly parts I identified with. It's also realistic in that the overall picture it paints is that for many reasons, fighting the rampant White privilege in America is not easy at all.

All in all, this book is well worth reading, especially for a White person who wants to do something positive on race.
Not too Wise  Apr 18, 2008
He sure knows not much about the Civil War, even that it was not a Civil War
Very Important Book  Feb 8, 2008
I've seen other reviews stating that all white people should read this book. I think that EVERYONE should read this book. This book addresses race and race relations in a way that is unorthodox, clear and grabs your attention. As a race/ethnicity scholar and teacher, I'm always looking for ways to get my students aware of and concerned about (this is the tough part) racial issues in the US. Most feel and think that it's not a big deal, racism is over, etc. Most students express a "color-blind" attitude. But this attitude is harmful by ignoring institutionalized racism. The issue of white privilege isn't a new one, but Mr. Wise introduces us to some new ways of thinking about it.

There is a lot of material and excellent examples to take from this book, but a few really grabbed me. One is getting at how white privilge operates in everyday life and at the institutional level. The other main and often subtle important aspect is how white privilege is dangerous not only to black people and other minority group members, but to white people as well, on a psychological level. Tim Wise makes his case by appealing to white people on a gut level by appealing to their egos and sense of self without attacking them as "bad people." And I think that blacks and people of other races can benefit by understanding how white privelege often operates unconsciously...We spend most of our lives learning to be racist and it takes a lot to unlearn all that crap. Tim Wise does his best to set us on this path.
It will change your life  Oct 17, 2007
I present the face of white privilege, I am white and I am a male and I come from a family with money. I am also gay and a person living with AIDS and in both cases I've known stigma and discrimination. I didn't grow up in a family where racism was acceptable. Reading White Like Me:Reflections on Racism from a Privileged Son makes every thing I grew up with more apparent in this modern world. We still have a long long way to go.
Paolo Preston
Tucson, AZ
worthwhile but not spectacular  Jul 21, 2007
I had really hopes for this book. I thought it started off really well, then I found myself struggling to finish it. I got the feeling he hates his own white skin. A bit idealistic, but worth checking out.

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