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White Power and American Neoliberal Culture

Regular price $ 22.95

by Patricia Ventura and Edward K. Chan

University of California Press

4/11/2023, hardcover

SKU: 9780520392793


How two seemingly separate forces--white power and neoliberalism--intersect and polarize the United States today.

White Power and American Neoliberal Culture speaks to the urgency of the present moment by uncovering and examining the ideologies that led us here. Working through sources such as white terrorist manifestos, white power utopian fiction, neoliberal think tank reports, and neoconservative policy statements, Patricia Ventura and Edward K. Chan analyze the conjunction of current forms of white supremacy and racial capitalism.

Short and accessible, this timely book argues that white extremist worldviews--and the violence they provoke--have converged with a radical economic and social agenda to shape daily life in the United States, especially by enshrining the male-dominated white family as the ideal of national identity. Through insightful observation and critical dissection, Ventura and Chan paint a striking portrait of how these forces enable each other, perpetuating social injustice and inequity.


"This book could not have been timelier. As pundits and politicians blame an aberrant Donald Trump for the flowering of white nationalism, Ventura and Chan find its roots in neoliberalism. Just as the liberalism of colonizing nations birthed 1930s fascism, the neoliberalism of American empire is the source of fascism's latest iteration. The authors take us into the dystopian imagination of white nationalist culture, where straight white men rule, white women are baby-making machines, and the rest of us are disappeared--imprisoned, deported, starved, or murdered by the state. For the latter, this is no dream; it is lived reality and heritage. For the struggling white working class, white power is only a dream."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

"An urgent work of striking originality. This book puts whiteness, neoliberalism, and culture into dialogue in a manner that illuminates the discourse of white power and recent resurgence of far-right extremism on the one hand and the persistence of everyday racism and ongoing advance of social conservatism on the other. With theoretical sophistication and analytic care, the authors demonstrate the dynamic interplay and chilling convergence of white power and neoliberalism around the family that have significant implications for our understanding of cultural politics and democratic action."--C. Richard King, coauthor of Beyond Hate: White Power and Popular Culture

"A great idea consummately well explored. Bringing white power and neoliberalism into the same analytic frame allows the authors to avoid suggesting that one explains the other. The result is an examination of our present danger that is able to apportion blame to both liberals and white nationalists and to explain why the two so enduringly coexist."--David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness and The Sinking Middle Class

About the Authors:

Patricia Ventura is Associate Professor of English at Spelman College in Atlanta. Her previous work includes Neoliberal Culture: Living with American Neoliberalism

Edward K. Chan is Professor of American Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo. His previous work includes The Racial Horizon of Utopia: Unthinking the Future of Race in Late Twentieth-Century American Utopian Novels. Together the two coedited Race and Utopian Desire in American Literature and Society.