Hi everyone. I really love U. S. history and I really love reading about U. S. history books and fiction books. I bring up U. S. historya lot in a lot of the different topics and types of books that I like to read.
And one of the things I’ve been trying to do recently is to read more U. S. History, or to read more history books that widen my ideas of U. S. history and what’s actually going on.
I think that growing up in the United States and going through like the public education system, you learn a very specific sort of story about U. S. history and obviously history of the world and just thiscountry in general is a lot more complex than those stories and those facts ofhistory that we learn.
So I just like tobroaden my own horizons a little bit. And also I just find it really interestingto study the more gray areas of U. S. History because I just think it’s more interesting.
I think that it’s a fallacy to think that any country is purely good or purely evil or any people group is purely good or purely evil, for the most part.
And I like to really delve into those messy gray areas andthose hidden parts of history that people don’t really talk about or don’t really know about very much. So what I’m going to do in this article is I’m going to talk about three different books.
The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez
So the book that I have recently finished is The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez . The subtitle to this book is The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America.
The subtitle basically describes exactly what this story is about but it talks about Native American and Indian enslavement, not just in the United States, but also in like Mexico and the Caribbean.
So sort of like the America in the wider sense of the word. Andrés Reséndez in the introduction of this book talks about how when you think of slavery in the United States, you think of a very specific image and story, specifically black people being taken from Africa, brought to the United States, put into slavery for generations.
But there was a lot more and different types of slavery that happened. And specifically he focuses on Native American enslavement because it is almost never talked about.
Most people don’t realize that it exists and it’s also an integral part of the way that the United States, and even like Mexico and the Caribbean, how they set up their governments and how they set up their economies and things like that.
He also talks a lot about how a lot ofthe Indian enslavement was happening parallel to African American enslavement. And how when like the Civil War happened and when there was like the Emancipation Proclamation, there’s still this whole area of slavery that people either were ignoring or just weren’t dealing with and things like that.
And so he provides alot of context for the things that were happening in the world during this time period that led to Native Americans being enslaved.
It’s a really messy, complicated history and Andrés Reséndezdoes a really fantastic job of cataloging all of it because, like he says in thisbook, it’s really hard to find out any information on this topic.
And this book does a really great job putting it all in one place for someone to access easily.
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
The second book is the book that I’m currently reading and that is White Trash by Nancy Isenberg. The subtitle to this one is the 400-year history ofclass in America. This is sort of like a overview of the idea of class in the United States.
And Nancy Isenberg just looks throughout history to talk about specifically like the working class and poor people in the United States and the way that they are treated, the way that they are viewed, the way that politicians deal with them, and the rhetoric and policy around that.
I’m only partially through this book but she also just talks about different like presidents and things like that who may have been seen as like “white trash” going into office and the way that that viewed andshaped the policy for those years.
It’s areally fantastic book. It’s really interesting. I think that there are a lot of parallels that you could make between the things that she’s talking about inU. S. history to what is currently happening in the United States.
Which I think is also really interesting and something that I appreciate because it helps provide some perspective to everything that’s going on in the world right now and specifically in the United States government.
So yeah if you’re someone who liked Hillbilly Elegy, but you wanted more of like the history side than the memoir side, then I definitely recommend picking this up. I think it will be a really nice complement to that book.
But also I think that just in general it provides a really great look at the class system here in this country.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X
And the final book that I have that I plan on picking uprelatively soon is Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi.
And this is a book that I had never heard of until it won the National Book Award this year and then I was like okay I have to pick that book up.
This one is relatively large but that doesn’t frighten me because I’ve read large books before. From what I’ve read about this book, it follows the anti-black rhetoric that has been prevalent throughout the history of the United States.
He uses different people at different points in time to illustrate specific types of anti-blackrhetoric that have existed and how that has shaped the way that society now exists.
And apparently what he argues in this book is that racist ideas and tendencies aren’t necessarily just because people are ignorant but thisrhetoric came about because certain people wanted to keep a imbalance of power and wealth and security and all ofthose different things in place.
And so in order to justify that, they use racistrhetoric to implement those policies and what not. So I’m really intrigued to see how this book goes. I can’t necessarily like recommended whole heartedly becauseI haven’t read it yet.
So I don’t know how I’m going to feel about it at the end of the book. But I think there’s some really interesting ideas that he’s presenting in this book that I’m really intrigued to see how it’s pulled off and whether or not I like it or not or I agree with it or not.
But I think it’ll just provide a really interesting take on U. S. History that will provide me another dimension to view even just the way that our current society is set up.
So yeah those are best us history books that I have for you guys. Obviously there are so many different books out there that I could talk about. Check also this Top 10 Books That Make You Smarter.
But definitely leave a comment down below letting me know if you’ve read any of the sethree books that I’ve talked about today.
Or if you have any recommendations of your own because, like I said, I’m really into this right now. So any recommendations that you have will be happily taken by me. So yeah, that’s all I have for this week and I will see you guys. Bye.