New book: White Working Class by Joan C. Williams

Posted By on May 16, 2017

The Kindle ebook reader is my preferred choice ever since getting my "own" ereader. My buddy Jeff has found a new way to entertain me … WhiteWorkingClass_JoanCWilliams170516gifting Amazon books (this one for my birthday). I sense that he assumes everybody reads as much as he does? I assure you that I do not … but do start a lot of books … before getting bogged down and moving on to the next.

This week was a new release by Joan C. Williams that analyzes the cultural change from the wealthy old money Republicans of the past in contrast to the working class union Democrats who became this country’s middle class (I think she usually is focused on gender?). Her new book titled White Working Class – Overcoming Class Cluelessness, is timely in that the political types now clearly see a multiple decade change … particularly from the leadership and direction of Democratic Party. The non-traditional left has now clearly taken over to the point that not much room is provided for the "salt of the earth, traditional, hardworking, blue collar, patriotic" Democrats of yesteryear. There views are no longer tolerated by the academics and social issue driven progressives. Although I’ve just started the book, Williams is clearly painting the picture as to why many long term "working class" Democrats have turned to the Republican Party and in particular the hard driving and hard working President Donald Trump for representation in Washington DC. Clearly the Democratic leadership has turned their nose up at blue collar inclusiveness of the White Working Class base … and in particular it "male" component. Who knows if the GOP can represent them …that is yet to be seen … but better jobs and a paycheck would make for a grand start.


Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite―journalists, managers, and establishment politicians―are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having “something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Williams explains that many people have conflated “working class” with “poor”―but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. They often resent the poor and the professionals alike. But they don’t resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality. Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities―just with more money. While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist or xenophobic, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness.

White Working Class is a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force. For anyone stunned by the rise of populist, nationalist movements, wondering why so many would seemingly vote against their own economic interests, or simply feeling like a stranger in their own country, White Working Class will be a convincing primer on how to connect with a crucial set of workers―and voters.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.