White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - Chapter 9: Forgotten Men and Poor Folk: Downward Mobility and the Great Depression Summary & Analysis

Nancy Isenberg
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Summary

Politicians deemed the South America’s principal economic concern, condemning its reliance on tenant farmers and convict laborers. Reformers focused on education and psychological reconditioning of society’s depiction of white trash. Popular culture and politicians alike endorsed the idea that American manhood rested on manual labor. The raising of the Empire State Building inspired engineers, contractors, and rail workers all the same to continue to industrialize the nation. The South, however, remained reluctant to embrace the carefully constructed version of the American dream.

The Depression represented the terrifying idea that downward mobility was unpredictable and unpreventable. Traditional marks of poverty were rampant throughout the nation, which served as a reminder to the population that class distinctions were not so clear. Mass migrations of the poor came to symbolize economic disaster. Isenberg focuses...

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This section contains 1,269 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Study Guide
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