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Book Reviews 681 individual essays relate to the theme of their section and to each other often is unclear, leaving it up to the reader to make too many interpretative leaps. An introductory essay for each section or an essay concluding the entire collection would have given Blee an opportunity to more effectively use the essays. While the goals she sets forth in her introduction are clearly laid out, how the essays accomplish those goals is less apparent. Part I is particularly weak in terms of thematic coherence and the quality of the individual essays. Unfortunately, this might discourage readers before they reach some of the stronger essays in Part II. Although the generally atheoretical nature of the majority of the essays might be unsatisfying to advanced scholars, the essays serve as a spirited introduction for undergraduates to women's radical politics in a variety of fields, particularly sociology , history, American studies, and women's studies. While none of the essays have an explicit communication studies focus, the book can be of value to communication students because it identifies intriguing instances of women's political activity that could lead to a number of interesting research projects, particularly from the perspective of rhetoric, public address, and political communication. In the end No Middle Ground does not offer a clear redefinition of radical activism, but by raising questions about how issues of gender influence and are influenced by radical politics it clearly serves as a call for additional scholarship on a complex and intriguing topic. Linda C. Brigance State University of New York College at Fredonia Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. By Matthew Frye Jacobson. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998; pp. 338. $29.95. In the aftermath of the civil rights movement, which had brought to the forefront of the American mind the pervasive role of racial identity in shaping the nation, race relations scholars began the task of interrogating an aspect of racial identity that had remained largely invisible: whiteness. As Robert Terry recalls, when asked what it meant to be white in America, his only response was "I never thought of it." Terry was one of a number of researchers who, in response to the social and economic white flight of the 1960s and 1970s, began interrogating his own whiteness. Terry remembers how his early encounters with his own identity revealed "a key insight into whiteness—an insight that has deepened in it implications for me over the years. To be white in America is not to have to think about it'' Since Terry's observation almost thirty years ago, however, scholars have begun to think a great deal about whiteness, and in disciplines as diverse as labor studies, education, popular culture, and communication, the social construction of whiteness has become a central concern in an ongoing conversation about the complex 682 Rhetoric & Public Affairs and unstable terrains of identity and difference. Matthew Frye Jacobson's contribution to that conversation is a powerful rendering of the diverse and divergent ways in which whiteness has been constructed and reconstructed in Anglo and European American discourses of difference. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race paints a portrait of whiteness that illustrates its many shades and surfaces, its inner tensions and conflicting definitions, and reveals "a system of 'difference' by which one might be both white and racially distinct from other whites" (6). Jacobson's critical consideration of whiteness traces its social and symbolic evolution from the 1790 naturalization law, through the period of European immigration between the mid-nineteenth century and the 1920s, to the 1965 immigration act and beyond. He begins in his introduction titled "The Fabrication of Race" where much contemporary commentary on race starts, with the acknowledgment of its socially constructed character. He situates race vis-a-vis whiteness as central to the European experience of colonization and immigration and settlement, and defines it as a political and cultural phenomenon. Race, Jacobson explains, "is not just a conception ; it is also a perception," one shaped and transformed by culture, incoherence, and in the American context, ideologies of invisibility and innocence. He maps the racial landscape of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 681-686
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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