Nonfiction Views: 28 interesting nonfiction new releases this week / The Daily Kos

The Daily Kos

Here’s this week’s choices for featured nonfiction, culled from the hundreds of books published this week. Something for everyone!

The White Bonus: Five Families and the Cash Value of Racism in America, by Tracie McMillan. This book asks a provocative question about racism in America: When people of color are denied so much, what are white people given? And how much is it worth—not in amorphous privilege, but in dollars and cents? McMillan begins with three generations of her family, tracking their modest wealth to its roots: American policy that helped whites first. Simultaneously, she details the complexities of their advantage, exploring her mother’s death in a nursing home, at 44, on Medicaid; her family’s implosion; and a small inheritance from a banker grandfather. In the process, McMillan puts a cash value to whiteness in her life and assesses its worth. She then expands her investigation to four other white subjects of different generations across the U.S. Alternating between these subjects and her family, McMillan shows how, and to what degree, racial privilege begets material advantage across class, time, and place. “The White Bonus is an invaluable resource for understanding racism in terms of systems, rather than just attitudes. McMillan looks unflinchingly at the benefits and costs of racism through the lens of her own family’s gains and losses. A reporter at heart, she digs through the archives of both personal trauma and personal finance to show how every story in the U.S. is actually a story about race.”—Lewis Raven Wallace

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