“The White Bonus buckles and snaps everything I thought I knew about race, space, place and bookmaking. This is what courage and absolute genius produce. We have never needed a book more than we need Tracie McMillan’s The White Bonus.”
–Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
See advance praise from Beth Macy, Robin D.G. Kelley,
Ira Katznelson, Heather McGhee and others here.
A genre-breaking work of journalism and memoir that tallies the cash benefit—and cost—of racism in America
This unflinching book from award-winning investigative reporter Tracie McMillan examines what white privilege delivers—in dollars and cents—not only to white people of wealth but also to white people from the poor to the middle class.
McMillan begins with her own downwardly mobile middle-class family and takes us through a personal history marked with abuse, illness, and poverty, while training her journalistic eye on the benefits she saw from being white. McMillan then alternates her story with profiles of four other white subjects, millennials to baby boomers, from across the United States.
For readers of Stephanie Land’s Maid, Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us, and Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed, McMillan brings groundbreaking insight into how, and to what degree, white racial privilege builds material advantage across class, time, and place.
Rather than analyzing racism as a thing that gives less to people of color, McMillan studies how it gives more to people who are white—including, with uncommon honesty, herself—and how it takes so much from so many. The unforgettable follow-up question thrums steadily through this book: Do white Americans believe that racism is worth what it costs all of us?