A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race—not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively
…an unusual study: an intellectual history, with occasional excursions to examine vernacular usage, for popular audiences. It has much to teach everyone, including whiteness experts, but it is accessible and breezy, its coverage broad and therefore necessarily superficial…I cannot fault Nell Painter's choicesomissions to keep a book widely readable. Often, scholarly interpretation is transmitted through textbooks that oversimplify and even bore their readers with vague generalities. Far better for a large audience to learn about whiteness from a distinguished scholar in an insightful and lively exposition.