Clean and White
A History of Environmental Racism in the United States
"What an innovative study! In Clean and White, Carl Zimring addresses an age-old critique of racism that posits white as clean and good and black as dirty and bad. In so doing, he elevates the discussion by demonstrating the cultural roots of this nefarious comparison within the context of environmental racism. Those interested in both questions of race and modern environmentalism will benefit from reading this book."
—Martin V. Melosi, author of The Sanitary City
“Offers a significant and startling new perspective on United States history, revealing the many ways in which ideals of cleanliness, notions of environmental propriety, and definitions of whiteness have been interwoven for centuries, to devastating effect. With deft prose and thoroughly researched arguments, Zimring unravels some of the previously overlooked origins of deeply rooted American racism, and in the process shows how these have come to justify economic, social, and political discrimination against people of color. It is an important original analysis, and it brings much needed insight to our ongoing national debate about race and justice.”
—Robin Nagle, author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New Yor
"[A] valuable history of environmental racism in the United States...Essential reading for those interested in social justice and environmental issues."
"Traces the always shifting, always intertwined definitions of whiteness and cleanliness from the Civil War to the present day."
“Zimring shows that American notions of clean environments and healthy landscapes are the products of a racist past.”
—Journal of American History
“Zimring’s provocative book will compel future historians to take the role of garbage and waste seriously when seeking to explain some of the most pernicious social injustices of our time.”
—Indiana Magazine of History
“Zimring offers a clearly written overview of environmental racism in the US.”
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