In this nuanced look at white working-class life and politics in
twentieth-century America, Kenneth Durr takes readers into the
neighborhoods, workplaces, and community institutions of blue-collar
Baltimore in the decades after World War II.
that the "white backlash" of the 1960s and 1970s was driven
by increasing race resentment, Durr details the rise of a
working-class populism shaped by mistrust of the means and ends of
postwar liberalism in the face of urban decline. Exploring the
effects of desegregation, deindustrialization, recession, and the
rise of urban crime, Durr shows how legitimate economic, social, and
political grievances convinced white working-class Baltimoreans that
they were threatened more by the actions of liberal policymakers than
by the incursions of urban blacks.
the parochialism and racial exclusivity of white working-class life,
Durr adopts an empathetic view of workers and their institutions.
Behind the Backlash melds ethnic, labor, and political history
to paint a rich portrait of urban life--and the sweeping social and
economic changes that reshaped America's cities and politics in the
late twentieth century.