Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Internal Enemy, The

A history of the transformation of white American discourse on race.

In the years following the revolution public figures struggled to find ways to carry the ideal of equality to its natural end point without changing a way of life that depended upon the unpaid labor of black slaves. Yet, only a few decades later, many of these same figures were arguing for the necessary continuation of slavery. The book establishes the context for and explains the process by which this transformation occurs.

Reading it, I felt like I was watching the rhetorical foundations of American racism being built up.

Posted January 12, 2016