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White Like Me

Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
By: Tim Wise
Narrated by: Tim Wise
Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (481 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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Publisher's Summary

With a new preface and updated chapters, White Like Me is one-part memoir, one-part polemical essay collection. It is a personal examination of the way in which racial privilege shapes the daily lives of white Americans in every realm: employment, education, housing, criminal justice, and elsewhere.

Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise demonstrates the ways in which racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits, in relative terms, those who are "white like him". He discusses how racial privilege can harm whites in the long run and make progressive social change less likely. He explores the ways in which whites can challenge their unjust privileges, and explains in clear and convincing language why it is in the best interest of whites themselves to do so. Using anecdotes instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a narrative that is at once listenable and yet scholarly, analytical and yet accessible.

©2011 Soft Skull Press (P)2015 Audiobooks.com Publishing

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AMAZING!

Thought provoking and inspiring! Youll he challenged to see yourself in a new way. Do yourself a favor and read it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Masterpiece

The most important writing I have ever read or listened to. The struggle should continue and I also choose hope...

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ash
  • Nevada, US
  • 02-27-16

Great writing made even better as an audible book

Time Wise's writing is excellent and it's only improved with his narrative of this audible book. His story is relevant and interesting and accessible to readers and listeners. While the topic is sometimes intimidating, Tim's prose and perspective makes it a pleasure to read.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I can breathe better

Most important book I have read besides Malcolm X and MLK. It provided a solid stance against racism from a white privilege side. Being a black man, this work of Wise it more dynamic and density

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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An Important and Needed Perspective with Beneficial insights.

I found And have found Tim Wise's presence and forthrightness in this new era of race to be profoundly important. In "White Like Me" he so clearly helps us navigate his world view and his life through a lens of clarity that we see him as a young boy struggle to understand the world. All this through the great lens of America systemic racism and global white supremacy. Even his chapter on his battles while in Hebrew school with Judaism and the Jewish Working class are riveting. His summation of Jews in America, in his view, are a tiny bit less privileged white people was funny and simultaneously made me stiffen at the truth. This is how Mr. Wise guides us through a succinct sometime overly succinct journey through his life towards his attaining prominence as one of a few white men who are sought after to help us understand, teach, repair and breathe hope into a problem that seeps into every American life whether we wish it to or not. Challenging read (listen) but I'm better for it. Btw. I'm black and gay.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Riveting Perspective

I was not expecting this to be so thoroughly autobiographical, but the updated chronological approach is wonderfully coherent and touches many appropriate themes. Wise eloquently walks through a host of issues as seen in daily life, without cushioning the plight of many white Americans. He never guilt trips anyone, and even offers excellent ways to avoid such inevitable accusations that conversations on white privilege "rely on white guilt."
A must read.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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One of the most important books I've read.

This book was life-changing. It was entertaining. It was emotional, challenging, and even fun from time-to-time. So worth the buy. You need to read/listen to it ASAP.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Important Listen

White Like Me is a memoir of sorts where Tim Wise shares his experiences of growing up white while also explaining how racism is deeply rooted in our society. If you haven't read much on white privilege, this is a great place to start.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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White like him

I'm a person of color (although personally I don't care for that term) that reading books such as these recommended to me in an attempt to understand current trends in the social justice movement.

My view of this book is mostly negative, but I was able to temper it somewhat by remembering that this book is not intended to be a data-based statement on race but instead just the author going over thoughts he’s had about race over the course of his life. Put another way, this isn’t really a book you could site in an academic sense unless it was about Tim Wise himself. However, even if the book is full of subjective views, it doesn’t mean they can’t be examined.

The author’s view of racism is very broad. In one part he mentions that because his grandfather sold alcohol to black people, that his grandfather was racist. Even under the power + prejudice definition of racism, I don’t see how this is the case. You could say he was a burden on a community maybe, but not racist. And this theme continues through the book where race is brought into several situations without solid explanations of how it applies. At it’s best, it appeals to common stereotypes, but at its worst it just asserts things without a real reason why.

In one part of the book, the author describes debate courses and competitions he participated in. He describes how debate is mostly white because when a white person engages in debate, they can explore all sides of an idea because they know it’ll never impact them. Whereas black people will have to argue for things that would have real-world implications for them and their families. I don’t really see a reading of this that isn’t insulting. Even if we assume that the difference is race based, people of color are absolutely able and willing to challenge their minds and explore ideas they don’t agree with. To assume they won’t debate concepts that could affect them sets a very low expectation of any person of color.

I could keep citing examples like this, but what it comes down to is that for all of Tim Wise’s work, he’s not a reliable speaker on issues of race. He attributes things to malice without evidence, and has a fuzzy idea of what racism is. He makes assumptions of larger systems and uses whatever interpretation lets him bring race into an issue.

There were some good parts in the book though. For example he gives the single solid perspective on white privilege that I’ve heard to date, that it has to do with the history of white people not being slaves while blacks were. This has lead to accumulation of education, connections, and in some cases wealth over generations. What is called “past familial advantage”. So instead of being a mysterious, ever-present set of stereotypes and “benefits” as described in other books, Tim Wise gives a description that is observable and quantifiable, and makes sense without condemning society to be permanently and irrecoverably racist.

In spite of that, I still can’t recommend this book for anyone looking to truly learn about race relations, the best use of this book would be to understand this type of social justice mindset and how pervasive it is for people who see the world this way.

Regarding the performance in the book, Tim Wise reads everything very well and has a great amount of emotion and inflection to keep you wanting to listen. If I had to listen to more Tim Wise books the narration would not be an issue.

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Thought provoking information...

Splendid, well thought out analyses on simplistic subject matter that is often hidden in plain sight. Could be extremely educastionally useful in many arenas. Well done...