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Exchange Exemplar: The History Of America's White Underclass

FORTEPAN / Magyar Bálint, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50532648

In America, everybody has the same opportunity, we like to think.  Our history tells another story, one of permanent underclasses whose members have little hope of escaping poverty. 

Historian Nancy Isenberg focuses on one of those underclasses in her bestselling book White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.  Poor whites have been a frequent political focus as well as a frequent scapegoat.  The author joined us in 2016 to talk about what she found. 

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.