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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
White Lies

White Lies

Race and the Myths of Whiteness

Maurice Berger

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


The acclaimed work that debunks our myths and false assumptions about race in America

Maurice Berger grew up hypersensitized to race in the charged environment of New York City in the sixties. His father was a Jewish liberal who worshiped Martin Luther King, Jr.; his mother a dark-skinned Sephardic Jew who hated black people. Berger himself was one of the few white kids in his Lower East Side housing project.

Berger's unusual experience--and his determination to examine the subject of race for its multiple and intricate meanings--makes White Lies a fresh and startling book.

Berger has become a passionate observer of race matters, searching out the subtle and not-so-subtle manifestations of racial meaning in everyday life. In White Lies, he encourages us to reckon with our own complex and often troubling opinions about race. The result is an uncommonly honest and affecting look at race in America today--free of cant, surprisingly entertaining, unsettled and unsettling.

White Lies

More than anything, my mother's life was shaped by her otherness: the darkness of her skin, eyes, and hair; her Sephardic heritage; her Hispanic-sounding maiden name. More than once she had been called...

Praise for White Lies

“The quoted passages . . . reveal exquisite taste and gather classic accounts of what whiteness means . . . Berger's frank autobiographical sections provide soaring insights.” —The Village Voice

Reviews from Goodreads

Maurice Berger

Maurice Berger grew up in the Simon Baruch Houses, a public housing project in New York City. He is a Senior Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School for Social Research. He lives in New York City.

image of Maurice Bergero
Copyright Lyle Ashton Harris

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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