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This book tells the stranger-than-fiction story of how a poor white family from Indiana was scapegoated into prominence as America's 'worst' family by the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century, then 'reinvented' in the 1970s as part of a vanguard of social rebellion. In what becomes a profoundly unsettling counter-history of the United States, Nathaniel Deutsch traces how the Ishmaels, whose patriarch fought in the Revolutionary War, were discovered in the slums of Indianapolis in the 1870s and became a symbol for all that was wrong with the urban poor. The Ishmaels, actually white Christians, were later celebrated in the 1970s as the founders of the country's first African American Muslim community. This bizarre and fascinating saga reveals how class, race, religion, and science have shaped the nation's history and myths.

Buy Inventing America's "Worst" Family book by Nathaniel Deutsch from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780520255241
ISBN-10: 0520255240
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 282
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 16-Dec-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Nathaniel Deutsch

Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor of Literature and History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is author of The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (UC Press), among other books.

Books By Author Nathaniel Deutsch

Jewish Dark Continent by Nathaniel Deutsch

The Jewish Dark Continent

Hardback, November 2011
$65.70
Maiden of Ludmir by Nathaniel Deutsch

The Maiden of Ludmir

Hardback, September 2003
$116.10
Black Zion by Nathaniel Deutsch

Black Zion

Paperback, January 2000
$89.06