New book looks at 400 years of class division in America

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By Rob Lorei

On Radioactivity Thursday, we looked at the history of class in the United States. It’s often said that the US is a classless society, a breakaway from the strict class structure of England. But our guest, Louisiana State University history professor Nancy Isenberg, writes in her new book White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class, that class divisions have been utilized since the earliest days of colonization. Isenberg discussed colonial class divisions that stratified poor landless whites, indentured servants, and slaves from land-owning gentry.