books

Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia

Praise for Pure America:

Pure America exposes Virginia’s shameful past, but it also highlights how much the present continues to be stamped in its image.”—Ellen Waylands-Smith, Boston Review

“Catte did not come to play. This is historical research at its most compelling and its most accessible. Fully academic yet fully human, Catte makes the historical personal, blending the past with her lived experiences in the present. Catte’s first book…proved she could be the voice for a story in desperate need of a better narrator, and in Pure America, she has done it again.”—critic Sara Beth West

“Masterfully written, Pure America is a book that is rooted in the past but doesn’t blink in its gaze at the present day.”—MaryElizabeth Williams, Salon

“Riveting … slim but capacious … tightly argued and impatient.”—Barbara Spindel, The Wall Street Journal

“In a lacerating analysis of the links between economic policies and eugenicist thought, Catte examines coerced labor at Virginia’s psychiatric institutions, the destruction of a historically-Black neighborhood in Charlottesville under the guise of urban renewal, and the transformation of Western State into an upscale hotel and condominiums. This provocative and impeccably argued history reveals how traumas of the past inform the inequalities of today.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

Praise for What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

“Catte’s slim, very readable volume is like a more focused version of Howard Zinn’s venerable A People’s History Of The United States, turning its lens to the on-the-ground civic struggles of people who have lived and died in Appalachia.”  Laura Adamczyk, The A.V. Club

“What are we getting wrong about Appalachia? A lot. And we are not just getting it wrong because we do not know. We are getting it wrong because reckoning with the reality of the Appalachia people and culture serves a historical project of disdain, distancing, and deliberate disinvestment in our nation. Elizabeth Catte has written an essential guide on how to talk about race, class, gender and the cultural geographies that shape our lives. Our discourse on Appalachia has been used a cudgel, much of it designed to obscure more than it reveals. Catte uses data and lived experiences to reveal an Appalachia that is not some ‘othered’ out there against which we compare ourselves to make inequality more palatable. This is a necessary antidote to the cyclical mainstream interest in Appalachia as a backwards, white working-class caricature.”  Tressie McMillan Cottom, Professor of Sociology, author, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy

“A 146-page ass-kicker.” Jim Branscome, The Daily Yonder

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