book reviews In Blue-Collar Conservatism, Lombardo begins well with an anecdote about Rizzo, setting the stage for what could have been a rollicking tale of crime, corruption, dysfunction, and poverty. While Lombardo delivers on Rocky Balboa, the balance of the book lacks a human dimension. The white working class is an often-undifferentiated sociological category. White Philadelphia workers appear to be racists with an irrational fear of violent crime. Rizzo, it seems, embodied white working-class racism as much as he drew upon racism to advance himself politically. While all this may be accurate, it would be helpful to have violent crime statistics over the 1960s and 1970s for Philadelphia and the United States. Was the fear of being a victim of violent crime irrational? And what of the fact that African Americans were (and are) the most likely among city dwell- ers to be the victims of violent crime? How does that that fact fit into the framework of the racist backlash against crime in the 1960s and 1970s? It would also be helpful to consider that for most white, working-class Americans their home was both their only asset and their chief source of debt. Crime impacted negatively on home
Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Apr 11, 2019
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