A history of American white male identity by the author of So You Want to Talk About Race imagines a merit-based, non-discriminating model while exposing the actual costs of successes defined by racial and sexual dominance.
... searing ... continues the work of Oluo’s 2018 bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race? She reveals the levers and pulleys of systemic racism in America...The difference between the two works is of showing and telling. The first book told, literally: It guides people through navigating thorny conversations about race. Mediocre shows ... If you’re thinking you’ve heard this before — see slavery to mass incarceration — think again. The author excavates episodes even the most dutiful student of history may have missed ... a fast, engaging read, and Oluo is a warm, evenhanded narrator ... She occasionally lists atrocities in generalities ... This rhetorical choice does not resonate as profoundly as the precise historical examples she cites, along with her personal experiences ... This book is anything but mediocre, and it is the perfect holiday gift for any mediocre white man on your shopping list. Or just about anyone.
... the text is not simply a catalogue of terror; it is a conversational call to action, an urging to rewrite our definition of White manhood and diminish the power it holds. Oluo is asking us to evaluate the myths America tells itself about itself, see the violence within, be honest about the perpetrators and the victims, and then tell different stories. Truer ones. But she is also inviting us, on occasion, to chuckle. There is levity and voice in Mediocre, which Oluo dedicates to 'Black womxn.' The work presents nuanced historical accounts and analyses of America’s westward expansion, education system, mistreatment of women in workplaces, politics and sports, while interjecting the author’s personality and personal history.
... a deep-dive into socio-political research, research that ends up being personally traumatic and triggering for [Oluo], into just how unjust the patriarchal world is and proposes a solution ... Oluo exposes white supremacy as everywhere, not just in some alt-right corner of some place far away from us ... Using statistics, anecdotal evidence and persuasive eloquence, Oluo depicts a world where white male supremacy harms us all ... This isn’t a book that explains how to navigate microagressions. It tears open the macro aggressions and macro injustices and demands a better future ... shocking reading ... Olou truly understands the injustices towards black people, and it is only when people of colour and women and other minorities unite to fight off patriarchal oppression will we have a system that is actually fair ... This book is anything but mediocre.