Hey, so I was actually the anon who wrote the Settlers review, it was before I recently started posting regularly under this flag. To be quite frank, I wrote it in a bit of a hurry on a Sakai thread one night, and while I still stand by what I said in the article, there's a couple points which I've since reconsidered and realized that I feel should give a more critical, albeit still nuanced, review.
1. The Foster misquote is simply unforgivable, and just reflects sloppy scholarship to give a more biting critique. That should already significantly weaken its standing as a revolutionary text. I only learned about this misquote after I wrote my review, and while I still think that the analyses of CPUSA chauvinism are valid (such as in the case of Puerto Rico), the case does not need to be made through misrepresentation of a man like Foster. Some anons have also stated that the history of the Socialist Party of America is also misleading, which is something I can't personally comment on, but perhaps a Debs-buff among us can set the record straight.
2. I think, for a work that is supposedly in the tradition of world-systems theory and critical of labor aristocracies, that the work is too focused on domestic labor aristocracies, and does not instead consider the broader American labor aristocracy. While yes, African Americans, Latinos, and other marginalized groups largely provide surplus labor for the white working class, it is worth noting that, should we accept that as fact, such an analysis should also indict all the workers of America, including exploited minorities, for subsisting off of third-world labor. It really doesn't make sense to solely indict white workers for subsisting off of black labor, when all American labor, regardless of race, subsists off of Latin American, African, and Asian labor. Again, this isn't to say that a critique of the revolutionary potential of white works is wrong, it's been the pretty standard Marxist position that colonized and marginalized groups generally are at the forefront of the global revolution, but I think such an analysis is incomplete without fully considering the broader American labor aristocracy alongside the particular white labor aristocracy. At the very least, it gives it much more nuance.
3. I feel the book is outdated in its analysis, being written in an America that had not yet met the wrath of neoliberalism. As so much of the previously comfortable white working class has lost its organized labor and Keynesian benefits, I do feel that their has been a surge in revolutionary potential, for both whites and nonwhites, that may be able to build anti-racist solidarity. Granted, a good portion of the white working class outrage has gone to causes like Trump, so perhaps Sakai is right in depicting white working class struggle as veering towards reaction, but still, were the book to receive an addendum, I think these neoliberal issues would be worth analyzing. I know that Sakai has apparently conducted a revisiting of the book, which I have not yet listened to, so I hope these issues are addressed within it.
I still stand by the idea that Settlers is an overly-maligned book that people wrongly associate with views like those of BHO. I still don't think the book is reactionary, and I do think a lot of its indictments of white working-class movements are both valid and extremely valuable. I agree with Hakim in giving it a positive review, and I genuinely think we need something like Settlers: a Third-Worldist analysis of a country's particular distribution of labor along domestic ethnic lines. Still, the flaws I just listed make Settlers a decent yet flawed work to fill such a need, and hopefully, a better version of a work like Settlers will come along to take its place. Either way, as a tldr; just don't read Settlers without a grain of salt and some Hinterlands as a useful companion piece.