Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Preview: Searching for Whitopia by Rich Benjamin


  • Searching for Whitopia - An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America
    By Rich Benjamin
    Published by Hyperion
    October 2009; 978-1-4013-2268-7

Publisher’s Blurb:

Between 2007 and 2009, Rich Benjamin, a journalist-adventurer, packed his bags and embarked on a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America, to some of the fastest-growing and whitest locales in our nation.

By 2042, whites will no longer be the American majority. As immigrant populations -- largely people of color -- increase in cities and suburbs, more and more whites are moving to small towns and exurban areas that are predominately, even extremely, white.

Rich Benjamin calls these enclaves "Whitopias" (pronounced: "White-o-pias").

His journey to unlock the mysteries of Whitopias took him from a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in North Idaho to the inner sanctum of George W. Bush's White House -- and many points in between. And to learn what makes Whitopias tick, and why and how they are growing, he lived in three of them (in Georgia, Idaho, and Utah) for several months apiece. A compelling raconteur, bon vivant, and scholar, Benjamin reveals what Whitopias are like and explores the urgent social and political implications of this startling phenomenon.

The glow of Barack Obama's historic election cannot obscure the racial and economic segregation still vexing America. Obama's presidency has actually raised the stakes in a battle royale between two versions of America: one that is broadly comfortable with diversity yet residentially segregated (ObamaNation), and one that does not mind a little ethnic food or a few mariachi dancers -- as long as these trends do not overwhelm a white dominant culture (Whitopia).

Some of the issues that Benjamin discusses in the book as per the publicist are:

• Why white people are increasingly choosing to live in predominantly white communities

• How structural racism in general and racial segregation in particular impede the democratic process

• His experience as the first black man to attend a three-day retreat with the religious arm of Aryan Nations, the     white separatist group

• How anti-immigration fears play into racial segregation

• How a Whitopia can hatch and flourish in the middle of a racially diverse city

Author Bio:


Rich Benjamin, author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, is Senior Fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan national think tank based in New York City. His social and political commentary is featured in major newspapers nationwide, on NPR and Fox Radio, and in many scholarly venues. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

To access Rich Benjamin’s web site click here.

Amazon purchasing links are listed in the following order US/UK/Canada:

Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America / Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America/ Searching For Whitopia

Thanks to Caitlin from FSB Associates for sending me this book!

Review coming soon!

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