Searching for Whitopia

Searching for Whitopia

An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America

Book - 2009
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As America becomes more and more racially diverse, Rich Benjamin noticed a phenomenon: Some communities were actually getting less multicultural. So he got out a map, found the whitest towns in the USA--and moved in.

A journalist-adventurer, Benjamin 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. Benjamin calls these enclaves "Whitopias." In this groundbreaking book, he shares what he learned as a black man in Whitopia. Benjamin's journey to unlock the mysteries of Whitopia took him from a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in North Idaho to exurban mega-churches down South, and many points in between. 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.

Benjamin's groundbreaking study is one of few to have illuminated in advance the social and political forces propelling the rise of Donald Trump. After all, Trump carried 94 percent of America's Whitopian counties. And he won a median 67 percent of the vote in Whitopia compared to 46 percent of the vote nationwide.

Leaving behind speculation or sensationalism, Benjamin explores the future of whiteness and race in an increasingly multicultural nation.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781401322687
1401322689
Characteristics: viii, 354 p. : maps ; 22 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Apr 18, 2018

it's become something of a subgenre for coastal elites to travel around the country and send back dispatches from red states or the heartland or Trump country. Rich Benjamin's "Searching for Whitopia" is a kind of comic companion to "Strangers in Our Land." Benjamin, who is black, travels to some of the whitest communities in the country, from Idaho to Georgia to New York City. While Benjamin has a clear agenda, he approaches his subject with a sense of humor and keen intelligence, and he listens to what his subjects have to say, even if he doesn't always agree with their views on race, immigration, and community. This came out shortly after Obama's election, but what it has to say is still very relevant and compelling.

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