Rich Benjamin’s ‘Searching For Whitopia’ NYC Book Launch This Thursday

By Channing Kennedy Oct 06, 2009

Demos, the Applied Research Center, and The Nation Institute are proud to host the New York City book launch of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey Into the Heart of White America, featuring author Rich Benjamin and Nation columnist Eric Alterman. Between 2007 and 2009, Rich Benjamin, a Senior Fellow at Demos, packed his bags and embarked on a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America—some of the fastest-growing and whitest locales in the nation. Benjamin calls these enclaves "Whitopias." To learn what makes Whitopias tick, and why and how they are growing, Benjamin lived in three of them for several months apiece. In his book, Benjamin reveals the qualities that make a Whitopia, and explores the urgent social and political implications of this startling phenomenon. The glow of the historic 2008 election, argues Benjamin, should not obscure the racial and economic segregation still vexing America. Obama’s presidency, moreover, raises the stakes in a struggle 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, some Asian math whizzes, or a few Mariachi dancers—as long as these trends do not overwhelm the white dominant culture” ("Whitopia"). The housing, social, lifestyle, and demographic trends Benjamin reveals are here for the long haul. Americans now have the chance to learn about and address these developments. What will we do next? Please join us for an exciting and timely conversation featuring Rich Benjamin and prominent journalist Eric Alterman. The discussion will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. Event info:DATE: Thursday, October 8th Time: 6-8 pm Place: Demos, 220 Fifth Ave., 5th Floor, New York 10001 RSVP here or contact Jinny Khanduja at or 212.389.1399.