WHITESHIFT by Eric Kaufmann
Kirkus Star

WHITESHIFT

Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An encyclopedic treatise on ethnic identity, immigration and its consequences, and a future in which the “Anglosphere” may be an insignificant outlier.

Kaufmann (Politics/Birkbeck Coll., Univ. of London; Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, 2010, etc.), who exemplifies his topic—a Hong Kong–born Canadian of Jewish, Hispanic, and Asian ancestry—begins this sprawling study with the view that although majority-white populations are declining in the majority-white bulwarks of old, this does not necessarily mean that Western values cannot endure. What is required and will probably happen, he ventures, is the “whiteshift” of his title, namely a “process by which white majorities absorb an admixture of different peoples through intermarriage, but remain oriented around existing myths of descent, symbols, and traditions.” In other words, just as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone in a future America will be oriented in an Anglo-American direction, moderate to conservative in outlook. The author observes that “white decline,” while inevitable in terms of racial construct, is a driver for much political angst and furor. The rise of Donald Trump coincides strongly with white fears of a loss of power and identity while rising ethnic diversity is accompanied by “two responses: conservatism and authoritarianism.” The more ethnic diversity, the more “white avoidance” in self-selected communities, yielding de facto segregation. All this plays out on a battlefield between hard right and hard left, now located most visibly on college campuses. Kaufmann’s explorations are wide-ranging and often provocative, backed by numerous charts of polling results touching on some of the most intractable of modern problems, from refugees to overpopulation to overweening “political correctness” and polarization. The trick, he concludes, is to find some sort of happy medium in which conservative-tending, aging whites can “find a sense of ethnic identity in the rising mixed-race population” while restoring some measure of political harmony.

A brilliant exploration of scenarios that will be playing out for decades to come in a rapidly changing world.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4683-1697-1
Page count: 624pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:




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