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Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Across the West, anti-immigration populists are tearing a path through the usual politics of left and right. Immigration is remaking Europe and North America: over half of American babies are non-white, and by the end of the century, minorities and those of mixed race are projected to form the majority in many countries.

Drawing on an extraordinary range of surveys, Whitesh
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published October 25th 2018 by Allen Lane
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May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I can see why this book has been controversial. Whiteshift iconoclastically targets the identity politics of the modern left and right, though most of its idol-smashing targets the former. The core argument is that Western populism today is driven more by majority ethnic grievance than economic factors. To defuse this, we should allow people to be honest about their fears of cultural submersion by rapid immigration rather than deviantizing the subject as inherently racist. This will allow a more ...more
Neil Wright
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Whiteshift is an important book. Kaufmann is right, talking about race in the twenty-first century really is like discussing sex in Victorian England. He's also right that there is a feeling of a sort of identity-apartheid in the West today: native Americans arrived in the New World around the same time the first Middle Easterners settled in northern Europe -- yet the former are considered spiritually apart of the land while the white man is "just another immigrant", or even "has no culture".

Ailith Twinning
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
Erick Kaufmann is a fascist.

I read the entire book, even after the open call for concentration camps, hoping there'd be an actual point - because reverse engineering this bullshit doesn't work without knowing what this castle in the sky is built for. Is it a defense of democracy? No. Is it a defense of Liberalism? No. Is it, somehow a defense of American Imperium as a necessary force for stability in the world? No, actually, Eric doesn't evidence that he knows anything about, or gives two shits
Laurence Copeland
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a long hard read, but well worth the time and effort. The review by Neil Wright covers all the main points Kaufmann makes, and they are all backed up with data exploring the issues from all sorts of different angles. The starting point is that Brexit/Trump - for the most part, Kaufmann finds the same drivers throughout the Anglosphere, with occasional side glances at France and Germany - was not primarily an economic phenomenon. The standard rust-belt-left-behinds narrative just doesn't ...more
This book was a mixed bag for me. The author speaks with clarity on some issues of identity, nationalism and ideology, while also paradoxically seeming overly obtuse about some of the issues related to such. To my point; he seems to speak about identity in a matter-of-fact way, but then goes on to label opposition to mass muslim migration to western countries as "racist"... He also strawmans concerns related to such as no more than overblown fears of terrorism and primitive xenophobia, convenien ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a honest book looking at the effect of the decrease of the majority of White people the West. Immigration from non-White countries decrease the White majority already in the prosperous metropolitan cities. However, when those immigrants start to move into traditionally mostly white suburbs, backlash ensued. Kaufmann was born in Hong Kong, lived in Tokyo, then moved to Canada and ultimately London. He is quarter Latino and quarter Chinese, but is identified as White by most people. Some o ...more
Jake M.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Whiteshift is a deep-dive into why the rise of white populism is as much a result of racism as it is the radicalization of the left. Kaufmann argues that the last fifty years have seen political correctness, and the rise of negative liberalism whereby multiculturalism should not be merely respected, but promoted, as the reasons for white anxieties. There is a generous use of quantitative data from various data sets in addition to his own research that expose the fragile logic and psychologies of ...more
Davis Parker
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I bought this book on Kindle after seeing a glowing recommendation from Tyler Cowen on MarginalRevolution, where he described it as one of the best books he's read all year. Buying the ebook, I drastically underestimated the length of Whiteshift, but it was insightful and challenging enough to keep me interested. Kaufmann is blunt and data-driven. He is willing to wade into the politically toxic waters of race and immigration and keep his head above the waves. Whether we like it or not, white ma ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
So.. what exactly is this book?

The subtitle gives a lot away, but I found myself asking this consistently throughout the book. It seems to me that this is a culmination of various case studies that detail the history of ethnicity, ethnic conflict and ideology and policy-related decisions in the West while discussing four strategies whites have to deal with the already unfolding “Whiteshift” - an event where the demographics of white majorities in the West alter. According to Kaufman, in the US a
Dec 09, 2018 marked it as noted
This interview with the author on Radio 3's Free Thinking is better than any of the press reviews I've seen of the book as it interrogates a number of the author's assumptions and fuzzy definitions. Makes it sound rather less sharp than many of the positive reviews, and attacks it on less predictable grounds than current negative characterisations of it online:
Although oddly for a British interview about a book first published in Britain it doesn't go too
Edward Brynes
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in immigration
Recommended to Edward by: None
“Whiteshift” in this book means the making in the West of a new population of mixed race “white” people born from the current majority white population and migrants recently arrived. The author, a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, does not attempt any definite conclusions about the color of the “whiteshifted” people compared to their parents. This is sensible since the offspring of two people of intermediate color may be lighter or darker than either one of them. T ...more
Martin Tremblay
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think it was very comprehensive. The author managed to bring facts and objectivity to a very delicate and sensitive topic.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best argument I’ve ever read about our ethnic present and future as a nation.
Kirk Astroth
Dec 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I could not finish reading this book. I found it insulting, implausible and filled with gross oversimplifications. At the outset, Kauffman tries to ascribe diversity to geographic factors: “Europe is one of three relatively homogenous world regions, along with North Africa and East Asia. States in these zones often have ethnic majorities of 90 percent or more, mainly because of geoclimatic variation—topography and soil type—is lower. This reduced cultural diversity by facilitating historic assim ...more
Description: Across the West, anti-immigration populists are tearing a path through the usual politics of left and right. Immigration is remaking Europe and North America: over half of American babies are non-white, and by the end of the century, minorities and those of mixed race are projected to form the majority in many countries.

Drawing on an extraordinary range of surveys, Whiteshift explores the majority response to ethnic change in Western Europe, North America and Australasia. Eric Kaufm
Mannie Liscum
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eric Kaufmann’s “Whiteshift” is a tour de force accessible piece of exceedingly high scholarship. As a demographer and psychological sociologist, Kaufman applies all his training to examine, describe & deconstruct, and provide proposals to move forward on issues of ‘whiteness,’ immigration and the rise of the populist right in western nations. Kaufmann uses an evidence-based approach to all of these issues, rather than relying on feelings, beliefs and anecdotes. A self-admitted multiethnic liber ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of Good Reads' First Reads program.

Whiteshift is a weighty, very long, scholarly tome that explains the worldwide situation that we in the USA first noticed with Brexit, and continued with the election of Donald Trump. While many have tried to explain it in economic terms, the premise of this book is that it all boils down to immigration and racism. White majorities in Europe and the US are finding themselves surrounded more and more with people who aren'
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Challenging Book

Whiteshift is both reasonable and perceptive in the early chapters when the grievances that birthed white identity politics are explained and substantiated with statistical evidence. The book is less persuasive in the final chapters when unreasonable hypotheticals with respect to immigration and assimilation and cynical views of intermarriage are advanced. Of the final proposals, multivocalism could garner consensus in our polarized polity. Liberalism may be an easy target to ass
Apr 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Dreary, disengaging, and deluded. The contradictions he makes in his arguments throughout this book are limitless.

His understanding and explanations of racism are extremely monolithic, and individualistic. His definition of it for this book's purposes is when one group shows 'antipathy towards outgroups'.
He argues for 'symmetrical identity politics', where white's ethnic interests and white identity gets as much credit or acceptance as minorities'. He argues that the repression of white ethnic
Aug 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Whiteshift tackles head on fraught territory regarding changing demographics in the Western world with the focus on how majority white populations have been affected by increased immigration by non-white communities and how these effects are playing out now and will likely play out over time. This is through the lens of the socio/political and includes a bevy of demographic data as well as the author’s own survey work (mostly conducted through MTurk questionnaires).

The positives were parts of t
Shoaib Nagi
This is a highly controversial book and in the coming years, I suspect, this book will be used repeatedly in legitimizing identitarian movements.

This book contains some good points and it does a good job at mapping demographic changes in the West and the result ethnic conflict that is resulting from it. However, Eric Kaufmann, like most on the extreme right-wing, treats race as a monolith. Historically, the definition of whiteness has continuously changed given the political climate. In the US,
Kaufman discusses the ethnic trends in Western Europe and North America, suggesting that demographic changes show that even Western European countries will no longer be white majority by the end of the 21st century. He discusses current populist backlashes against immigration are a result of a lack of 'white' identity. Kaufmann argues that if majority populations are not granted the space to express their own identity, the result will be anti-immigration sentiment, populist politics, and ethnic ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
How quickly will white populations decline? Will the meaning of whiteness change? How will white populations react to these changes? What should be done to minimize conflict? Kaufmann deals with these questions straightforwardly. The book is "controversial" because he talks about white identity without distaste (Kaufmann himself is part Jewish, part Chinese and part Latino). Part of his thesis is that our culture should give space for legitimate expressions of white identity to prevent its being ...more
Read Ng
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a college level semester course. Covers much about Trump and immigration. Then covers Brexit and immigration. (I admit it was difficult to follow all of the Brexit issues since I am not completely familiar with all of the British politics and culture.) I learned more than I expected. There is an awful lot to cover on the topic. It also puts into perspective my personal views and upbringing. I am a minority, but consider myself American first, before my ethnic background. I see how I have ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
The author can identify the problems facing the western world but in the end he claims that it's actually fine. Everything is fine. I mean, maybe we could try and educate those backward Conservative racists but otherwise - perfect. And that is why I have to suffer through brexit, because liberals are just oblivious, even when they can see and identify the problems. The author literally claims that brexit could've been averted if a more clever marketing campaign was used on those annoying racists ...more
Mitch Flitcroft
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about whiteshift : “the turbulent journey from a world of racially homogeneous white majorities to one of racially hybrid majorities”. It discusses the history of immigration and anti-immigrant backlash in the West, the moral sentiments that undergird both the support of and opposition to mass migration, and the potential white responses to their ethnic decline. Overall, it provides an interesting historical account of immigration with some refreshing analysis on the topics of trib ...more
Carrie-Anne O'Driscoll
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this time of political dissension on just about everything imaginable, Whiteshift hits the nail on the head in many areas. Though dry at times due to the content (it's a necessary issue with non fiction) it was informative and brought to lights things I hadn't considered about immigration specifically.
This book is highly recommended for those comfortable with challenging their beliefs.
Bryan D Hopkins
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such an important read. It’s nuanced, dense and a lot of work to get through, but well worth it. Things happen for reasons. If we want to change the future, we must be willing to contend with the past and understand the present. This book nails it. Another title could be: “Why Trump Was Elected And Why The Dems Will Make Things Worse.” If only people would take the time, the author really makes a compelling case.
Adam Sherman
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very well sourced and argued book with too many specific examples and figures if anything. A great book for academics interested in the issue of racial politics but I don't think it does great for a general audience. Kind of got a little borning with the repeated points, but overall important considerations for anyone interested in the subject matter with an unusual conclusion and proposal to stop racial animus and improve integrative efforts without losing cultural history.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very thorough and unbiased look into the future of western nations and what it means for the constituent people's of those nations. This book needed to be written to understand the future we are heading for, it took Eric guts to do so and he did a great job explaining the realities about where we are at demographically
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Eric Peter Kaufmann is a Canadian professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a specialist on Orangeism in Northern Ireland, nationalism, political demography and demography of the religious/irreligious.

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