Penguin Speakers Bureau

Dante Chinni

Journalist and Author of Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the 'Real' America

Photo by Nancy Anderson Cordell


Dante Chinni has been a journalist for two decades, with stints at Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He has also lived the freelance life with pieces appearing in outlets ranging from the Washington Post Magazine to The Economist to The New Republic.

While he is now a card-carrying member of the East Coast Media Industrial Complex (bouncing between Washington, D.C., and New York), Dante’s roots are still firmly planted in the Industrial Midwest. He grew up outside Detroit and went to college at Michigan State University, where he studied journalism and history.

His work now centers on exploring the country through the lens of the twelve community types of Patchwork Nation, a project he invented and the Knight Foundation generously funded. The project is the focus of Our Patchwork Nation, which was released in Fall 2010 by Gotham Books.

Dante lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Christina Ianzito, and two children.

Speaking Topics

  • Coming Together, Coming Apart in a Patchwork Nation

    How America’s internal fault lines are shifting as the country goes through a period of dramatic cultural, political, and socioeconomic change.

  • Journalism in the Age of Fragmentation

    How can the craft of journalism reinvent itself and survive in an America that is more fragmented and harder to understand than ever?

  • Finding Success as a Grantee

    From coming up with an idea to watching it take flight, how to plot your path through the world of grants and foundations.


Dante Chinni Speaks at TEDxMidAtlantic 201

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

Our Patchwork Nation

"Our Patchwork Nation is a compelling, thought-provoking book, and a must-read for anyone trying to make sense of our country's complex political and cultural dynamic. I highly recommend this book."

– Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class

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