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Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Critical Perspectives)by Chip Berlet
Synopses & Reviews
Right-wing militias and other anti-government organizations have received heightened public attention since the Oklahoma City bombing. While such groups are often portrayed as extremists, the values they espouse have influenced mainstream politics and culture far more than most Americans realize. This important volume offers an in-depth look at the historical roots and current landscape of right-wing populism in the United States.
Book News Annotation:
Berlet, who has spent 20 years researching and writing about right wing movements, and Lyons, a historian and writer, offer an in-depth look at the historical roots and current landscape of right-wing populism in the US. Illuminating the potent blend of antielitist rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and ethnic scapegoating that has fueled many political movements from the colonial period to the present, they provide insights into where right-wing populism comes from, how it has been fostered by the American social order, and how proponents of equality and social justice might work to diminish its influence.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Right-wing militias and other antigovernment organizations have received heightened public attention since the Oklahoma City bombing. While such groups are often portrayed as marginal extremists, the values they espouse have influenced mainstream politics and culture far more than most Americans realize. This important volume offers an in-depth look at the historical roots and current landscape of right-wing populism in the United States. Illuminated is the potent combination of anti-elitist rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and ethnic scapegoating that has fueled many political movements from the colonial period to the present day. The book examines the Jacksonians, the Ku Klux Klan, and a host of Cold War nationalist cliques, and relates them to the evolution of contemporary electoral campaigns of Patrick Buchanan, the militancy of the Posse Comitatus and the Christian Identity movement, and an array of millennial sects. Combining vivid description and incisive analysis, Berlet and Lyons show how large numbers of disaffected Americans have embraced right-wing populism in a misguided attempt to challenge power relationships in U.S. society. Highlighted are the dangers these groups pose for the future of our political system and the hope of progressive social change.
Winner--Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America
Includes bibliographical references (p. 421-471) and index.
About the Author
Chip Berlet has written about right-wing movements for over 20 years, with bylines in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, and scores of other publications. He is senior analyst at Political Research Associates in Somerville, MA, and editor of Eyes Right! Challenging the Right Wing Backlash. He has contributed articles and chapters to several scholarly books and journals and his media appearances and citations as an expert include Newsweek, National Public Radio, and Nightline.
Matthew N. Lyons is a historian, activist, and writer whose work has focused on systems of oppression and social movements. He is research associate for the Hansberry-Nemiroff Archival, Educational, and Cultural Fund, and author of The Grassroots Network: Radical Nonviolence in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1972-1985.
Table of Contents
1. Rebellious Colonizers: Bacon's Rebellion and the American Revolution
2. The Real People: Antimasonry, Jacksonianism, and Anti-Catholic Nativism
3. A Great Mongrel Military Despotism: The First Ku Klux Klan and the Anti-Chinese Crusade
4. Barbarians and Plunder Leagues: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressives
5. 100 Percent Americanism: World War I-Era Repression and the Second Ku Klux Klan
6. The Industrialist as Producer: Henry Ford's Corporate Empire
7. Driving Out the Money Changers: Fascist Politics in the New Deal Era
8. From New Deal to Cold War: Political Scapegoating and Business Conflict from the 1930s to the 1950s
9. The Pillars of U.S. Populist Conspiracism: The John Birch Society and the Liberty Lobby
10. From Old Right to New Right: Godless Communism, Civil Rights, and Secular Humanism
11. Culture Wars and Political Scapegoats: Gender, Sexuality, and Race
12. Dominion Theology and Christian Nationalism: Hard-Line Ideology versus Pragmatism
13. New Faces for White Nationalism: Reframing Supremacist Narratives
14. Battling the New World Order: Patriots and Armed Militias
15. The Vast Clinton Conspiracy Machine: The Hard Right on the Center Stage
16. The New Millennium: Demonization, Conspiracism, and Scapegoating in Transition
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