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Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream

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ISBN13: 9780374109035
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.
 
An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands—from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies—mainstreaming and vanguardism—vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders.
 
When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.
Leonard Zeskind has written widely on racism and anti-Semitism for publications such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the Forward.
A Society for Midland Authors Nonfiction Award Finalist

More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.

An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands—from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies—mainstreaming and vanguardism—vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders.

 
When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.
“This April, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report titled 'Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,' the media world was briefly ablaze debating whether it was true. 'Rightwing extremists,' the report maintained, 'have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda.' Citing the economic downturn, it drew parallels to the 1990s, a fertile time in the development of militia-style factions. In a footnote, "rightwing extremism" is defined broadly as applying to groups, movements and adherents that are 'primarily hate-oriented' toward particular religious, racial or ethnic groups, or 'are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority,' or may be dedicated to single issues such as opposition to abortion. What favorable timing, then, for Leonard Zeskind's Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, which addresses all of these issues, provides a context in which to assess them and offers an extended look inside a little-understood cultural zone that is really a panoply of small groups . . . Zeskind tracks the white supremacist impulse, as embodied in various groups since the mid-1970s, in chronological fashion. He analyzes every twist, turn and rivalry—historically, the groups hardly yielded a harmonious or even coherent 'movement,' although there is more of one today than in the past. (In a prequel section of the book, Zeskind also traces roots stretching back into the mid-1950s.) Much of his narrative is cast around the schism between 'mainstreamers' who seek to temper their message in return for broadened public support and potential electoral success, and more militant 'vanguardists' who have not and often take a separatist approach . . . Blood and Politics would seem merely a compendium of relatively fringe groups and their leaders. Part of the challenge he faced was inherent in the terrain . . . And yet there is continuity too among the figures Zeskind follows . . . Zeskind's account is fine-grained.”—Art Winslow, Los Angeles Times

"In the past 30 years, most of them spent toiling quietly in Kansas City, he has become known as one of the most effective and dogged researchers on the topic, an indispensable resource on fascist and neo-nationalist movements around the globe. This week bring the culmination of what is essentially a life's work—or at least a project he started 15 years ago. His new book, Blood and Politics, is being issued by a major New York publishing house, and for a few moments at least, Zeskind will step into a public spotlight he normally shuns. The scope of Zeskind's book can be found in his subtitle: The History of the White Nationalist Movement. It's Zeskind's attempt to trace the fragmented lineage of the ultra-right in the U.S., to interpret it as a historical movement, rather than isolated spikes of often-violent activity, and to show how some of its cherished ideas (anti-immigration, for one) have slowly seeped into the wider realm of American political life . . . Zeskind's long and detailed book covers and connects vast amounts of territory, much of it unfolding in the nation's hinterlands . . . Despite his obvious leanings, Zeskind maintains a spirit of fairness in his work."—Steve Paul, The Kansas City Star

"It's finally done. Kansas Citian Leonard Zeskinds magnum opus, Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream, was published this week by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. More than 15 years in the writing, its the culmination of a lifetimes work documenting and analyzing the American political fringe that extends rightward from culture warrior Pat Buchanan to actual gunfighters, such as the 1980s domestic terrorist gang known as The Order . . . The 644-page Blood and Politics is built on years of original research by Zeskind, sometimes with the help of undercover associates and/or defectors, who attended cow-pasture Klan rallies and pseudo-intellectual conferences at airport hotels, collecting an office full of files and records . . . Blood and Politics highlights two figures Zeskind holds most responsible for supplying the movements intellectual and organizational heft: Willis Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby think tank and its Spotlight newspaper, and William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries (said to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh) and founder of the neo-Nazi National Alliance . . . Zeskind weaves a tapestry that includes everything from skinheads and Holocaust deniers to the esoteric legal theorists of the Posse Comitatus and militia movements to fringe political parties like the Populists. He introduces the reader to colorful, if repellant, Midwestern characters such as Robert Millar, potentate of Oklahomas Elohim City, and James Ellison, leader of the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord compound in southern Missouri . . . The book both breaks new ground and reminds readers of the litany of past crimes—actual and rhetorical—by white racists. For instance, Zeskinds book is the first to delineate the particularly peculiar 'seedline' doctrine within the already peculiar Christian Identity philosophy that undergirds much racist mayhem. 'One seeders' believe that todays Jews are descendants of the biblical Esau, and that Jacob-Israel became the genetic father of the white Anglo-Saxons. 'Two seeders' believe that Adam and the serpent both impregnated Eve, and thus Jews are descendants of the devil himself through Cain. In addition, Zeskind reminds us that, apart from McVeigh, domestic terrorists like abortion-clinic bomber Eric Rudolph and the Order gang members who killed Denver radio talk-show host Alan Berg were influenced by this strain of thought."—Rick Hellman, The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle

“Acts of madness like the killing of George Tiller and Stephen T. Johns can be too easily dismissed as the work of disturbed individuals and then subsumed in the usual rumble of recrimination between left and right. But if we are to understand the deeper implications of those acts of murder, what must be examined is their origin in the shadow world of white nationalism. Nobody knows more about the movements that spawned the alleged gunmen than Leonard Zeskind, who has spent most of a lifetime observing, analyzing and opposing racism and anti-Semitism in America and abroad. Now he has distilled those hard and dangerous decades of work into Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, a magisterial new book that explains how and why racial hatred became and remains a significant political force in American society.”—Joe Conason, Salon

“We are all in Leonard Zeskinds debt. Exhaustively researched, Blood and Politics is not only a brilliant account of the origins, modes of operation, collaborations, and internecine disputes of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denier, and anti-Semitic groups in America, but alerts us to the fact that despite—or perhaps because of—significant improvements in race relations and changing demographic patterns, we are likely to witness a resurgence of their activities.”—Drew S. Days III, Professor of Law, Yale University, and former U.S. Solicitor General

“Leonard Zeskind deserves our gratitude for his lifelong commitment to the battle against the international racist underworld. He combines the skill and zeal of the investigative reporter with the shrewd perspective of the historian. In this magisterial work, Zeskind identifies the leaders, politics, and strategies of that dangerous movement with great literary skill—and explains why the perils they represent remain alive in a new century.”—Joe Conason, author of It Can Happen Here

“Leonard Zeskind takes us into a sprawling and shadowy world of racist leaders and their communities to give the definitive account of how racial hatred became a powerful movement in the late twentieth century and what it means for todays multicultural society. A must-read.”—Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

“An authoritative tour through the shifting currents of the American radical right over the last three decades. Filled with keen insights about the interaction between this movement and historical developments shaping the larger world, Blood and Politics is a prescient warning about a movement that promises to haunt us for generations to come.”—Mark Potok, Director, Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center

“Zeskinds cogent analysis of the white nationalist movement is breathtaking in scope. From one of our most knowledgeable minds on the subject, Blood and Politics presents the big picture, supported by meticulous detail and analysis, and should be required reading.”—Abby Ferber, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

“One of Americas greatest strengths—its diversity—is in danger of being sapped by modern racism. Leonard Zeskind has spent a lifetime studying this danger, and his book is essential to our understanding and response.”—John Shattuck , CEO, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

“For decades, every journalist and academic reeling from the latest eruption of the far right into national politics has turned first and foremost to Leonard Zeskind. Between the names, dates, and places in his unrivalled archives and the deep understanding forged in more than thirty years of research, activism, and reflection, he sees far more clearly even than the white nationalist movement itself where it has been and where it is going. Blood and Politics is a singular contribution to American history and politics. There will never be—never could be—another book like it.”—Elinor Langer, author of A Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America

“For years, Leonard Zeskind has tracked the racist far right, from re-emergence of the Klan to the Oklahoma City bombing, and Blood and Politics is an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to understand how the margins of political life affect the American mainstream. This book is a long awaited event.”—Jim Ridgeway, author of Blood in the Face

“Zeskind offers a well-placed warning that the racist right still has plenty of causes left, many wrapped up in the long-simmering nativist, anti-immigration movement.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Zeskind documents the evolution of Far Right political and social movements since the 1950s. He focuses on the work of Willis Carto, founder of the now-defunct Liberty Lobby, the late 20th-century's leading anti-Semitic (and Holocaust denial) organization, and William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group supporting white nationalism and white separatism. Zeskind recounts the involvement of these two men with other racialist groups and with individuals such as David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and the fringes of the Republican Party. The most striking fact emerging from Zeskind's book is that these people spent most of the time quarreling among themselves, with Carto involved in frequent lawsuits over control of the Liberty Lobby and its many associated organizations. Pierce died in 2002, and Carto's influence among the Far Right has greatly diminished. However, other individuals continue to spread their ideas . . . Recommended."—Stephen L. Hupp, Library Journal 

“[Zeskind] focus[es] closely on three plotters on the fringe of the American mainstream: Willis Carto, William Pierce and David Duke . . . Drawing on writings from Oswald Spengler and Francis Parker Yockey, these white nationalists constructed a narrative about the death of Western civilization, where white nationalists are patriotic race warriors hawking their ideas at gun shows, in print and in online forums . . . Zeskind's rigorously researched and eloquent book is a definitive history of white nationalism and contains alarming warnings for a resurgence in racist politics. Zeskinds rigorously researched and eloquent book is a definitive history of white nationalism and contains alarming warnings for a resurgence in racist politics.”—Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Journalist Zeskind delivers a thorough, if scattered, dossier on white nationalist politics in America from the end of WWII to the present, focusing closely on three plotters on the fringe of the American mainstream: Willis Carto, William Pierce and David Duke. Among the book's dizzying investigations of neo-Confederates, skinheads, survivalists, tax protestors, Second Amendment nuts and anti-Semites, these three men loom largest as the provocateurs and grandfathers of racist politics. Drawing on writings from Oswald Spengler and Francis Parker Yockey, these white nationalists constructed a narrative about the death of Western civilization, where white nationalists are patriotic race warriors hawking their ideas at gun shows, in print and in online forums. With the breadth of an encyclopedia, this book features a staggering number of actors, publications, flashpoints and organizations, such as the Posse Comitatus movement, which denies all of the Constitution's amendments after the 14th, prints community money and seeks independence from ZOG (the Zionist Occupation Government). Zeskind's rigorously researched and eloquent book is a definitive history of white nationalism and contains alarming warnings for a resurgence in racist politics." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

From a MacArthur Award-winning author comes this comprehensive history of the white supremacist movement as it's evolved over the last three-plus decades.

Synopsis:

More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations. An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands--from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies--mainstreaming and vanguardism--vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders. When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.Leonard Zeskind has written widely on racism and anti-Semitism for publications such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the Forward. More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.

An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands--from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies--mainstreaming and vanguardism--vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders. When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations. This April, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report titled 'Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, ' the media world was briefly ablaze debating whether it was true. 'Rightwing extremists, ' the report maintained, 'have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda.' Citing the economic downturn, it drew parallels to the 1990s, a fertile time in the development of militia-style factions. In a footnote, rightwing extremism is defined broadly as applying to groups, movements and adherents that are 'primarily hate-oriented' toward particular religious, racial or ethnic groups, or 'are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority, ' or may be dedicated to single issues such as opposition to abortion. What favorable timing, then, for Leonard Zeskind's Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, which addresses all of these issues, provides a context in which to assess them and offers an extended look inside a little-understood cultural zone that is really a panoply of small groups . . . Zeskind tracks the white supremacist impulse, as embodied in various groups since the mid-1970s, in chronological fashion. He analyzes every twist, turn and rivalry--historically, the groups hardly yielded a harmonious or even coherent 'movement, ' although there is more of one today than in the past. (In a prequel section of the book, Zeskind also traces roots stretching back into the mid-1950s.) Much of his narrative is cast around the schism between 'mainstreamers' who seek to temper their message in return for broadened public support and potential electoral success, and more militant 'vanguardists' who have not and often take a separatist approach . . . Blood and Politics would seem merely a compendium of relatively fringe groups and their leaders. Part of the challenge he faced was inherent in the terrain . . . And yet there is continuity too among the figures Zeskind follows . . . Zeskind's account is fine-grained.--Art Winslow, Los Angeles Times

Acts of madness like the killing of George Tiller and Stephen T. Johns can be too easily dismissed as the work of disturbed individuals and then subsumed in the usual rumble of recrimination between left and right. But if we are to understand the deeper implications of those acts of murder, what must be examined is their origin in the shadow world of white nationalism. Nobody knows more about the movements that spawned the alleged gunmen than Leonard Zeskind, who has spent most of a lifetime observing, analyzing and opposing racism and anti-Semitism in America and abroad. Now he has distilled those hard and dangerous decades of work into Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, a magisterial new book that explains how and why racial hatred became and remains a significant political force in American society.--Joe Conason, Salon

We are all in Leonard Zeskind's debt. Exhaustively researched, Blood and Politics is not only a brilliant account of the origins, modes of operation, collaborations, and internecine disputes of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denier, and anti-Semitic groups in America, but alerts us to the fact that despite--or perhaps because of--significant improvements in race relations and changing demographic patterns, we are likely to witness a resurgence of their activities.--Drew S. Days III, Professor of Law, Yale University, and former U.S. Solicitor General

Leonard Zeskind deserves our gratitude for his lifelong commitment to the battle against the international racist underworld. He combines the skill and zeal of the investigative reporter with the shrewd perspective of the historian. In this magisterial work, Zeskind identifies the leaders, politics, and strategies of that dangerous movement with great literary skill--and explains why the perils they represent remain alive in a new century.--Joe Conason, author of It Can Happen Here

Leonard Zeskind takes us into a sprawling and shadowy world of racist leaders and their communities to give the definitive account of how racial hatred became a powerful movement in the late twentieth century and what it means for today's multicultural society. A must-read.--Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

An authoritative tour through the shifting currents of the American radical right over the last three decades. Filled with keen insights about the interaction between this movement and historical developments shaping the larger world, Blood and Politics is a prescient warning about a movement that promises to haunt us for generations to come.--Mark Potok, Director, Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center

Zeskind's cogent analysis of the white nationalist movement is breathtaking in scope. From one of our most knowledgeable minds on the subject, Blood and Politics presents the big picture, supported by meticulous detail and analysis, and should be required reading.--Abby Ferber, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

One of America's greatest strengths--its diversity--is in danger of being sapped by modern racism. Leonard Zeskind has spent a lifetime studying this danger, and his book is essential to our understanding and response.--John Shattuck, CEO, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

For decades, every journalist and academic reeling from the latest eruption of the far right into national politics has turned first and foremost to Leonard Zeskind. Between the names, dates, and places in his unrivalled archives and the deep understanding forged in more than thirty years of research, activism, and reflection, he sees far more clearly even than the white nationalist movement itself where it has been and where it is going. Blood and Politics is a singular contribution to American history and politics. There will never be--never could be--another book like it.--Elinor Langer, author of A Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America

For years, Leonard Zeskind has tracked the racist far right, from re-emergence of the Klan to the Oklahoma City bombing, and Blood and Politics is an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to understand how the margins of political life affe

Synopsis:

More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.
 
An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands—from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies—mainstreaming and vanguardism—vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders.
 
When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.

About the Author

Leonard Zeskind has written widely on racism and anti-Semitism for publications such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the Forward.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Julia PDX, October 28, 2009 (view all comments by Julia PDX)
Zeskind has an exhaustive knowledge of white power movements in the United States, Blood and Politics clearly illustrates this fact.

The author does a great job of conveying a large amount of information to the reader, while writing accessibly at the same time. On occasion, Zeskind is unnecessarily thorough, failing to trim down his presentation of different sectors of the white power movement relative to their historical importance. The most prominent example being his focus on the minutiae of Willis Carto's political machinations, and lack of focus on the growing anti-immigration/Nativist movement.

The real value in Blood and Politics lies in its illumination of the influences and crossover between different white power movements. The book's main flaw is its failure to connect this trend of radical racism to its larger, systemic moorings in law enforcement, policy, school, and prisons.
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(12 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374109035
Subtitle:
The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream
Author:
Zeskind, Leonard
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Nationalism
Subject:
United States Ethnic relations.
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
Discrimination & Race Relations
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090512
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Notes/Index
Pages:
672
Dimensions:
1.00 in.

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History and Social Science » Politics » Fascism and Far Right

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Product details 672 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374109035 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Journalist Zeskind delivers a thorough, if scattered, dossier on white nationalist politics in America from the end of WWII to the present, focusing closely on three plotters on the fringe of the American mainstream: Willis Carto, William Pierce and David Duke. Among the book's dizzying investigations of neo-Confederates, skinheads, survivalists, tax protestors, Second Amendment nuts and anti-Semites, these three men loom largest as the provocateurs and grandfathers of racist politics. Drawing on writings from Oswald Spengler and Francis Parker Yockey, these white nationalists constructed a narrative about the death of Western civilization, where white nationalists are patriotic race warriors hawking their ideas at gun shows, in print and in online forums. With the breadth of an encyclopedia, this book features a staggering number of actors, publications, flashpoints and organizations, such as the Posse Comitatus movement, which denies all of the Constitution's amendments after the 14th, prints community money and seeks independence from ZOG (the Zionist Occupation Government). Zeskind's rigorously researched and eloquent book is a definitive history of white nationalism and contains alarming warnings for a resurgence in racist politics." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , From a MacArthur Award-winning author comes this comprehensive history of the white supremacist movement as it's evolved over the last three-plus decades.
"Synopsis" by , More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations. An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands--from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies--mainstreaming and vanguardism--vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders. When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.Leonard Zeskind has written widely on racism and anti-Semitism for publications such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the Forward. More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.

An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands--from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies--mainstreaming and vanguardism--vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders. When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations. This April, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report titled 'Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, ' the media world was briefly ablaze debating whether it was true. 'Rightwing extremists, ' the report maintained, 'have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda.' Citing the economic downturn, it drew parallels to the 1990s, a fertile time in the development of militia-style factions. In a footnote, rightwing extremism is defined broadly as applying to groups, movements and adherents that are 'primarily hate-oriented' toward particular religious, racial or ethnic groups, or 'are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority, ' or may be dedicated to single issues such as opposition to abortion. What favorable timing, then, for Leonard Zeskind's Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, which addresses all of these issues, provides a context in which to assess them and offers an extended look inside a little-understood cultural zone that is really a panoply of small groups . . . Zeskind tracks the white supremacist impulse, as embodied in various groups since the mid-1970s, in chronological fashion. He analyzes every twist, turn and rivalry--historically, the groups hardly yielded a harmonious or even coherent 'movement, ' although there is more of one today than in the past. (In a prequel section of the book, Zeskind also traces roots stretching back into the mid-1950s.) Much of his narrative is cast around the schism between 'mainstreamers' who seek to temper their message in return for broadened public support and potential electoral success, and more militant 'vanguardists' who have not and often take a separatist approach . . . Blood and Politics would seem merely a compendium of relatively fringe groups and their leaders. Part of the challenge he faced was inherent in the terrain . . . And yet there is continuity too among the figures Zeskind follows . . . Zeskind's account is fine-grained.--Art Winslow, Los Angeles Times

Acts of madness like the killing of George Tiller and Stephen T. Johns can be too easily dismissed as the work of disturbed individuals and then subsumed in the usual rumble of recrimination between left and right. But if we are to understand the deeper implications of those acts of murder, what must be examined is their origin in the shadow world of white nationalism. Nobody knows more about the movements that spawned the alleged gunmen than Leonard Zeskind, who has spent most of a lifetime observing, analyzing and opposing racism and anti-Semitism in America and abroad. Now he has distilled those hard and dangerous decades of work into Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream, a magisterial new book that explains how and why racial hatred became and remains a significant political force in American society.--Joe Conason, Salon

We are all in Leonard Zeskind's debt. Exhaustively researched, Blood and Politics is not only a brilliant account of the origins, modes of operation, collaborations, and internecine disputes of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denier, and anti-Semitic groups in America, but alerts us to the fact that despite--or perhaps because of--significant improvements in race relations and changing demographic patterns, we are likely to witness a resurgence of their activities.--Drew S. Days III, Professor of Law, Yale University, and former U.S. Solicitor General

Leonard Zeskind deserves our gratitude for his lifelong commitment to the battle against the international racist underworld. He combines the skill and zeal of the investigative reporter with the shrewd perspective of the historian. In this magisterial work, Zeskind identifies the leaders, politics, and strategies of that dangerous movement with great literary skill--and explains why the perils they represent remain alive in a new century.--Joe Conason, author of It Can Happen Here

Leonard Zeskind takes us into a sprawling and shadowy world of racist leaders and their communities to give the definitive account of how racial hatred became a powerful movement in the late twentieth century and what it means for today's multicultural society. A must-read.--Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh

An authoritative tour through the shifting currents of the American radical right over the last three decades. Filled with keen insights about the interaction between this movement and historical developments shaping the larger world, Blood and Politics is a prescient warning about a movement that promises to haunt us for generations to come.--Mark Potok, Director, Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center

Zeskind's cogent analysis of the white nationalist movement is breathtaking in scope. From one of our most knowledgeable minds on the subject, Blood and Politics presents the big picture, supported by meticulous detail and analysis, and should be required reading.--Abby Ferber, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

One of America's greatest strengths--its diversity--is in danger of being sapped by modern racism. Leonard Zeskind has spent a lifetime studying this danger, and his book is essential to our understanding and response.--John Shattuck, CEO, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

For decades, every journalist and academic reeling from the latest eruption of the far right into national politics has turned first and foremost to Leonard Zeskind. Between the names, dates, and places in his unrivalled archives and the deep understanding forged in more than thirty years of research, activism, and reflection, he sees far more clearly even than the white nationalist movement itself where it has been and where it is going. Blood and Politics is a singular contribution to American history and politics. There will never be--never could be--another book like it.--Elinor Langer, author of A Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America

For years, Leonard Zeskind has tracked the racist far right, from re-emergence of the Klan to the Oklahoma City bombing, and Blood and Politics is an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to understand how the margins of political life affe

"Synopsis" by ,
More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.
 
An internationally recognized expert on the subject who received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work, Zeskind ties together seemingly disparate strands—from neo-Nazi skinheads, to Holocaust deniers, to Christian Identity churches, to David Duke, to the militia and beyond. Among these elements, two political strategies—mainstreaming and vanguardism—vie for dominance. Mainstreamers believe that a majority of white Christians will eventually support their cause. Vanguardists build small organizations made up of a highly dedicated cadre and plan a naked seizure of power. Zeskind shows how these factions have evolved into a normative social movement that looks like a demographic slice of white America, mostly blue-collar and working middle class, with lawyers and Ph.D.s among its leaders.
 
When the Cold War ended, traditional conservatives helped birth a new white nationalism, most evident now among anti-immigrant organizations. With the dawn of a new millennium, they are fixated on predictions that white people will lose their majority status and become one minority among many. The book concludes with a look to the future, elucidating the growing threat these groups will pose to coming generations.
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