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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