Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream, by Leonard Zeskind

Here is Evelyn Rich’s story in her own words. She has a PhD from Boston University in Sociology and African-American Studies (with her dissertation on the ideology of the modern KKK).

Book review: Blood and Politics, published this May, is a history of “White nationalist” political activity between 1974 and 2004 by Leonard Zeskind, an anti-racist writer and activist who has monitored White political groups since the 1970s. The book consists of a chronologically ordered series of chapters on phenomena including Willis Carto‘s Liberty Lobby, William Pierce‘s National Alliance, David Duke‘s campaigns, Klan groups, Holocaust deniers, survivalists, Christian Identity adherents, Aryan Nations, White separatist compounds, bank robberies and murders by White criminal conspiracies, the Populist Party,skinheads, Pat Buchanan‘s campaigns, Ruby Ridge, Waco, White power music, militias, common law courts, American Renaissance, The Bell Curve, the Oklahoma City bombing trials, the Council of Conservative Citizens, Sam Francis, and 9/11…

Zeskind does not beat up on White nationalists for lacking credentials. He explains that Jared Taylor, founder of American Renaissance, was raised in Japan and graduated from Yale. Zeskind tells the story of Eveyln Rich, a woman who wrote her PhD dissertation on the Klan while supplying information about Klan activities to anti-racist watchdog organizations. Though she “grasped the subject of her inquiry like few others” and was later active in opposing David Duke, “[a]t some point Evelyn Rich must have dropped any scholarly distance she had from white nationalists” because she married Jared Taylor.

In contrast to liberals who assume that occasional acts of violence are the only threat posed by White nationalists, Zeskind argues that White nationalism is a serious threat because the mainstreaming wing of the movement, led by politicians, lawyers and PhDs, is capable of having an effect on mainstream politics.

For example, he argues that David Duke’s political campaigns, while unsuccessful, awakened a constituency concerned with White dispossession and thereby “opened the door” for Patrick Buchanan, a relatively mainstream figure, to bring Duke’s political issues into the Republican party.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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