From the Back Cover
Rather than simply demonizing or directing outrage at self-proclaimed "Patriot" and militia organizations -- which is often the approach of those who oppose them -- David Neiwert allows Patriot extremists to speak for themselves and largely on their own terms. His critical journalistic dialogue, placed in the context of the Northwest's regional milieu, allows us to better understand the socioeconomic and philosophical/religious complexities of how and why these otherwise ordinary citizens have come to think the way they do.
There is little question that strains of racism and paranoia characterize many of these people's beliefs and behavior, but the Patriots -- often blue-collar people, economically and socially challenged by changing times -- are desperately responding to feelings of having been marginalized, and disenfranchised, from the American Dream.
The saga of the Montana Freemen, explored here in detail for the first time, provides a framework for exploring the larger phenomenon of the movement throughout the four states -- Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon -- that comprise the Pacific Northwest. In presenting a broad overview of the movement and its history, Neiwert presents a case for maintaining a dialogue with Patriot believers, particularly the average people next door who so often are its recruits -- and for meeting the challenge the movement presents by addressing the root issues of rural decay.
About the Author
David A. Neiwert is a fourth-generation Idahoan who now lives in Seattle. A veteran, award-winning journalist, he has worked at newspapers in Idaho, Montana and Washington since 1977. He currently works as a writer-producer for MSNBC on the Internet. His work has appeared in Salon magazine, the Intelligence Report (SPLC), Montana Law Review, the Freedom Writer, and a host of regional and international publications.