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Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America Hardcover – December, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 443 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1St Edition edition (December 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879756802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879756802
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,194,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In four essays followed by short but detailed profiles of more than 35 extremist groups on the left and right, the authors survey the history of extremism in America. Extremism, they argue in bland but clear prose, is less a matter of ideology than an ideological style consisting of such traits as the advocacy of double standards and a Manichaean world view. They survey the motivations of extremists before launching into their profiles, which should prove a useful resource for scholars and students. However, a few of the entries, such as the one on the Communist Party USA, are outdated, and the authors should have better delineated which groups continue to be active, since some of those listed are not. An intriguing appendix catalogues fabricated documents and fake quotes; several are attributed to Lenin. George ( They Never Said It ) is professor of political science at the University of Central Oklahoma; Wilcox assembled a collection of extremist literature now housed at the University of Kansas.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This survey of American extremism, right and left, cries out for editing. The authors have seemingly thrown in all the material that was at hand, some useful and much tangential and distracting. Meaningful details and research are intermingled higgledy-piggledy with feeble history, banal analysis, and outright sloppiness, and the result is a shapeless mass of information. The bulk of the book is a series of descriptions of specific extremist groups, and its selling point would be that it includes both ends of the spectrum. But the book's digressions and scattershot quality undermine its value both as reference work and as reading material. Libraries would do better with books treating either end of the spectrum more systematically--for instance, Mari Jo Buhle and others' Encyclopedia of the American Left ( LJ 6/15/90) and the Anti-Defamation League's Extremism on the Right: A Handbook (A.D.L., 1988).
- Timothy Christenfeld, Columbia Univ.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Schar VINE VOICE on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you have any interest in left or right extremist movements in the U.S., this book is indispensible, and it is without peer. The authors neither glamorize nor excoriate their subject matter. Rather, they present each group or movement, from the Spartacist League to Father Coughlin, as nonjudgmentally and factually as possible. You will discover obscure Marxist sects and strange racist splinter groups you have never heard of before, each of which has a fascinating history backed up with ample footnotes. Do not hesitate to buy this book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "ripper2thebone" on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
this is a very informative book that compares and contrasts these "political groups" definately explores the darker side of out human nature. but this book mostly covers things like the nazi party in america and how it spread in the 1930's and how the kkk rose up out of the south. also covers the american communist movement in the early century. a must read
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a slightly dated (1992), but fascinating book about the history and psychology of America's more unusual political organizations and people.

The ideas they hold and actions they take are often repulsive to many people, but they also have had adherents and have survived all kinds of struggles, both internal and external. The fact that these organizations still go forward with their limited numbers is a testament to America's character -- its tolerance for ideas that most people would dismiss, loathe, or ignore. Anyone can cheer a Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Neil Armstrong, or a Sally Ride, but it takes a great deal of character to withstand the rhetoric of some of the people whose lives are given in the book.

John George goes into a great deal of detail as to how and why these folks do what they do and believe what they believe. He notes that paranoids will often behave in a way designed to achieve their scenario of being persecuted, that the cycle of running a fringe political group is wearying to leaders, and how members, particularly those in neo-Nazi organizations are not only exhausted by it, but often cut off by their politics from all but the most devoted friends and family -- he refers to peoplpe who have left neo-Nazi organizations, who talk about having been relieved of a burden.

The book is fairly balanced, with ample coverage of both right-wing and left-wing extremist groups. It's interesting to see how he Black Panthers of the 1960s emerged with an epiphany of having gone about things the wrong way, how some neo-Nazis seem to be linked to pedophilia, and groups of both sides have been abused by the government, themselves, and each other.

Some of the stories in the book are quite sad, of wasted lives.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sera on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i was disappointed that this book didn't have a papercover on the hardback to protect it. as far as the story goes i have not finished reading it.
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