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The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

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The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right [Hardcover]

Arthur Goldwag
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 7, 2012

From “Birthers” who claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States to counter-jihadists who believe that the Constitution is in imminent danger of being replaced with Sharia law, conspiratorial beliefs have become an increasingly common feature of our public discourse. In this deeply researched, fascinating exploration of the ideas and rhetoric that have animated extreme, mostly right-wing movements throughout American history, Arthur Goldwag reveals the disturbing pattern of fear-mongering and demagoguery that runs through the American grain.
The New Hate takes readers on a surprising, often shocking, sometimes bizarrely amusing tour through the swamps of nativism, racism, and paranoid speculations about money that have long thrived on the American fringe. Goldwag shows us the parallels between the hysteria about the Illuminati that wracked the new American Republic in the 1790s and the McCarthyism that roiled the 1950s, and he discusses the similarities between the anti–New Deal forces of the 1930s and the Tea Party movement today. He traces Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism and the John Birch Society’s “Insiders” back to the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he relates white supremacist nightmares about racial pollution to nineteenth-century fears of papal plots.
“The most salient feature of what I have come to call the New Hate,” Goldwag writes, “is its sameness across time and space. The most depressing thing about the demagogues who tirelessly exploit it—in pamphlets and books and partisan newspapers two centuries ago, on Web sites, electronic social networks, and twenty-four-hour cable news today—is how much alike they all turn out to be.”

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Turns out, the new hate is pretty much the same as the old hate, according to Goldwag. No doubt drawing from research compiled for his ’Isms & ’Ologies (2007) and Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies (2009), the author identifies the historical American precedents of primarily right-wing demagoguery—among them, anti-Masonry, anti-Catholicism, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Henry Ford, and McCarthyism—whose echoes can be heard today over the airwaves and in print. It’s hardly enjoyable reading, churning up as it does the long-standing animosities that run deep in American politics and continue to distract the country from addressing real issues; in addition, the text, as well researched as it is, could have used a lot more coherence. Still, identifying demagoguery, on the Right or the Left, might help readers work through it in the coming years. Would November 2012 be too soon? --Alan Moores


“An informative and lively history of organized hate groups and their role in U.S. politics . . . A witty narrator, Goldwag combines his research with contemporary analysis to explain what conspiracy theories all have in common and to show how the new hate is the same as the old, though it’s now ‘hiding in plain sight’ . . . Exhaustively well researched and passionately written . . . Whether he’s analyzing the origins of Glenn Beck’s ideology or demystifying the Illuminati, Goldwag excels at showing how the obsessions of the past connect with those of the present.”
Publishers Weekly

“A well-reported study of disaffected groups who hate other groups whose members look or think differently than the haters . . . Goldwag terms the phenomenon "the paranoid style of hatred," and shows how that style has been linked to conspiracy theories for hundreds of years. The author examines with special depth hatreds against Jews, Catholics, Freemasons, African-Americans and the extremely wealthy. With the election of President Obama, the haters coalesced against what they saw as an obvious enemy. Goldwag is able to effectively use the hatreds toward Obama to illustrate the irrationality of the haters . . . A provocative, intellectually rigorous book written clearly and with an admirable lack of hatred.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“Wide-ranging narrative . . . A useful primer on the nation's ‘long-standing penchant for conspiratorial thinking, its never-ending quest for scapegoats’ . . . [Goldwag’s] thoroughness in exploring this subject is impressive . . . If there's any comfort in this dispiriting account, it's that the conspiracy-minded have (largely) been confined to the margins of American political and cultural life. That's small consolation, though, when balanced against the unavoidable conclusion that the haters will always be with us or, as Goldwag puts it, the realization that ‘the New Hate is the same as the Old Hate—only now it's hiding in plain sight.’”
Shelf Awareness

“One wishes that Goldwag were exaggerating, but if you spend a little time reading the vile comments sections on right-wing websites you will see that Goldwag has performed a valuable service in tracing the history of the new hate to the old.”
—Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III

“Goldwag provides a lucid and detailed account of the irrational and bigoted right-wing populists and their conspiracy theories of power in the United States. These conspiracists are like intellectual vampires sucking the blood out of the body politic and leaving behind a weakened democracy in a fading twilight for civil society. Goldwag illuminates the conspiracists to reverse their trajectory of increasing influence, which is a periodic problem for our nation.”
—Chip Berlet, co-author Right-Wing Populism in America

“Arthur Goldwag confronts conspiracist fantasies and paranoia with reason and humanity—not to mention the briskness and drama of great historical storytelling. His dissection of how the political fringe has edged into mainstream culture deserves the attention and admiration of everyone who is concerned about the coarsening of our politics.”
—Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation
“This exhumation of the deep and gnarled roots of the American conspiratorial tradition could not be more timely. Combining a sweeping historical eye and sharp contemporary analysis, Arthur Goldwag explains not just why American politics in the Age of Obama is infected by a virulent strain of right-wing conspiracism—but why it has always been thus. From the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt, to the Tea Party Idiocracy of Michelle Malkin, The New Hate covers everything you need to know about the paranoid style in American politics.”
—Alex Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance
The New Hate is a timely examination of the deep roots of the conspiracy theories that have animated the American radical right for more than a century. This important book gives readers the background they need to understand the astounding extremist rhetoric that now passes for mainstream political debate.”
—Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1St Edition edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307379698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307379696
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reasoned Book on a Thorny Subject February 22, 2012
As someone who gave an endorsement to this book I perhaps have already had my say and shouldn't be commenting further; but the polarity of some of the reviews on Amazon just begs redress. Reasoned arguments around a myriad of positions exist across our political divide (though they are not always easy to locate online); what this one book does is trace a brand of reactive, conspiratorial thinking that has, on and off, characterized far-right ideology in America for much of the past century. This conspiratorial viewpoint is currently exerting some influence on the mainstream. Conspiracy theories are not limited to the right-wing, of course. You can read a very good account of other strains of conspiratorial thought, for example, in "Voodoo Histories" by David Aaronovitch. What "The New Hate" does is address itself to a very particular purpose by analyzing the current manifestation of paranoid thinking, which has long been a characteristic element of extreme politics in our country, and is today on the rise.
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65 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful analysis, --- both riveting and frightening February 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bigotry and ignorance. They are joined at the hip. They never die, and they never go away. They are shape-changers, always adapting and disguising themselves with new rhetorical garments to match the latest, shifting fashions in intolerance. Arthur Goldwag does a great job of tracking these beasts through their many incarnations over the past two centuries or so. Goldwag's narrative of those who have made an art of exploiting all that it is the worst in the American psyche brings to mind H.L. Mencken's famous quip: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." THE NEW HATE is a very important book - also beautifully rendered.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, thought-provoking, and well-written February 22, 2012
Arthur Goldwag, in an entertainingly written single volume, sets out the historical roots of the "new hate." He draws from an encyclopedic set of resources (the bibliography and notes are in themselves worth the price of admission and worth owning) to trace the historical antecedents of extremist viewpoints that have caught some significant favor with the public over the years. So the veiled and not so veiled rhetoric of today's hate-mongers is shown to have roots and parallels in historical hate speech and groups that go back decades and, in some cases, even centuries. For example, the grand lies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fraud when it was issued, are shown to have been a plagiarized version of still an earlier fraud. Yet, as Goldwag demonstrates for this and other phenomena of hate, rationalizations for these uncovered frauds are invented to allow such hate to persist even today.

Goldwag takes us through the groups that have been repeatedly singled out for vilification over the years, e.g., Jews, Catholics, Freemasons, New Dealers, and, with wit and balance, shows how the new haters channel the old haters and why. Unlike many books on a serious subject, Goldwag's style keeps the information flowing without turning into a mechanical catalog of facts, especially when some of those facts are incredibly surprising. You will be surprised at the inflammatory rhetoric some of today's public figures, such as Beck or Buchanan or Paul, have actually been saying to their own interested publics.

In short, despite the inherently depressing nature of the subject matter, hate that exists around us, this was an entertaining and educational read, worth every minute.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all over the place April 27, 2012
Politics aside (I'm a good, old-fashioned lefty, by the way), this is not a bad book. It's also not a real good book either, unfortunately.

The main problem is that the author desperately needs an editor. He simply can't stick to the subject. Here, let me just give you an example (the chapter is about anti-Catholicism):

"The young boy in Invaders from Mars, who realizes that aliens have seized control of his parents' minds, and Kevin McCarthy's desperate efforts to warn the public about the soulless pods who were replacing his neighbors in Invasion of the Body Snatchers both reflected and exacerbated those anxieties. From Jeff Sharlett's Family - a fascinating book about the shadowy Dominionists behind the National Prayer Breakfast movement, an elite network of American politicians who, if they were liberals and/or Jews, would almost certainly have been singled out as a cult or conspiracy a long time ago - I learned an interesting piece of trivia about the cult classic move The Blob: it was conceived by a Christian filmmaker, Irvin "Shorty," Yeaworth, at the 1957 National Prayer Breakfast, specifically as a metaphor for creeping Communism. But I have strayed very far indeed from my subject."

Indeed. There's some interesting stuff here, but the writing is a bit of a mess.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On Assessment March 18, 2013
By Mark C
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Goldwag does a great job giving us credible details of a dark cloud that has been hanging over us for decades, and likely always will. He's one of the few writers that can lay it all out there, for the reader to filter, without leaning it towards his opinions.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book October 19, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly thought out, and elegantly argued, as a series of essays The New Hate is one stop shopping re: the almost metaphysical--and loony--length bigots since the Pharoahs have gone to crucify the Other (Jews get top billing). Namely those different from their generally lily white or at least sepia selves.
I had only a few reservations. Author Arthur Galwag spends ample time dissecting prejudice against Catholics. As a devout ex-Catholic, my experience is that most contemporary anti-Catholicism--even before the pedophelia scandals--has come from Catholics themselves. With good reason. From the Confessions of Peter on, as a font of corruption the Catholic Church has been hard to beat.

But that's nit-picking. The New Hate shines a brilliant light on a very dark realm.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars What is particularly funny is the consistent implication made about...
The whole thing reads as if it is meant to indict anyone critical of virtually anything as a lunatic, an anti-semite, or both. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Em_
4.0 out of 5 stars Tea Partiers don't read this book.
How appropriate and timely. But it could not have happened at a better time. From Henry Ford to Father Coughlin to Pat Buchanon, one just needs to substitute "Jew" to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandih29687
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by linwood grigsby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, if you are not an idiot GOPTPer
Published 13 months ago by Joseph G Peeler
1.0 out of 5 stars Very one sided to say the least
Total focus, admittedly in the title, is hate on the right. Hate is on both sides and the left keeps up their end of things well.
Published 14 months ago by Luke
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into
I had been listening to a really enticing bit about this book and more on the KPFK radio station and ordered this book thinking it would help me understand more about a lot of the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Joe S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Really fascinating overview of right-wing conspiracy theories
A very well-written, well-researched book on the fascinating subject of right-wing conspiracy theories, and beyond that, the roots of irrational beliefs and the mythology of hate.
Published on July 8, 2013 by David F.
1.0 out of 5 stars Read 101 pages and dumped the book
I am Jewish, I am 70 years old, and I am tired of rehashing the same old anti-Semitic theme. Mr. Goldwag just relishes the safe and easy way out by forever punishing those who... Read more
Published on November 24, 2012 by Mel in NJ
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate this book
Hatred is the tool of the left. No argument or logic. just blind hatred and attack without understanding. do yourself a favor and stay away.
Published on July 28, 2012 by Tsook
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed . . .
I have to say that I was disappointed in this book. It is a book that needs to be written, but I'm not sure that Goldwag is the one to do it. Read more
Published on May 17, 2012 by Still Singin'
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