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Photo: “Proud Boy with Confederates in Pittsboro (2019 Oct)“, by Anthony Crider licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Belew, Kathleen. Bring the war home: The white power movement and paramilitary America. Harvard University Press, 2019.

Description

The white power movement in America wants a revolution. Its soldiers are not lone wolves but highly organized cadres motivated by a coherent and deeply troubling worldview made up of white supremacy, virulent anticommunism, and apocalyptic faith. In Bring the War HomeKathleen Belew gives us the history of a movement that consolidated in the 1970s and 1980s around a potent sense of betrayal in the Vietnam War and made tragic headlines in Waco and Ruby Ridge and with the Oklahoma City bombing and is resurgent under President Trump.

Returning to an America ripped apart by a war they felt they were not allowed to win, a small group of veterans and active-duty military personnel and civilian supporters concluded that waging war on their own country was justified. They unified people from a variety of militant groups, including Klansmen, neo-Nazis, skinheads, radical tax protestors, and white separatists to form a new movement of loosely affiliated independent cells to avoid detection. The white power movement operated with discipline and clarity, undertaking assassinations, armed robbery, counterfeiting, and weapons trafficking. Its command structure gave women a prominent place and put them in charge of brokering alliances and birthing future recruits.

Belew’s disturbing and timely history reminds us that war cannot be contained in time and space: grievances intensify and violence becomes a logical course of action. Based on years of deep immersion in previously classified FBI files and on extensive interviews, Bring the War Home tells the story of American paramilitarism and the birth of the alt-right.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • I. Formation
    • The Vietnam War Story
    • Building the Underground
    • A Unified Movement
    • Mercenaries and Paramilitary Praxis
  • II. The War Comes Home
    • The Revolutionary Turn
    • Weapons of War
    • Race War and White Women
  • III. Apocalypse
    • Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Militarized Policing
    • The Bombing of Oklahoma City
      Epilogue
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illiberalism.org

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.