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Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise Of a New White Culture [Paperback]

James Ridgeway
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 15 1996
Updated to incorporate information on the Oklahoma City bombing and the militia movement, this in-depth study of the rise of white supremacists and religious fundamentalists traces the history of such movements, their tactics, and their impact.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Village Voice correspondent Ridgeway ( Powering Civilization ) traces the evolution of the "racialist right" in American politics up to George Bush's bid for the presidency, which, the author asserts, had the issue of race at its very foundation. With startling detail, this volume sets forth the violent histories of such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1866 by six former Confederate soldiers; the John Birch Society, an anti-civil rights group masquerading as an anti-Communist force; and the Posse Comitatus, whose members gather in posses to "protect" the white race from the scourge of Jews, blacks and other minorities. Examining their influence on the political climate of the U.S., Ridgeway profiles such leaders as David Dukes, the former head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana who ran for the Senate in 1990. Readers may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information this fascinating book imparts, and less than smooth transitions give the work a scattered feeling. As a result, Ridgeway's conclusions--including the obvious one that with the Cold War over, race will increasingly define "the social contours of society"--are more general than incisive. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Ridgeway has written a series of compelling reports in the Village Voice on the extreme right in contemporary America, and on the impact of radical racist and anti-Semitic groups on mainstream politics and culture. The articles are here rewritten to present a comprehensive view of racist politics in the United States (with some reference to Western European politics). However, in the book Ridgeway relies on purple prose, unsubstantiated analysis, and superficial background, so the vivid details and acute perspective of the original reports are obscured. Read instead the Voice articles, or James Corcoran's Bitter Harvest: Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus in the Heartland ( LJ 3/1/90).
-Timothy Christenfeld, Columbia Univ.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly detailed enough! May 12 2000
Blood in the Face is a mere inkling of what the "far right" is about and what it does. While the author does a great job at organization and use of pictures to convey his information, the reader isn't really going to get enough information. This book is just an introduction to the movement. A reader will have to do much more reading if they truly want to find out about what makes these people tick.
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By Satsuma
Like so many other things in today's society, racism, and especially racially motivated crimes, seem very distant to most of us. An occasional tasteless joke around the water cooler may be the closest 99% of us get to the terrifying world of the racist underground.
Many books have tried to reverse this ignorance, but many (if not most) have failed. The reason is simple: Hundreds of pages of text don't bring us any closer to the scenes of the crimes, or closer to the people who are either involved in the white supremist movement or who have been affected by it.
But "Blood in the Face" is different. It has graphics on almost every page, mostly White Aryan Resistance (WAR) propaganda posters, and less frequently photos of David Duke, Henry Ford, and other well-known racists and anti-Semites, threatening letters, etc. This is also a primary-source-laden text. This serves to hammer home the point that racism does not just exist in the Deep South. It is EVERYWHERE: South, North, East, West, and especially in the minds of those who perpetuate such garbage every day.
That said, this book is an INTRODUCTION to the culture of white supremacy. It dwells on the surface of the culture and selected individual organizations, occasionally delving into history. But it doesn't do a good job at all of providing a CONTEXT for the terrible things it describes. "Blood in the Face" is a solid introduction for those looking to learn more about racism and the white supremacy movement as a whole, but for discussions of individual people and groups, you must look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ridgeway was given unprecedented access to some of the most hated and revered figures on the racist right in the preparation of this study. Of particular interest are both the flow chart that introduces the book, showing the connections between hate groups past and present and the sections on the Oklahoma City bombing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Load of Rubbish! July 2 1998
By A Customer
I seem to recall that the author of this "book" did a documentary that aired on PBS some years ago, which was not too bad. Not being able to find a video of the documentary, I looked forward to the 2nd edtion of the book. What a waste! Whoever indexed this thing must have been drunk at the time! Look up any entry in the index and almost none of the references are correct! e.g. "Swift, Wesley" refers you to pages 14, 15: but there's no mention of him on those two pages; "Rockwell, George Lincoln" refers you to page 21: no mention of Rockwell on that page, but there is a mention of Tom Metzger, whose listing in the index shows no reference to page 21!!! Beyond this, the book was written from the viewpoint of someone with the mindset of Hillary Clinton: not a very inviting alternative to individuals portrayed in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting; go check out the videotape June 30 2000
If skined88@hotmail.com had seen the video version of the book, he would see that Ridgeway did extensive interviews with neo-Nazis, and in fact let them speak for themselves.
The book itself is interesting, but the video shows these people up for the clowns they really are.
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