- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 2 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 041594922X
- ISBN-13: 978-0415949224
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 558 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,517,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Into a World of Hate: A Journey Among the Extreme Right Hardcover – Mar 2 2004
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"Reportage of the most illuminating kind--a vividly atmospheric narrative of Nick Ryan's six years exploring the far-right underworld across Europe and the United States...the result is an unsettling and fascinating exploration of the dangerous nether reaches of contemporary culture and politics.."
-John Gray, Times Literary Supplement
"A terrifying book that provokes nightmares, and makes me fear for the future of our civilized society...there could be no finer testament to his talent as a reporter...an important book, one that should appear in the bookcases of every politician in the land.."
-Geoffrey Wansell, The Daily Mail
"Ryan's hard-hitting look at racist and fascist factions is topical to say the least...the overall picture of hatred is vivid.."
-Andrea Henry, The Mirror
"Tremendous...a pulsating book...he writes furiously, at times brilliantly.."
About the Author
Nick Ryan is an award-winning writer and producer. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, GQ, The Guardian and Wired, among others. In 1999 he received a special commendation from the International Federation of Journalists for his investigations into the extreme right. He is based in the UK.
Top customer reviews
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As a powerful, and sometimes downright disturbing, introduction to the lives of those in the radical right, it's unequalled. What it's not is an essay or historical analysis of the growth of right-wing extremism. Then again, the author never claims it is. It's clearly a standalone journey, as much Ryan's story as that of the people he meets.
If you want to know who the people actually are behind the burgeoning right-wing movements, 'Homeland' is the place to find them. The links between the lowliest 'lone wolf', to the most elevated political figures, are sometimes startling, particularly when Ryan finds himself invited out to Beirut for an international conference of Holocaust deniers. It can't have been easy going on some of these journeys.
The book is also written in a series of pacy, gripping vignettes, more like a novel at times than non-fiction. But I found this made it an easier read: at over 300 pages, I finished it during one long weekend!
Overall, 'Homeland' is a furious, unsettling - but I would say essential - book, in which the writer clearly threw a part of himself. As a study of the underbelly of modern society, and frustrated identity, I would highly recommend it to anyone curious about our times.
Whilst Ryan could have done more to distinguish between the and the extreme right he does show that there are a lot of mostly informal ties and alliances that link each other often milling around the issue of holocaust deniers encapsulated in the work of revisionist David Irving. As I have said though there is a tendency to assume guilt by association. For instance reading the survey of the Vlaams Blok (and based solely on what Ryan has written)I find it hard to label them anything other than ultra-conservative. In my opinion (as a lefty) still wrong but not necessarily racist. The same can (perhaps?) be said of Ryan's discussion with Pat Buchanan and his Reform party in the USA. One of the most appealing aspects of this book is its honesty in presenting the human face of the far/extreme right. These people are often intelligent and friendly (albeit as long as you are not Other) and one the surface at least genuinely likable although some such as the Worldwide Church of the Creator's Matt Hale (aka Pontifex Maximus) seems nothing more than an absolute ignoramous (other words spring to mind but being a public review are probably best left unsaid).
The book does however have some drawbacks. Whilst the book is described on the cover as being a piece of social history this seems to be lacking. First, the book in many cases does not even attempt to remain neutral. Hence when talking of David Copeland the London nailbomber Ryan...Whatever the undoubted truthfulness this is hardly the stuff of historical objectivity. Perhaps my major gripe however is the almost total lack of historical context or general critique of the right. Is increasing globalisation really to blame for the rise of the far right as many of its proponents seemed to claim? Is there a point at which nationalism is not racism? And other such questions are just not discussed. This was surprising because implicit in all of the reporting is the conviction that Ryan's politics is antithetical to those he interviewed yet he never answer why this is so.
Overall as an insight into a radically different way of thinking of this subculture this book is interesting. However, much more was said unsaid than said. Therefore, I get the unfortunate feeling that the BNPs statement that the liberal press does most of its work for them is also true of Ryan. A lot of the book is made up of these fascist/neo-nazi/nationalist figures detailing their beliefs with no substantive critique on Ryan's part making me suspect some may be tempted to join some of these movements through Ryan's work. Hope I'm wrong, however.
It may not be pleasant reading at times, but it's a book that has to be read.
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