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Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort - Critical Perspectives (Hardback)
  • Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort - Critical Perspectives (Hardback)

Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort - Critical Perspectives (Hardback)

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Hardback 499 Pages / Published: 23/11/2000
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Right-wing militias and other antigovernment organizations have received heightened public attention since the Oklahoma City bombing. While such groups are often portrayed as marginal extremists, the values they espouse have influenced mainstream politics and culture far more than most Americans realize. This important volume offers an in-depth look at the historical roots and current landscape of right-wing populism in the United States. Illuminated is the potent combination of anti-elitist rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and ethnic scapegoating that has fueled many political movements from the colonial period to the present day. The book examines the Jacksonians, the Ku Klux Klan, and a host of Cold War nationalist cliques, and relates them to the evolution of contemporary electoral campaigns of Patrick Buchanan, the militancy of the Posse Comitatus and the Christian Identity movement, and an array of millennial sects. Combining vivid description and incisive analysis, Berlet and Lyons show how large numbers of disaffected Americans have embraced right-wing populism in a misguided attempt to challenge power relationships in U.S. society. Highlighted are the dangers these groups pose for the future of our political system and the hope of progressive social change. Winner--Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America

Publisher: Guilford Publications
ISBN: 9781572305687
Number of pages: 499
Weight: 874 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 36 mm

"In its scope and breadth of coverage, Berlet and Lyons' book is particularly ambitious and impressive, and the events discussed in the book range widely....the book will serve as an important resource for those whose interests and viewpoints are largely consistent with left-wing methodologies, while simultaneously provoking much necessary debate and argument from those whose methodological orientation is grounded toward the political center or right-wing. Of particular interest is the fifty page bibliography contained in the book that serves as a valuable resource for locating additional materials related to populism in all its varieties and expressions. Strongly recommended for college and research libraries, although its primary audience will be upper-level undergraduates, graduate students and faculty in American political and social history, political science and sociology."--"Counterpoise"
.,."an interesting, informative book. Berlet and Lyons have forgotten more about right-wing politics in America than most of us know to begin with, and they put that knowledge to good use....a good book that merits close attention from scholars of the Right in America and of social movements generally."--"Contemporary Sociology"
.,."right-wing populist movements in the United States have long been part of our nation's social fabric, and they have influenced our values and policies to a much greater extent than most people recognize. Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons argue this case persuasively in their illuminating new study, "Right-wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort,."..according to the authors of this important book, right-wing populism reinforces existing ills bydeflecting attention away from the structural causes of economic and social injustice."--"Southern Poverty Law Center"
""Right Wing Populism in America" challenges activists to be aware of broad movements for change that are repressive. It provides activists knowledge of the roots of these movements. Instead of scapegoating the right or dismissing them, people on the left need to start challenging the inequalities that provide fertile breeding ground for repressive movements."--"Z Magazine"
"Rather than dismiss right-wing populist movements as 'lunatic fringe', the authors contend that we should consider them complex and dangerous: complex because of the way they blend issues, and dangerous because they lure and channel people into misguided efforts that 'only serve to heighten inequality and oppression.'"--"Briarpatch"
"The history of the evangelical entry into politics is fascinating and complicated. There is an excellent account in "Right-Wing Populism in America,"" --"The New York Review of Books"
.,."two leading political analysts provide the background and insights on conspiracy theory, ethnic scapegoating and other movement trademarks. From the Ku Klux Klan to nationalist cliques, this provides an important consideration of sentiments and motivations." --"The Bookwatch"
"Berlet...and Lyons...do not see the racial, religious, social, and economic ideas of the Far Right as strictly marginal. Rather, they argue, right-wing populism is deeply rooted in American history. This detailed historical examination...provides a theoretical basis for understanding the actions and ideas of these movements....This work strikes an excellent balance between narrative andtheory....Recommended for all public and academic libraries." --"Library Journal"

"This book shines brilliant light on right-wing populist movements that have undermined democracy throughout U.S. history--and are still influencing politics and policies today. The book shows how populist rhetoric has been used by far-right and mainstream politicians alike to divide people with scapegoating and deflect them from achieving greater social and economic equity." --Holly Sklar, author of Chaos or Community?: Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad Economics

"This long-awaited history and critical analysis has arrived right on time. The increased presence of the Right in this country has confused many people with its varied shapes and forms. This book gives the context needed for students and monitors of the Right to understand why these antidemocratic forces continue to thrive in our society." --Suzanne Pharr, author of In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation, and Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism

"This book makes significant strides toward a greater understanding of right-wing social movements in the United States. Berlet and Lyons present a holistic sociopolitical history that avoids many common theoretical pitfalls and oversimplifications. Instead of separating right-wing organizations into 'mainstream' and 'extremist' groups, these authors examine shades of populist ideologies that lead to both convergence and contradiction on the American political landscape. Their timely and compelling arguments lead us to reevaluate our definitions of these social movements and call for a reexamination of ineffective social policies aimed at containing right-wing groups. This accessible and engaging book is appropriate for use in undergraduate and graduate classes and will also be useful for a more general readership." --Stephanie Shanks-Meile, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Indiana University Northwest

"Chip Berlet has been a valuable resource for many years to everyone concerned about the potentially dangerous right-wing ideological strains that operate in this country. His work with Political Research Associates has been a most important source of data and analysis. Now he and Matthew Lyons have made yet another major contribution. Right Wing Populism in America builds on their years of expertise to provide a sweeping historical account of the tradition of such tendencies in American politics....This is an important analysis for everyone--scholars and nonspecialists alike--who wishes to understand the complex, sometimes ugly forces that have participated in shaping the American political landscape." --Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Class Notes

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