American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists and Others / Edition 1

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Extremist movements aren't new, but the tragic events in Oklahoma City, New York City, and elsewhere have awakened Americans to this frightening reality within our borders. What sorts of fringe groups exist? Who joins up and why? What do they want and what are they willing to do to accomplish their goals? How serious is the danger? In response to these questions, noted experts John George and Laird Wilcox have teamed up to examine the frayed edges of human behavior.

Beginning with a summary of pre-1960 movements, they then discuss conspiracy theories and what motivates extremists. Their thoroughly documented and detailed tour of contemporary groups on the "far left" and the "far right" includes recent militia groups making headlines. Included as well is an in-depth appendix on the use of fake quotes and fabricated documentsa staple of many extremist organizations.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, George and Wilcox seek to examine fringe movements in the United States since the 1960s. The result is a thoroughly researched examination of movements on both right and left, including each group's history, membership figures, and leadership. Of particular interest are vignettes from within the groups profiled.
Suggesting newness with a cover photo of the Oklahoma City bombing this is, in fact, a reprint of Nazis, Klausmen, and others on the Fringe, 1992. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573920582
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 443
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.29 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

John George (Edmond, OK) is professor of political science and sociology at the University of Central Oklahoma. Laird Wilcox (Olathe, KS) is founder of The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, the largest collection of extremist literature in the United States.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 It's Not New: Historical Perspective on American Extremism Prior to 1960 15
2 What Is Extremism? Style and Tactics Matter More Than Goals 54
3 Motivations: Why They Join, Stay, Leave 63
4 Communist Party USA 97
5 Socialist Workers Party 108
6 Black Panther Party 114
7 Students for a Democratic Society 125
8 Progressive Labor Party 147
9 Workers World Party 153
10 Revolutionary Action Movement 156
11 Revolutionary Communist Party 159
12 Communist Workers Party 163
13 Reverend Billy James Hargis and His Christian Crusade 173
14 The John Birch Society: A Plot to Sell Books? 186
15 The Christian Right 197
16 Willis Carto and Liberty Lobby 207
17 Robert Bolivar DePugh and the Minutemen 221
18 The Militias 246
19 Gerald L. K. Smith and Christian Nationalist Crusade 275
20 The LaRouche Network 283
21 Jewish Defense League 298
22 The Nation of Islam 317
23 Assorted Neo-Nazis 323
24 National States Rights Party 354
25 Ku Klux Klans 362
Appendix I. Fake Quotes and Fabricated Documents: A Common Extremist Tactic 383
Appendix II. Principal Characteristics of the Extremes and the Mainstream in America: A Handy Guide for Extremist Watchers 421
Index 425
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2004

    Excellent book.

    Favorite book in my library. Use it for reference all the time. Definitive study of both left and right extremists.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2000

    Good book with a couple inaccuracies

    This was an excellent book. But the radical left are typicaly humanitarians. I do not think this book makes that clear.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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