From the shoot-out at Ruby Ridge, to the siege at Waco, to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, modern militia movements in America have become more visible and are continuing to emerge from the shadows. These two books bring the current militia movement into clear focus. Andryszewski uses the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building as the focal point of her book, addressing such questions as what brought Timothy McVeigh to this point, what are the roots of this climate of hatred and violence, and why is the militia movement flourishing? Gay, writing for the Issues in Focus series, leads with a more historical approach, outlining the use of militia from the 1700s to the present. She focuses more directly on the current economic and social factors that have led to the growing involvement with patriot militia. Both books cover some of the dozens of militia groups and the related issues, the Christian identity, Posse Comitatus, anti-Semitism, racism, environmental policy changes, the NRA, and the growth of the religious right, for example. Both books are easy to read and have a plethora of photographs and other illustrations. Andryszewski's photos are grainy, and the photo captions are superimposed on each photo, with the print occasionally obscured. The photos and text are crisper and clearer in Gay's work. The books will be useful for reports; they are fully indexed and include source notes and suggestions for further reading. In addition, Gay lists thirty-three organizations that offer information on armed militia and other extremist organizations. These are both accessible and timely overviews for students today. Index. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: The Militia Movement in America: Before and After Oklahoma City and Militias: Armed and Dangerous. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpThe militia movement is as wide and diversified as anyone can imagine, yet before the Oklahoma City bombing most Americans were only vaguely aware of its existence. Now that many homes have Internet capabilities, more people are becoming aware of these extremist views and exposed to various forms of "hate" literature on their computer monitors. Do these militia movements have the right to spread their ideas? Do they have the right to assemble? What can be done about them without infringing upon their Constitutional rights? Quotations from their literature have been carefully chosen to give readers insight into the minds of the writers. The endnotes leave no doubt that the author is not simply writing from her heart, but from cold, hard, and often horrific facts. The list for further reading cites current literature on a number of the incidents mentioned in the text. Some of them will sound familiar, yet few readers will know or remember all of the events presented here, events thatwhen viewed as part and parcel of a larger bodyhave a chilling impact. Sobering black-and-white photos are effectively placed throughout the book. Report writers will find facts easily through the detailed index and will be led deeper into the subject through the endnotes. An eye-opening addition.Marilyn Fairbanks, East Junior High School, Brockton, MA
Andryszewski (The Dust Bowl, 1993, etc.) presents a sobering and clear-eyed history that traces the development of radical militia groups within the US. She reveals that hatred spawns hatred: The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing may have its roots in early white supremacy groups, e.g., the Ku Klux Klan, and there are interesting similarities between the early militia or "patriot" movement of the 1970s and today's militias. Politics and increasing media coverage have turned these once secretive cults into savvy, recruitment-minded, gun-toting organizations, bearing such deceiving names as the "Liberty Lobby"—a neo-Nazi group. Perhaps most intriguing of all, Andryszewski shines the spotlight on the various media "stars" of the militia movement, such as William Pierce (whose novel, The Turner Diaries, recounts the fictional bombing of FBI headquarters). Copious notes and a handy index substantiate the text even further.