These two books provide different perspectives on white supremacy in American society. Journalist Zeskind documents the evolution of Far Right political and social movements since the 1950s. He focuses on the work of Willis Carto, founder of the now-defunct Liberty Lobby, the late 20th-century's leading anti-Semitic (and Holocaust denial) organization, and William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group supporting white nationalism and white separatism. Zeskind recounts the involvement of these two men with other racialist groups and with individuals such as David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and the fringes of the Republican Party. The most striking fact emerging from Zeskind's book is that these people spent most of the time quarreling among themselves, with Carto involved in frequent lawsuits over control of the Liberty Lobby and its many associated organizations. Pierce died in 2002, and Carto's influence among the Far Right has greatly diminished. However, other individuals continue to spread their ideas.
Ayers (education, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) and Dohrn (director, Children & Family Law Justice Cntr.), both former leaders of the Weather Underground and longtime civil rights activists, take a different tack on the subject. They present essays that each has authored separately, providing personal experiences and thoughts on race relations in modern American society. Both acknowledge the advancements made in this country during the last part of the 20th century, but they argue that the United States remains dominated by white supremacist ideas that are having an adverse effect throughout the world. The book contains many fascinating ideas drawn fromliterature, philosophy, history, and the authors' life experiences. Both books are recommended for all libraries.
Stephen L. Hupp