Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009
Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins to the Mainstream (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Leonard Zeskind
Leonard Zeskind is guardedly pessimistic. In the preface to Blood and Politics, he predicts "a mid-twenty-first century conflict within the United States as white people become a minority within a nation of minorities." An activist who has shadowed white supremacists and anti-Semites for TheNewYork Times and other publications, Zeskind has stuffed a fat bundle of information into 600 pages. The story he tells, however, is less alarming than his prediction. What Zeskind found is a deeply factionalized movement with every man as his own führer. White supremacists have killed, notably the victims in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. But aside from inroads into the Republican Party since the '70s, the extremists seem to be cruising around a cul-de-sac of hatred, shouting slogans and blaring racist rock from rolled-down windows, but going nowhere.