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The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
A Journey Inside The American White Racist Movement

Recent domestic terrorist attacks have turned a new spotlight on the secret world and chilling ideology of the American radical right, but swastika armbands and racial slogans have been making news for decades. Who are these people so full of venom? Where do their fears come from? Are they dangerous, pathetic, or both?

Paperback, 330 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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Jared Della Rocca
Apr 13, 2010 Jared Della Rocca rated it it was ok
When I first picked up this book, I was hoping for more of an objective look, via interviews, at what kind of person the far-right "white power" movement attracts, and also why they are attracted to the movement. Unfortunately, while Ezekiel does provide some of that insight, it is too often tainted by his own opinions. He goes to great lengths to disparage these people and the movement. While I don't condone the movement at all, I was hoping for more of an objective look at it.

Various techniqu
Feb 05, 2010 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it did not like it
I constantly run across books like these written by Jewish egghead academics who interview and/or hang out with "extremists" here and there for a year or so and then write a book about it. There are very few that aren't written with a huge bias and I believe that a certain percentage are written as propaganda to build these people into strawmen in order to raise funds for groups like the SPLC and ADL.

In The Racist Minds intro he says he is going to portray the subjects of this book in a fair, r
Jan 02, 2013 Laura marked it as unfinished
The introduction was promising. The author writes: "To present white racists as humans is not to approve their ideas or their actions. But to picture them only in stereotype is to foolishly deny ourselves knowledge. Effective action to combat racism requires honest inquiry." Yet what follows seems to be highly anecdotal and based on presumptions resulting from fairly superficial contact, colored by the author's need to repeatedly state his belief that people on the left are more loyal, deeper th ...more
Buffy B
Jan 12, 2008 Buffy B rated it really liked it
Recommended to Buffy by: Masters
Besides being self-conscious about reading this book on the bus because of the images it sported on its cover, it was a very enlightening book.
This is such a unique portrayal of the "face" of racism in America. It is a book put together by Raphael Ezekiel, a Jewish man who grew up in a segregated Texas. Ezekiel faced his fears and constructed interviews/attended rallies of major racist organizations (i.e. KKK and Neo-Nazi groups) in order to put together/make sense of racism in somebody else's l
Brent Ranalli
Apr 09, 2014 Brent Ranalli rated it really liked it
Well that was depressing.

A valuable book, and courageous of the author to take the steps necessary to research it.

I was going to leave it at that, but having read some of the other reviews, I’ll add that I too found the author's narrative power disconcerting at times, wondering how his decisions to share exact words or paraphrase or omit statements, etc., might have made particular individuals come off in a better or worse light than they might have. On the other hand, the fact that the author h
As a self-described leftist Jew, Ezekiel undertakes an incredibly risky project in profiling contemporary right-wing hate groups. His book is a chilling depiction of the very phenomenon that keeps him relatively safe -- what Arendt called "the banality of evil". The men, women and children he portrays are not screaming rednecks in hooded robes or blackshirted Teutons; they are frighteningly normal, even nice, people, unremarkable except for occasional rallies and the persistent, fervent belief t ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Very interesting I must say, I bought this book at the holocaust musem when I went to Washington D.C.
Jean Darroch
Jun 14, 2011 Jean Darroch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really thought this book had potential but it turned out not to be very good. I don't recommend at all.
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“You can't sell people a new idea backed only by your authority. You have to have respect for the lives the people have led to this point and begin with them there; their experiences have led them to their assumptions and conceptions. As you identify and legitimate those experiences, you can help people identify their own primary needs in society. Then they can begin to imagine other people as having parallel needs.” 1 likes
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