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The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  115 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
"The Eliminationists" describes the malignant influence of right-wing hate talk on the American conservative movement. Tracing much of this vitriol to the dank corners of the para-fascist right, award-winning reporter David Neiwert documents persistent ideas and rhetoric that champion the elimination of opposition groups. As a result of this hateful discourse, Neiwert argu ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Polipoint Press
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Bill  Kerwin
Jan 04, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it liked it

This is a vigilant examination of how embryonic fascist language--what Neiwert terms para-fascism--is endemic not only on the fringes of the right wing, but also permeates the language of the establishment conservative media (Fox, Limbaugh, Malkin, Coulter, etc.). Neiwert is particular good at recognizing and displaying the sort of eliminationist language once characteristic of Rwandan radio--utterances describing the opposition (in this case liberals) as subhuman vermin and viruses that cannot
Jan 06, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it
The Eliminationists is an important examination of the state of American political discourse and right-wing ideologies in this country in the early 21st century. Neiwert does an admirable job of examining the history of what he calls eliminationism in America (see Ch. 8) and using that history to explain how we've gotten to where we are today.

I think this book does two main services:

1. It provides readers with a clear understanding of the nature of both eliminationism and one of its specific ma
Jun 08, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
Are you perplexed by the seemingly sudden rise of angry right wingers advocating the death of liberals? Do you wonder how much influence Rush Limbaugh has in the country? Are you puzzled by people should take Ann Coulter seriously? Then read David Neiwert's book, and have it all spelled out for you in great detail. Neiwert looks at the rise of eliminationism in the US, how it spread from the far right to mainstream punditry, and what can be done to resist its influence. An amazing and informativ ...more
Dan O'connell
Oct 04, 2009 Dan O'connell rated it it was amazing
Neiwart grew up in Idaho, knew John Birchers, and covered the Christian Identity and Patriot Movement in the 80s/90s. He looks at the state of the far right in 2008, and how Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck have convinced many on the right that the US polity has been poisoned by Liberals, and that they need to be eliminated from society. He wrote this before the Tea Bag movement sprung up, but he shows the underlying ideas and emotional reactions that led to this movement. Also nicely covers elimat ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Pat rated it really liked it
After the heated and crazy health care town halls of this past summer, I wanted to read books that would help me put the insanity in a context I could understand. This book helped do just that. Like "Idiot America" (ISBN 978-0-7679-2614-0), this book provides some historical and cultural context for the right-wing backlash that has followed eight years of a horribly failed GOP presidency and the election of Americas first Black president.

I found the book easy to read and very engaging (but I sup
Brent Uzzell
David’s purpose for the book seems to be: 1) hold up a mirror to our political discourse and make the case that violent rhetoric can provoke violent action 2) remind us of our historical propensity for utilizing violence to eliminate the unwanted and 3) respond to the increasing use of “Nazi” and “Fascism” epithets by directly addressing Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism”.
David draws heavily on the academic work of Robert O. Paxton (Columbia), Roger Griffin (Oxford Brookes University) and J
Apr 14, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, psychology
Neiwert sells himself short in the titling of this book, which is so much more than a treatise on the hate machine. He delves deeply into history, philosophy, and psychology while maintaining a readability that makes it difficult to put the book down.

The author's comprehensive overview of fascism is especially relevant in these times, when the term is so overused as to become meaningless. A full two chapters are devoted to dispelling the myth that we are fully in the grip of a fascist regime -
Jan 28, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel-research
Very good, though the first few chapters seemed repetitive. I would've liked it a bit more had Neiwert covered the history first and then moved into the modern-day stuff. Neiwert's also seems quite compassionate and not ready to lay the blame on any large group of people for the behaviors of a few. The book is thoroughly researched and has an extensive list of endnotes.

Favorite quote:
"In the South, whites chose to deal with blacks by oppressing them; in much of the rest of the country, white c
Mar 26, 2013 Louise rated it liked it
Shelves: us-politics
Neiwart has a good thesis, but it's as though his editor said, "this is not enough... add more pages".

Neiwart begins with observations from his childhood in Idaho and his early career covering the right wing militia groups for which Idaho has been known. He was in a unique position to get a close up view of the fringe elements of the far right. He watched this more closely than most of us who wonder how it got so extreme that one day we noticed a Fox News pundit suggesting that candidate Obama s
Aug 19, 2009 James rated it it was amazing
this is a fantastic book up the how "eliminationist" ideology is creeping into mainstream republican/conservative dialogue. Eliminationism is the idea that your political enemies must be eliminated/removed/interned.

The author, from rural Idaho and a long time journalist covering the neo-nazi movement. Looks at how a lot of wacky right wing fringe ideas from the 1990's have moved into main stream discussion (Lou Dobbs talking about the Reconquista, Coulter talking about killing liberals, cons
Jun 01, 2010 John rated it it was amazing
GREAT book. At first I really thought it was going to be a book like Sean Hannity writes, but from a left view point. But It was not at ALL. I was not familiar with Orcinus, Neiwert's blog before I read this, so much of this was news to me.

It's a very intellectually written account of how fascism could blossom in the United States. There are historic accounts of attempts and a lot of references to sociological studies that have been done on fascism. He really puts to rest the preconcieved notion
Every American adult should read this book. It chronicles the shift of American conservatism farther and farther to the right, until it has gone from being conservative to being radical, from disagreeing with liberals to calling for their elimination. Any time that a political movement dehumanizes its opponents and proposes that violence should take the place of debate, it loses its place in a democracy - if it succeeds in getting what it demands, it becomes a bloody tyranny based on atrocity. I ...more
Jun 06, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
An interesting albeit uneven commentary on the current approach many right-wing commentators have to disagreement -- attack and remove their opponents. A strength of the book is a thoughtful and nuanced analysis of how these tendencies compare to fascism. Unfortunately, the last few chapters tend more to the polemical rather than analytical than I was hoping. Still, overall this is a worthwhile read.
Nov 17, 2009 Chip rated it really liked it
Well researched, thoughtfully organized... I learned a lot about the power of labels and mass-media. I'm worried about the future of this country, as long as people choose to allow others to tell them what to think and believe. Why do we no longer teach rhetoric in primary school? The only hope for our democracy is to teach kids to think for themselves and not listen to demagogues... like me.
May 11, 2009 Phil rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A somewhat repetitive review of the corrosive influcence of hate speech on the denizens of the right wing in America. Basically it traces the source of the principle of Eliminationism back to the early settlers in America as well as to early 20th century Fascism. It's an interesting point and it is made well, it's just made over and over and over again.
Mar 18, 2012 Rena rated it really liked it
The only problem with this book is that it reads like a text book (which really isn't a problem for me, but might be for others). A bit boring in style, but very informative. The author looks at the hisotry of racism, genocide, and fascism in America and points out how this history along with the fears generated since 9/11 put us at risk for fascism now.
Nov 18, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
A good read. His "brief" history of eliminationism in the U.S. -- native Americans, Chinese and Japanese immigrants, etc. -- was pretty depressing, but he shows, ominously, how the same language used to persecute those people then is being used again against Mexicans.
Mar 09, 2012 Pghbekka rated it liked it
Somewhat sensationalist. Ignores some of the history behind the hatred, and presents it as new rather than cyclical. Still, well researched for the current situation, and in important read.
Oct 11, 2009 Adrienne rated it it was amazing
I consider this a must read. A great history of bigotry in our country, the power of right wing media and it gave me a clearer understanding of how fascism and Nazisim arise.
Oct 27, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it
Excellent history of the fascist impulse in American society and the current danger that the bilious rhetoric of the right presents.
Nov 17, 2013 Taylor rated it really liked it
Brand: Fromagerie Edouard Conus
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David Neiwert is a freelance journalist based in Seattle. His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000. Neiwert is also the managing editor of Crooks and Liars.

--from the author's website
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