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Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
More than half a century after the defeat of Nazism and fascism, the far right is again challenging the liberal order of Western democracies. Radical movements are feeding on anxiety about economic globalization, affirmative action, and third-world immigration, flashpoint issues to many traditional groups in multicultural societies. A curious mixture of Aristocratic pagani ...more
ebook, 378 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by New York University Press
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Tim Pendry
The death of Nicholas Goodrick-Clark last year (2012) deprived us of an important historian of political irrationalism.

Unlike many others in the field, he neither accepted irrational claims as anything other than fictions nor allowed himself the luxury of huffing and puffing about their presumed evil in a liberal society.

He simply told the story and expressed, with discretion (pages 303-304) legitimate concerns about the course of events if these cruel and stupid irrationalisms had their ground
Jordan West
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum. . ."

Somewhat uneven, but still a fascinating and profoundly unsettling read; illustrates that people will believe in anything, regardless of how irrational, ignorant, and inane it might be.

". . .shows that faith alone proves nothing."
-Friedrich Nietzsche
Alex Sarll
Well, that was a depressing read. It should come as no surprise that Nazis can believe some really stupid shit, and the common ground with islam is old hat, but one can still be taken aback by some of the other hybrids; at first Nazi Hinduism seems like a stunner, but the attempt to find common cause between Nazism and Communism must be one of history's most head-slapping examples of "You had one job..". The chapters are split thematically, and some of them have a bingo card quality, as one nutj ...more
tom bomp
Dec 29, 2014 tom bomp marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I don't remember what made me want to read this but I've been interested for a while and finally opened it up and (this may seem counterintutive) checked out the short conclusion. And my jaw dropped. It's a 4 page polemic on how multiculturalism is 1) inherently dangerous and destructive to Good White Nations (general implication) 2) responsible for the rise of neo-nazi groups. He imputes a terrifying level of reasonableness in neo-Nazi views, imo. He attacks affirmative actions for "discriminat ...more
Aug 06, 2016 Erik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-science
This could have been a great complement to Kerry Boltons book The psychotic Left.
Unfortunately Goodrick-Clarkes extensive use of morally charged epithets throughout is… tiresome to say the least. Do we really need to be told how bad and irrational these eccentric fringe political sect leaders are at every instance?

Goodrick-Clarke repeatedly makes unsupported claims throught the text. For a text to have academic merit your claims has to be supported somehow not just stated “as a given”, that’s t
Liz Wright
May 19, 2008 Liz Wright rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I first need to say that I didn’t finish reading this. I rented this from the library, rather excitedly, because I had wanted to read it since it was published. Unfortunately Goodrick-Clarke’s style of writing was overly ostentatious for me, a person who was only reading this text to learn about something they were very interested in learning about. His academic writing style, along with his use of non-lay phrasing and unapproachable aura gives the reader the feeling that the writer’s goal was t ...more
Goodrick-Clarke's subject sometimes works against him; many of these ideologies are truly esoteric, and thus difficult to place in a recognizable ideological context.
However, that obscurity is precisely what gives this book its limited value. This volume contains the most thorough examination of the links between Indo-Aryan mysticism and Nazi occult doctrine that I have ever read. While many studies of Nazi occult practices go no further than acknowledging the existence of secret rituals and rec
Katharine Kerr
Feb 21, 2014 Katharine Kerr rated it liked it
What a puzzling book! Goodrick-Clarke was an academic, a scholar and the head of the Esoteric Studies program at a British university. He wrote several very good books before his untimely death in 2011. This particular work, however, published in 2001, reads like a first draft. It repeats information and names, it rambles, and the chapters read more like individual essays than parts of a whole argument.

As a survey of a wide field -- the persistence of Nazi ideas into modern times -- it needs to
I may eventually finish this but the writing style and amount of errors put me off I did learn stuff but when you find repeated facts that are simply wrong you wonder how much of the rest is completely accurate.
Doug Brunell
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's book is a dense, fact-filled examination of the roots of all the variations of National Socialism, white supremacy and all that goes with it. Sometimes the amount of information is overwhelming, but one can't say that Goodrick-Clarke didn't do his homework. What is puzzling about the book, however, is its conclusion.

Goodrick-Clarke seems to present the information in an unbiased form throughout the book. A basic "here is what this group believes and why" type of approa
Sir Michael Röhm
There's some quote I stumbled across on the Internets once before, from the Simpsons - to the effect of, "It's funny because they're serious about something so ridiculous."

Thus, this book.

While Goodrick-Clarke's book on the Occult Origins of the Nazi movement is still on my to-read list, this book is basically a sequel to it. Where the first book focused on the Nazi party in Germany, this book focuses on later neo-Nazi groups. The first two chapters consist of brief historical run-downs of the n
Outside of organizational problems (the entwined histories of various groups are weirdly separated and organized) & Goodrick-Clarke provides a significant and powerful history yet simultaneously seems to have some very strange sympathy for the subject of his investigation. An excellent reference and a poor read.
Jeremiah Genest
Aug 30, 2007 Jeremiah Genest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won't claim that Black Sun was a fun read, but it was a good read. Theres a lot of information here, I learned much about Evola and Savitri Dev and Miguel Serrano and more about Christian Identity that I probably wanted to. These people are scary, and like everything else that gives me nightmares I turn it into gaming. In this case I have one player whose 1937 incarnation was a fascist organizer and I finally got around to reading this book for ideas. Since the same player has invested heavily ...more
In Black Sun, Goodrick-Clarke comprehensively reviews the post-war Neo-Nazi movement ranging from Miguel Serrano's Esoteric Hitlerism to Nordic racial paganism and how modern conspiracy theorists link in with the far-right's pathological mistrust of government and society.

Goodrick-Clarke covers a wealth of topics, some of which are lesser known (such as Savitri Devi and her Hitler avatar) but each one is covered in detail and altogether, he paints a frightening picture of an ideology that rathe
Feb 13, 2011 AC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fascism
This is a fairly good book, a rapid (rather than sustained) review of a wide range of figures and far-right phenomena (internationally): from Rockwell to occult nazism (Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano) to Christian Identity, Odinism, and New World Order ('Illuminati') conspiracies. Helpfully, the book is well bibliographed. Goodrick-Clark is always sober, and authoritative. This book forms, as I said before, a good compliment to Gregor's richer (but somewhat quirkier -- I never cease to be amaze ...more
Frank Bosman
Jul 15, 2014 Frank Bosman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: esoterism
As he did before in his Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology for the period 1850-1940, Goodrick-Clarke describes the strange mixture between occultism and nazism in the post War period, including esoteric Hitlerism, Black Sun neo Nazis and Ravenscroft's The Spear of Destiny. Goodrick-Clarke is very higly valuated by Esoterism expert Hanegraaf in his Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism
Mahmoud Awad
Jun 26, 2016 Mahmoud Awad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, fringe
Lucid, thorough, plodding at worst but always informative. The chapter on NSBM was a pleasant surprise to encounter. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the backbone of neofascist milieau, and strongly to those who would otherwise tilt their nose at the subject and veer away in disgust. Those are the readers who can take the most away from it.
It is essential, you see, to understand identitarian anti-communism not as a hidden bulwark of "the system" maintained by all ten remaining memb
Sep 16, 2015 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly one of the better academic books looking at neo-fascism and the semi-religious movements that intersect. The only real criticism that could be leveled is that it would be like to have a little more depth in some areas, especially the theological underpinnings of Christian Identity and the details on Satanic Fascism. There is a certain amount of social conservatism in the beginning and conclusion, but this voice is pretty absent from the rest of the book. For anyone that knows G ...more
Jan 13, 2008 Pranjal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This guy's book on Savitri Devi was really well written and balanced well as a book, so it was an easy and interesting read.

This book is kind of the opposite. It seems like a sloppily put together collection of names, dates, and events, peppered with too much of the author's own (mainstream right-wing) political views. Not to mention the chapter on black metal, which contains some of the worst writing/research I've ever seen.

Two stars only because the subject matter is so ridiculous that it's in
Paul Hebron
Nov 19, 2015 Paul Hebron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Lots of interesting stuff, a good general guide to neonazism and the esoteric end of nazi philosophy; however towards the end Goodrick-Clarke takes a big jump into "genuine concerns" territory in regards to the white working class re. immigration, affirmative action, etc.

You suspect Goodrick-Clarke shares sympathies with the neonazis he interviewed and with the non-nazi right.

Almost a complete waste except for a general overview.

Dec 27, 2013 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodrick-Clarke follows up his excellent "The Occult Roots of Nazism" with this book dealing with occult and esoteric matters from World War 2 on through the 20th Century and into modern times. Once again fascinating and informative reading.
Jan 26, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-reaserched survey of post-WWII Nazi groups and their ideologies, how their concepts and groups grew and their relations among each other.
David Livingstone
A fascinating look at the strange underbelly of neo-fascism and its surprisingly wide-ranging influences in the post-war period.
Jun 18, 2007 Bood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like noise, neo folk, or black metal you should read this, but most likely you already have.
James Sass
James Sass rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2014
Dan Shea
Dan Shea rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2015
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Baron Como rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2009
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Nov 21, 2016
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Chris Meyer rated it really liked it
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Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke B.A. (Bristol), D.Phil. (Oxon) is a professor of Western Esotericism at University of Exeter and author of several books on esoteric traditions.

He is the author of several books on modern occultism and esotericism, and the history of its intersection with Nazi politics. His book, The Occult Roots of Nazism, has remained in print since its publication in 1985 and has been t
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