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Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  730 ratings  ·  148 reviews
The dark story of the shocking resurgence of white supremacist and nationalist groups, and their path to political power

Six years ago, when Vegas Tenold began reporting from the inner circle of three white power groups in America -- the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and the Traditionalist Workers Party -- he found himself in the midst of small, disorganized gro
Published February 20th 2018 by Bold Type Books
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Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wisconsin goes to Trump! Everything you love will burn! LOL"

This is the text journalist Vegas Tenold received at three o'clock in the morning on November 9, 2016. Just a few hours earlier, what had seemed impossible had happened: Donald Trump was elected to be the next president of the United States. The author of the text was Matthew Heimbach, a likable and intelligent white nationalist who Tenold followed and wrote about for six years.

So how did we get here? Where the victory on election
Stacie C
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book-arcs, 2017
Before you start reading this book, ask yourself what is you want from this book. Are you looking for a rationalization for why white nationalism is making a resurgence? Are you looking for the history of white nationalism in the U.S. or to find what they really believe? Are you hoping that this book will make you feel better about what’s happening in the U.S. and convince you that it is just a phase? Figure out first what you want before proceeding. I didn’t want anything from this book but a d ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
When one of my book challenges sought to have me explore an event that received both societal and cultural backlash, I could not help but gravitate towards Vegas Tenold’s book. While not choosing a single event, Tenold explores the reemergence of white nationalism in America. An issue that has deep and long historical roots, I could justify the book’s inclusion in the topic because of the modern reincarnation of sanctioned racial nationalism over the last number of years. Tenold seeks to explore ...more
Randal White
I have to admit, I could not finish this book. It was just too disturbing, and too much for me to handle, the fact that there are still people in the world who think and believe the things the author discovered. The white supremacy groups, who once appeared relegated to the trashbin of history, have found new life in their belief that Donald Trump is their savior. It was just sickening.
The writing is good. Perhaps others will be able to power through the wretchedness of these people, but I just
Jill Mackin
A good book, but very hard to read. It's insane that these types of groups/people are making a come-back.
Caidyn (he/him/his)
The full review to this can be found here!

Thanks to NetGalley and Perseus Books for an advanced copy! This did not effect my rating.

Who would have thought For What It's Worth would come around and be so prescient.

But, before jumping into the book, I want to give you an analogy. Do you remember when you were a kid and had “wars”? Wars, as in, epic battles of will between kids in your neighborhood. They were completely imagined factions and, when you look back on it, you laugh about how ridiculous
Audacia Ray
Well written and engaging, but I found the framing of this book really troubling. The author spent many years accompanying the book’s main characters to white nationalist and nazi rallies, while ostensibly maintaining his progressive views. I do feel like that’s a useful project that needed to be done. But he chose to take it in this ho-hum documenting of the terrible things without analysis direction. Which is, I guess, journalism? The author inserts his own feelings very few times and there is ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I unfortunately had high expectations for this book, which it fell short of. While it gave background history for some white nationalist groups, it ignored the more relevant and influential aspects of the movement. For a book whose cover features Charlottesville, there was very little explanation or relevance to that event so I felt very misled. Additionally, the author’s fondness for his subject despite the horrifying and violent things that came out of his mouth was disturbing. More analysis o ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America by Norwegian journalist Vegas Tenold is not light reading. It’s a book that I started while also knowing it would be upsetting. But I can’t walk away from these topics, or allow myself to be blissfully ignorant anymore. That said, I can only understand the white nationalist movement on an intellectual level. Emotionally, the belief set is still completely unfathomable to me.

Tenold doesn’t set out to explain why the
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Not a bad book; but the author seemed to have compiled the work in a rapid manner as there were quite a few errors regarding names of various people in the White Nationalist movement. He refers to the founder of the organization American Renaissance as Richard Taylor, when in fact the man's name is Jared Taylor. He also calls Matthew Heimbach's right hand man in the now defunct Traditionalist Workers Party as Tony Horvater, when it should be Tony Hovater. For a man who spent 5 years alongside va ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: america
This was both a disturbing and reassuring read. Disturbing because it’s horrifying that anyone believes and acts the way the people do and reassuring because most of the groups were small and rather pathetic. The journalist did a good job covering the groups and inserted himself into the story just enough without it being distracting.
Conor Ahern
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book challenged me more than I thought it would, and it still has me reeling.

It is loosely told through the ascendancy within white unity groups of a young man named Matthew Heimbach. As a youth, Matthew careened between leftist and authoritarian impulses, ending up with a strange salmagundi of beliefs, most of which are irrelevant to the object of this ethnography of white nationalists. The key thing to note about Matthew is that he believes people of similar races and ethnicities should
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
A journalist goes into far-right and white nationalist circles to report on this dangerous corner of the body politic around the time of the 2016 election. With a mixture of the quotidian and the horrifyingly bizarre phenomena of the far right. That is the times we are living in surreal and disturbing. The far-right like Donald Trump are both bullshitters and true believers who believe their own bullshit. Add to that the violence that is endemic in its movement is in tension with the politicall ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I'm honestly not sure how to review this book without it coming off as a criticism of Vegas Tenold's journalistic skills. And I feel bad because this is the book he produced after he spent so many years attending events and getting to know like 3 people in the movement.

Overall the book is somewhat interesting, if you are curious about the resurgence of white supremacy in America. It could have been much succinct if Tenold had left out unnecessary descriptions about travel from point A to point B
Everything You Love Will Burn is well-worth the read if only for the consolation that white nationalism is still a fringe element, with big differences in opinion among its sects and rampant disorganization in its ranks. Vegas Tenold spent six years embedded in the National Socialist Movement, the KKK, and the Traditionalist Worker's Party, and this book is mainly about the efforts by the leader of the TWP, Matthew Heimbach, to create a coalition of all of these groups under the umbrella of whit ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a narrative account of one reporter's experiences traveling with the US racist right, mostly with TWP leader, Matthew Heimbach. It's useful for an inside view of the bumbling and pathetic, and yet still dangerous, present-day KKK and Hammerskins as well - as Heimbach has been trying to gather these ultra-right neofascists for years. The author does a good job of covering these activists to understand who they are without presenting them as in any way noble. My only quibble is that h ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some parts of the book read like a confederacy of dunces type satire. Other parts read like a DSM description of paranoid schizophrenia. And others were just tragic. This book takes you inside a bunch of groups of white supremacists who have delusions of grandeur and who are unfortunately gaining more troops and more attention. But what it reveals is that they are as stupid as they are hateful.

The key thesis of the book for me was that these dudes are not the problem. They’re too stupid. It’s t
Rick Wilson
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
“We are not them, and they are not us.” This quote from the beginning of the book really boils down the importance of identity associated with the rise of white nationalism. In the soft skulled hate factory that is the alt-right, Vegas Tenold plumbs first hand the depressing depth of white supremacy. What emerges is an ethnography that both humanizes and disgusts. Multiple times in this book I found myself amused by the almost slapstick antics these bozos partook in. You know, if the 3 Stooges w ...more
In Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America, Vegas Tenold shadows Matthew Heimbach as he seeks to build a white nationalist coalition. Heimbach believes that the current political climate is the perfect moment to act because "we're in a historic position to bring nationalism in America out from the shadows" (221). However, that's easier said than done because White Nationalism is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of groups and ideologies that ar ...more
"By turns frightening and fascinating, Everything You Love Will Burn shows us the future of hate in America."

Gather your thick skin around you, pull on your big boy/girl pants, and keep an open mind. At time disturbing; at time enlightening, but at no time boring
Lucy Kwiatek
This wasn't a particularly fun read, for obvious reasons. Everything You Love Will Burn is essentially an intimate dive into the WORST people in America. Neo-Nazis in full uniform, hood-clad KKK members, and various other assorted loathsome individuals. It would be easy for Tenold's book to simply become a litany of horrors, and it sometimes approaches that. But at the same time, it also does a good job of exposing its subjects for what they really are--awkward, strange, vile people.

Right from
My efforts to “keep up” with the literature on the altright has brought me to this effort by a Norwegian journalist. So far, he’s been the one with the most access out of the lot. He started out writing curiosity stories about neonazis and klan groups- kind of like those episodes of Maury every nineties kid will remember, where he’d have on some absurdly kitted-out racists for everyone to gawk and yell at. Later, he began following Matt Heimbach, leader of the “Traditional Workers Party,” around ...more
Darcia Helle
I tend to think of white nationalist groups as hate cults. But, admittedly, I knew little about them because I find them so completely intolerable. I wanted to read this book because it offers a view from a distance. I didn't have to actually interact with these people in order to get a glimpse inside their world and, perhaps, better understand them.

This book is well written, and it certainly does take us inside the white nationalist movement. The author spent years with these various groups, a
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
It's not the author's writing nor his perspective or take on the content, but rather the subject itself that kept me reading this book. An insider's look at Heimbach and the TWP is pretty damned interesting, but Vegas Tenold somehow manages to paint Heimbach as some loveable bear-Nazi, and is somehow shocked when he encounters Heimbach at Unite The Right and Heimbach appears to have taken a "dark turn." There is not much to learn from this book if you have been following and studying fascist and ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Veered way too much into apologism for white nationalists and supremacists. I think the author got too close to his subjects. There is no "acceptable" version of white supremacy or nationalism, and no white supremacists or nationalists are decent people. They subscribe to a violent, hateful ideology.

I think the author did too much to position Matthew as an acceptable white nationalist, because hey, at least he isn't a skinhead or a Hammerskin! But his ideology is still disgusting and harmful, an
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This is such a hard book to read. I can only read a little bit at a time. The hateful and racist attitudes are hard to stomach, and it hurts to get an inkling to just how many people/groups there are that feel this way.

-fourteen words shorthand- "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

-Someone is speaking at a Klan meeting the author was invited to, and they said "They call us a terrorist organization, but I don't know of a single terrorist organization that
Yonis Gure
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Like most people outside the US I was first made aware of the growing presence of White Nationalism in America after the Trump election victory in 2016 and, most acutely, after the events that took place a little over a year ago in Charlottesville VA. My first reaction was to chalk them as deranged lunatics, nothing more than racist idiots who will forever remain on the periphery of politics. However, when the President of the United States was openly pandering to Alt-Right and the White Nationa ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is simultaneously frightening and unintentionally hilarious. Reading about the sort of obtuse dipshits that make up the white nationalist movement is hilarious (there's a part where Tenold describes a KKK member explaining to a KKK adept how to light the crosses on fire without setting their robes on fire and it seems like every white power rally is a march from a Kroger parking lot to a Walmart parking lot. Also don't get me started on their white nationalist conference reception, whi ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Tough balance to strike, but the writer pulls it off. Imbedding himself with various white nationalist groups is a brave thing, and he witnessed and wrote about some really troubling and enlightening things. The book is well worth a look, but one of the things that struck me, listening to it, was how much more clearly some of these white nationalists can see (part of) the problem. They scapegoat the wrong people, obviously, and their solutions are disgusting, but this is another good data point ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Vegas Tenold is a left wing journalist from Norway who embedded himself with American fascist organizers from key white nationalist organizations, including the TWP, NSM, and the KKK for years in order to report on them accurately. If you are familiar with gonzo journalist Jon Ronson, you will find many stylistic parallels in "Everything You Love Will Burn". I listened to the audiobook version, read by Mr. Tenold, and even the cadence of his voice and first person "ride along" style reminded me ...more
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“Ultimately, I believe that the far right in America, at least the incarnation I spent years covering, is destined to fail. Not because America is inherently good and that the forces of justice and progress are always stronger than those of intolerance and hatred, but because white supremacy is doing just fine without the far right. The country has spent decades perfecting an ostensibly nonracial form of white supremacy, and it is serving with remarkable efficiency. Private prisons, mandatory sentencing, seemingly unchecked police power, gerrymandering, increasingly limited access to healthcare and abortion—these are all tendrils in an ingenious web designed to keep people poor and powerless. Yes, white people were caught in that web too, but when it comes to those experiencing poverty, African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos vastly outnumber whites. The people Matthew was ostensibly fighting for—the broken, beaten, and forgotten whites of Appalachia and the Rust Belt—weren’t victims in a war against white people but rather collateral damage in a war against poor people and minorities. I believe Matthew was right when he said that the elites and politicians hate his people, but they don’t hate them because they’re white; they hate them because they’re poor.” 3 likes
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