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Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream
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Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  28 reviews
More than fifteen years in the making, Blood and Politics is the most comprehensive history to date of the white supremacist movement as it has evolved over the past three-plus decades. Leonard Zeskind draws heavily upon court documents, racist publications, and first-person reports, along with his own personal observations.
An internationally recognized expert on the subj
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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3.84  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history

An exhaustive exploration of white racist organizations from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Obama era, this book is even more timely today in the era of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and the alt-right's Richard Spencer.

Zeskind really knows his subject, and is particularly good at 1) making connections between the obvious racists and the more mainstream operations, like Pat Buchanan's and Ron Paul's and 2) showing how the white power crowd has become more intellectually sophisticat
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Zeskind's book is an utterly absorbing study of hard right politics, especially focusing on the second half of the 20th century. The essential fact that the book is communicating is that some very unpleasant ideologies are significantly more widespread than we might wish to believe in our country, and have found ways to survive and sometimes thrive over many decades.

Blood and Politics is very wide-ranging, occasionally to its detriment. However, the main thrust of Zeskind's book follows two impo
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I finished this book several days ago, and I still have no idea how to write a concise review about it. This is a monster of a book – 545 pages (without notes), covering over forty years of the white nationalist movement and picking up on many of the small details within both the movement and wider American culture. I can’t even wrap my head around the amount of time and effort this book took to research and write (publicity materials say fifteen years, and I’d well believe it). In short, I feel ...more
Steven Wedgeworth
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There's certainly some bias here, but the scope is impressive. Zeskind starts with Willis Carto and Francis Parker Yockey and covers all of the relevant White Nationalist movements through the 20th century, including Resistance Records and various survivalist outfits. The book concludes prior to the Trump phenomena, and so things like "alt-right" are not mentioned. Jared Taylor and American Rennaisance are covered, as well as Sam Francis, and the links there are very interesting. Zeskind discuss ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall, this was quite a good book. It starts in the late 60s (roughly 1965, but with some material from after Brown v. Board) and moves up to around 2004-05. I was made familiar with a number of names I hadn’t heard of. It was also interesting to see where, when, and to what extent, the crazier wing of the white nationalists intersected with broader conservative politics. Answer: it is less that a lot of liberals might believe, but certainly more than the average conservative should be comfort ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
The strengths of this book lie largely in the fact that it does precisely what the subtitle indicates: illuminates the shadowy world of white nationalism to reveal that its reach is far more pernicious than we might realize. Zeskind calls for a reevaluation of the movement that goes beyond skinhead stereotypes and KKK caricatures, forcing us to come to grips with the trickle-down effects of hatred in the more palatable, mainstream modes of the movement: for every Timothy McVeigh, there is also a ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly researched, well-written, terrifying and extremely necessary account of the history & current state of the international white supremacist movement. For those trying to understand the encroachment of the far right into the political mainstream - from the Tea Party, to Ron Paul's newsletters, to extreme anti-tax sentiment, to the epidemic of racist violence and now mass murders in the decade since 9/11 and Obama's election. Zeskind traces not just the major figures and movements ...more
Ben Cullimore
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The amount of detail and insight collected in Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream is, quite simply, outstanding. With it, Leonard Zeskind has proven that he is certainly one of the world's leading experts on white separatism, and he has done wonderfully well to create an exhaustive piece of work that charts the gradual evolution of the movement whilst simultaneously linking members of the far-right to those occupying more mainstrea ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Twice as long as it needs to be, but a good summary of a murky, paranoid subset of American society. Survivalists, Federal Reserve conspiracies, 9/11 'inside job' theorists, the fringes of the Republican party (Pat Buchanan) and the religious right (Jerry Falwell) are all tied into the same narrative as Klansmen, old-style Hitlerites, neo-nazi skinheads, bank robbers, gangs, abortion clinic bombers, and truck-bombing mass murderers.

An unexpectedly good companion to Mitch Horowitz's 'Occult Ameri
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good book to get a broad overview of racist movements from 1978-2005, though it often focuses on some of the more exhausing legal battles and personal stories. At over 500 pages, it can be a little long winded, but also miss some deeper analysis about the social and political dimensions in the changing far-right. In all it is a solid book that will be great for anyone interested in getting a handle on how racist movements have evolved in the last thirty years.
Jen Well-Steered
What I liked about it: This is a great book for nerds who like to know literally everything about a subject. Fortunately I'm a nerd and now I know, for example, about the connection between neo-nazis, the Christian Identity movement, and the killing of abortion doctors.

What I didn't like about it: At 645 pages, if all you're looking for is a short introduction and summary, this is definitely not the book for you.
Daniel DeLappe
Jul 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book is inane and boring. Before I start-Yes, Racist and Anti-Semites are bad and pretty much insults to other human beings, but this is would include racist of all colors and kinds. This is just re-hashed crap that says if you are a conservitive or want immagration controled you are a racist. Make it easy on yourself just watch MSNBC for a week and you will be getting the same thing. This book is easy to review. Don't waste your time.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Exhaustively researched, fantastically detailed, well written and compulsively readable. Zeskind's history of white supremacy in the U.S. since WWII is THE account to read. Never have I seen so much information between two covers; never have I been so fully convinced of how close to the mainstream so-called extremist white racists and anti-Semites are in the U.S. Truly, this book is amazing.
Amanda Birdwell
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it
For a 600 page book featuring Pat Buchanan and Ronald Reagan as the lesser of several evils, this was surprisingly readable. Zeskind illustrates, without making obvious, the way that chilling, violent overt haters exist on a continuum with more "understandable" racists, sexists and homophobes.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Blood and Politics is chock full of facts; sadly, Zeskind isn't much of a storyteller, so it ends up being both dry and depressing.
Stephen Schiavone
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer on the White Nationalist Movement.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: racism, religion, america
I picked up this massive book as part of my research on the role of religion in 20th century American white supremacy fringe groups. I found a ton of info on that topic, and have come to see that those on the fringe are part of a larger white nationalist movement seeking to overthrow progressive policies and construct a white ethnic state in US territory. The author does an excellent job weaving a coherent narrative out of seemingly disparate racist groups from the 1970s to the year 2000. This t ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An essential book for understanding the predecessors of the alt-right.
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
More like a text book. Very in depth and dense
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was a very detailed look at the rise of the right wing fringe in this country and its' influence on American politics. Zeskind's behind the scenes look at the influence of people such as Willis Carto and William Pierce in the movement's development is very well done. This book doesn't miss much and is to be taken very seriously.
A detailes and interesting look at the world of white supremacy movement and it's leaders. A forshadowing, I'm think, of even greater perils as the white percentage of the US population continues to shrink. It is amazing to me that people actually believe the nonsense that they pass off as "facts".
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just checked out. Zeskind has been a leading research on the far right for decades.
Claire S
Horribly relevant and necessary..
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Feb 11, 2018
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Vagabond of Letters
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Oct 24, 2018
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Sep 14, 2009
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Aug 13, 2012
Andrew Thatcher
rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2012
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Jewish-American researcher of the white seperatist movement.

Zeskind is a lifetime member of the NAACP.