The New Hate: a History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

Arthur Goldwag

The New Hate: a History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right
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The New Hate: a History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

Arthur Goldwag

‘Arthur Goldwag confronts conspiracist fantasies and fringe paranoia with reason and humanity — not to mention the briskness and drama of great historical storytelling. His dissection of how the political fringe has edged into mainstream culture deserves the attention and admiration of everyone who is concerned about the coarsening of our politics.’

Mitch Horowitz, author of OCCULT AMERICA ‘The most salient feature of what I have come to call the New Hate is its sameness across time and space. The most depressing thing about the demagogues who tirelessly exploit it — in pamphlets and books and partisan newspapers two centuries ago, on websites, electronic social networks, and 24-hour cable news today — is how much alike they all turn out to be.’

From ‘Birthers’ who claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States to counter-Jihadists who believe that the American constitution is in imminent danger of being replaced with sharia law, conspiratorial beliefs have become an increasingly common feature of US public discourse. In this deeply researched, fascinating history of the ideas and rhetoric that have animated extreme, mostly right-wing movements from colonial times to the present day, Arthur Goldwag reveals a disturbing pattern that runs through the American grain.

The New Hate reveals the parallels between the hysteria about the Illuminati that wracked the new Republic in the 1790s and the McCarthyism that roiled the 1950s — and between the anti–New Deal forces of the 1930s and the Tea Party today. He traces Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism and the John Birch Society’s ‘Insiders’ back to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he relates white-supremacist nightmares about racial pollution to 19th-century fears of Papal plots. Goldwag takes readers on a surprising, often shocking, sometimes bizarrely amusing tour through the swamps of nativism, racism, and paranoid speculations about money that have long thrived on the American fringe.

Reviews ‘One wishes that Goldwag were exaggerating, but if you spend a little time reading the vile comments sections on right-wing websites you will see that Goldwag has performed a valuable service in tracing the history of the new hate to the old.’

Ron Rosenbaum, author of EXPLAINING HITLER ‘The New Hate is a timely examination of the deep roots of the conspiracy theories that have animated the American radical right for more than a century now. This important book gives readers the background they need to understand the astounding extremist rhetoric that now passes for mainstream political debate.’

Mark Potok, Director, The Southern Poverty Law Center ‘This exhumation of the deep and gnarled roots of the American conspiratorial tradition could not be more timely. Combining a sweeping historical eye and sharp contemporary analysis, Arthur Goldwag explains not just why American politics in the Age of Obama is infected by a virulent strain of right-wing conspiracism — but why it has always been thus. From the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt, to the Tea Party Idiocracy of Michelle Malkin, The New Hate covers everything you need to know about the paranoid style in American politics.’

Alex Zaitchik, author of COMMON NONSENSE

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