PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of Books... in keeping with being published for mainstream audiences, largely serves as a tour guide to the world of the far right on the assumption that it is not well known to most readers ... At least as far as what’s presented in Culture Warlords, Lavin doesn’t get especially far in her efforts to dox fascists. In fact, she goes so far as to protect the identity of one she discusses extensively ... Lavin does not lack sympathy for the loneliness of incels, for instance. But she does more than most anti-extremists to connect the present fascist right to its predecessors as part of long histories of racism, antisemitism, misogyny, and fascist organizing in this country ... Though Lavin’s book may lack policy recommendations, her work contains the truth that the fight against emerging fascism is a mass political struggle, not a technical problem for experts to solve. Not everyone can punch Nazis, or dox them. Indeed, recent events have made clear that many of the upholders of white supremacy will not come to us in the reassuringly exotic form of the neo-Nazi. They will arise from the ranks of quotidian supporters of the structures of white supremacy, such as that of the police. It’s going to take much more than guidance programs for the youth and enhanced surveillance to counter the rising tide of the far right.
MixedThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe single greatest strength of Kill All Normies lies in Nagle’s admirable sangfroid in the face of a culture that renders many other commentators febrile and panicky. There’s a coolness to her engagement with the outrages of the alt-right that seems to stem from her understanding of the phenomenon in the context of social relations. And Nagle is at her finest linking the outrageous expressions of the alt-right to the dynamics of cultural insecurity ... The picture of mainline conservatism Nagle relies on as contrast to the alt-right rests largely on the domestication of conservatism in the United States and Western Europe after World War II, but this has proven to be a thin reed...That Nagle would take patently insincere clowns like [Milo Yiannopoulos] at face value is a baffling lapse in critical acuity ... Nagle isn’t the first to note the similarities between SJW-liberalism and the alt-right...The closest thing to a solution Nagle puts forward is an exhortation to pump the brakes on the sort of cultural celebration of transgression for its own sake one sees intermittently across the political spectrum. The last half of the book pushes this agenda heavily. The reader loses sight, at times, of both the alt-right and of the materialist exploration of it that Nagle promises in the introduction ... Nagle goes part of the way toward illuminating the larger political context at work online, but ultimately gets sucked into the culture-wars black hole she otherwise repudiates.
Giorgio De Maria
PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of Books...uncanny both in terms of its subject matter and in the way it prefigures the emotional reality of our own period. This is a book written in 1975 and featuring no technology more advanced than high-end analog audio recordings, yet it grasps the implications of social media in ways cyberpunk never did ... De Maria foresaw the way the internet — especially the portion of it defined by the pathologies of isolation — makes its users into consumers and creators simultaneously, fostering a paradoxical community of isolates mirroring their solipsisms at each other ... The Twenty Days of Turin turns the state of tension that neofascist terror attempted to create into a metaphysical condition, a supernatural threat summoning forces no one can control ... unlike any earlier weird-ideology tale I’ve read, The Twenty Days of Turin has a viciousness and caprice to its horror that feels very current ... De Maria’s prescient vision is a welcome and timely addition to the weird fiction of distinctly earthly terrors.