In this expansive history of the white-power movement, Belew deconstructs the myth of the "lone wolf" perpetrators of white-supremacist violence and points to the reality of their movement within nationally organized networks of racist terrorist groups that consolidated around a sense of betrayal of veterans of the Vietnam War.
Kathleen Belew’s gripping study of white power ... is a breathtaking argument, one that treats foreign policy as the impetus for a movement that most people view through the lens of domestic racism ... It’s a stunning indictment of official culpability, and Belew constructs her case with forensic care. In doing so, she shows that, while racism is ever with us, policy choices ranging from local police strategies to the furthest reaches of foreign policy create the space for white power to flourish.
Meticulously researched and powerfully argued, Belew’s book isn’t only a definitive history of white-racist violence in late-20th-century America, but also a rigorous meditation on the relationship between American militarism abroad and extremism at home, with distressing implications for the United States in 2018 and beyond ... Bring the War Home is a grim and sobering read—and, for many, it may arrive as a much-needed and troubling revelation: The sheer size of white-power extremism since Vietnam is frightening ... The power of Belew’s book comes, in part, from the fact that it reveals a story about white-racist violence that we should all already know ... Now, in 2018, coming up on nearly two decades of an apparently endless War on Terror, and with white-power violence prominent in our headlines once again, forcing a more serious reckoning is imperative—and Belew’s vital intervention is a necessary step toward that end.
Belew does the hard work of...revealing how white supremacists built a coalition of rural survivalists, urban skinheads, and anti-Semitic Christian Identity believers. The unified white power movement coalesced around stories not of triumph but of defeat ... The white power movement created a culture in which, as Belew writes, 'a suburban California skinhead might bear Klan tattoos, read Nazi tracts, and attend meetings of a local Klan chapter, a National Socialist political party, the militant White Aryan Resistance—or all three' ... radical white extremism. Adding those three words to our political vocabulary would represent a small but important first step toward acknowledging that white supremacist violence emerges not from the disordered mind of a lone wolf but from a perceptible and ugly American movement.