A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012
From the author of -Isms and -Ologies and Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies, here is a deeply researched, fascinating history of the role that organized hatred has played in American politics. The New Hate takes readers on a surprising, often shocking, sometimes bizarrely amusing tour through the swamps of nativism, racism, and paranoia that have long thrived on the American fringe. Arthur Goldwag shows us the parallels between the hysteria about the Illuminati that wracked the new American Republic in the 1790s and the McCarthyism that roiled the 1950s, and he discusses the similarities between the anti–New Deal forces of the 1930s and the Tea Party movement today. He traces Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism and the John Birch Society’s “Insiders” back to the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he relates white supremacist nightmares about racial pollution to nineteenth-century fears of papal plots.
Written with verve and wit, this lively history is indispensible reading for anyone who wants to understand the recent re-ascendance of extremism in American politics.
About the Author
Arthur Goldwag, a freelance writer and editor for more than twenty years, has worked at Book-ofthe-Month Club, where he created Traditions, a club devoted to Jewish interests, as well as at Random House and "The New York Review of Books,"
Michael Lewis is the author of several bestselling books, including Liar's Poker (#1 "New York Times" national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback), based in part on his own experience working as an investment banker for Salomon Brothers.
Praise for The New Hate:
"Titillating, shocking, brilliant, and often hilarious . . . a mesmerizing tour through the landscape of nutbaggery in the US."
"The most up-to-date. . . . The best written and the least paranoid [book] about paranoid haters."
—In These Times
"Arthur Goldwag’s dig through the history of American hate groups and haters . . . finds plenty of demented, paranoid, vitriolic dirt. . . . Goldwag is at his best when finding xenophobic parallels between anti-Catholic nativists and flamboyant anti-Semites, or language shared by extremist critics of FDR and Obama."
—The Portland Mercury
"A provocative, intellectually rigorous book written clearly and with an admirable lack of hatred."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Goldwag has performed a valuable service in tracing the history of the new hate to the old."
—Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III
"A comprehensive history of hatred—it’s a history of misunderstanding fueled by a brand of ignorance so unbelievably irrational, so egregiously wrong, so utterly antihuman, that it staggers the imagination of thinking adults. What Goldwag shows clearly is that the new hate is the old hate of anti-Semitism, overt racism, and paranoid conspiracy warmed up and served cold."
"Fantastic—well written, clear-headed, sober. . . . Arthur Goldwag’s The New Hate helps lay bare and make excruciatingly clear why the populist right is what it is at present. . . . A riveting read. . . . If you’re just coming to (socio-political) consciousness and want to understand how we’ve moved in the ways we have for the past decade+, this book’s where to go."
—Weston Cutter, Corduroy Books
“Loaded with insightful and obscure information about groups and movements, from the John Birch Society and the Freemasons to the tea partiers and ‘Birthers’. . . . If you are easily roused into rage by the blind ignorance of others, this is not a book for bedtime reading.”
“A lucid and detailed account of the irrational and bigoted right-wing populists and their conspiracy theories of power in the United States. These conspiracists are like intellectual vampires sucking the blood out of the body politic and leaving behind a weakened democracy in a fading twilight for civil society. Goldwag illuminates the conspiracists to reverse their trajectory of increasing influence, which is a periodic problem for our nation.”
—Chip Berlet, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America
“Arthur Goldwag confronts conspiracist fantasies and 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 Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation
“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. 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 of 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. . . . The New Hate covers everything you need to know about the paranoid style in American politics.”
—Alexander Zaitchik, author of Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance
“An informative and lively history of organized hate groups and their role in U.S. politics. . . . A witty narrator, Goldwag combines his research with contemporary analysis to explain what conspiracy theories all have in common and to show how the new hate is the same as the old, though it’s now ‘hiding in plain sight’. . . . Exhaustively well researched and passionately written. . . . Goldwag excels at showing how the obsessions of the past connect with those of the present.”
“Wide-ranging narrative. . . . A useful primer on the nation's ‘long-standing penchant for conspiratorial thinking, its never-ending quest for scapegoats’. . . . [Goldwag’s] thoroughness in exploring this subject is impressive.’”
“A well-reported study of disaffected groups who hate other groups whose members look or think differently than the haters.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Goldwag’s book makes a wonderful complement to Frank’s more openly polemical analysis [in Pity the Billionaire]. While Frank stresses the unique aspects of the Tea Party movement, Goldwag stresses its continuity with the past (the ‘new hate,’ he argues, is the old hate repackaged). Between them, they get to the heart of a movement that it’s all too easy to dismiss out of hand. Both books are excellent, but together they’re essential.”