Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe

Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America is a 1992 book by John George and Laird Wilcox. It is an examination of political extremism of both the far left and far right in the United States.

The authors attempt to summarize the pre-1960 historical background of American extremist movements, discuss conspiracy theories and their validity, offer their insight on what motivates extremists, and discuss a number of contemporary groups on the "far left" and "far right" based principally on their personal contacts with approximately six hundred individual extremists and the extremists' own writings.

It was published by Prometheus Books (Buffalo, New York) in 1992 as a 523-page hardcover (ISBN 0-87975-680-2). In 1996, Prometheus Books (Amherst, New York) republished it as American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists and Others in a 443-page paperback (ISBN 1-57392-058-4).


"We are always asked: "How did you get interested in political extremism?" This is a reasonable question because the subject admittedly is somewhat arcane. Yet political extremism has a mystique all its own, combining elements of superstition, urban legend, and political utopianism. While, by definition, extremists roam about the fringes of our culture, they also pay close attention to our culture. Agreeing with them little, nonetheless, we can learn a lot from them and their social and political concerns." —from the preface.


Part Chapter Notes
Preface The authors give the history of their personal interest in political extremism. Recognizing their fallibility, and inability to claim "anything approaching complete objectivity", the authors attempted to "make an honest and diligent attempt to be fair and even-handed in our treatment of this subject." Distinguishing this book from the many covering "extremism" or "extremists" on the market (with their own agenda "to provide a rationale for persecuting or doing away with certain 'extremists'"), the authors' goal was "to provide understanding of a human problem, not a basis for one more round of persecutions." The authors propose a definition of "extremism" based on "the behavioral model" ("defined in terms of certain behaviors, particularly behavior toward other human beings"), passing up the "normative or "statistical" way" (framing the spectrum on a linear scale, a "bell curve") and the "popularity contest" theory ("social definition agreed upon by collective fiat"). The authors describe their position on the political spectrum as "a bit difficult to pin down"; they "might be most accurately described as pragmatists with libertarian tendencies."
Part I. Background, Characteristics, Motivations, and Other Considerations 1. It's Not New: Historical Perspective on American Extremism Prior to 1960
2. What Is Extremism? Style and Tactics Matter More Than Goals
3. Extremists and the Constitution
4. Motivations: Why They Join, Stay, Leave
Part II. The Far Left 5. Communist Party USA
6. Socialist Workers Party
7. Spartacist League
8. Workers League
9. Guardian
10. Black Panther Party
11. Students for a Democratic Society
12. Progressive Labor Party
13. Workers World Party
14. Communist Party USA (Marxist-Leninist)
15. Revolutionary Action Movement
16. Revolutionary Communist Party
17. Communist Workers Party
18. All African People's Revolutionary Party
19. Marxist-Leninist Party, USA
Part III. The Far Right 20. Reverend Billy James Hargis and his Christian Crusade
21. The John Birch Society: A Plot to Sell Books?
22. The Dan Smoot Report
23. "Life Line"
24. The Church League of America
25. The Christian Right
26. Willis Carto and Liberty Lobby
27. The Citizens' Councils of America and The Councilor
28. Robert Bolivar DePugh and the Minutemen
29. Common Sense
30. Gerald L.K. Smith and Christian Nationalist Crusade
31. The LaRouche Network
32. Jewish Defense League
33. The Nation of Islam
34. Assorted Neo-Nazis Covers the National Renaissance Party, the American Nazi Party, and the National Socialist Party of America; Neo-Nazi splinters and sects like the America First Committee, the American White Nationalist Party, the Euro-American Alliance, the National Alliance, the National Democratic Front, the National Socialist League/World Service, the National Socialist Liberation Front, the National Socialist Movement, the National Socialist Vanguard, the National Socialist White America Party, the NSDAP/AO, the National Socialist White Workers Party, the Social Nationalist Aryan Peoples Party, the SS Action Group, and the United White Peoples Party; major groups of the 1980s like Aryan Nations, The Mountain Church of Jesus Christ, The Order, Posse Comitatus, and White Aryan Resistance.
35. The National States' Rights Party
36. National Christian Publishers
37. Ku Klux Klans
Appendix I. Fake Quotes and Fabricated Documents: A Common Extremist Tactic
Appendix II. Principal Characteristics of the Extremes and the Mainstream in America: A Handy Guide for Extremist Watchers

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