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

by Arthur Goldwag

Hardcover, 2012




Pantheon, (2012)


A history of the role of organized hate in American politics delineates the origins of extreme belief systems as well as the economic and social factors that have contributed to their popularity.

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LibraryThing member BenjaminHahn
This little volume was a fascinating read for me because I have a thing for quirky aspects of American history, such as conspiracy theorists and all the strange fascinating stories Americans love to get worked up about. Goldwag basically takes the reader through a quick historical tour of the bizarre relationship between American populist right politics and hate-centered conspiracy theories. The "New Hate" is just a sarcastic title that the reader begins to understand as commonalities between each wave of populist phobias manifest themselves in new fear-fests. Goldwag goes over all the hysterics including the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the KKK, the anti-Catholicism movement, McCarthyism, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the gold standard movement, John Birch Society, Holocaust Deniers, Black Nationalism, White Power Movement, Birthers, 9-11 Truthers, as well as the Tea Party Movement. It is quite compelling to see how the specific language, conspiracy elements, and logical fallacies used by each wave of populism gets passed on to the new generation. It reminds me of meme theory. There is always a new "other" to focus the hate and blame on. It's almost sadly and morbidly humorous how often Jews are the "other" and have been blamed so repeatedly over and over again for everything.
My only criticism is how Goldwag's writing style is a bit digressive. Plus his sense of sarcasm is not unlike early 90's Noam Chomsky, just not so polemical. I thought it was hilarious, but I could see how some might not get the jokes. Regardless, if you enjoy reading well documented and researched American history texts like me, this book is unique, a bit scary, and at times quite funny.
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