Critical Praise

Right-Wing Populism in America:
Too Close for Comfort

by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons
New York: Guilford Publications, 2000

Critical Praise for Right-Wing Populism in America


"This book shines brilliant light on right-wing populist movements that have undermined democracy throughout United States history-- and are still influencing politics and policies today. The book shows how populist rhetoric has been used by far right and mainstream politicians alike to divide people with scapegoating and deflect them from achieving greater social and economic equity."

Holly Sklar, author of Chaos or Community? Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad Economics.

"This long-awaited history and critical analysis has arrived right on time. The increased presence of the Right in this country has confused many people with its varied shapes and forms. This book gives the context needed for students and monitors of the Right to understand why these anti-democratic forces continue to thrive in our society."

Suzanne Pharr, author of In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation, and Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism.

"Chip Berlet has been a valuable resource for many years to everyone concerned about the potentially dangerous right-wing ideological strains that operate in this country. His work with Political Research Associates has been a most important source of data and analysis. Now he and Matthew Lyons have made yet a different major contribution. Right Wing Populism in America builds on their years of expertise to provide a sweeping historical account of the tradition of such tendencies in American politics-- from Bacon's Rebellion in the 17th century to the present.

This is an important analysis for anyone-- among scholars and nonspecialists alike-- who wishes to understand the complex, sometimes ugly forces that have participated in shaping the American political landscape; it is a good companion to Rogers M. Smith's Civic Ideals as a careful treatment of the powerful anti-egalitarian tendencies that have always contended to define the American political mainstream."

Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene.

"Berlet and Lyons' Right-Wing Populism in America makes a significant stride toward a greater understanding of right-wing social movements in the United States. This ground breaking book provides an analytical socio-political history of the entire right-wing incorporating a holistic view which avoids the pitfalls of standard overly simplified theories which psychologize ‘extremists’ and separate right-wing organizations into mainstream and marginal or far-right groups.

Berlet and Lyons have examined shades of right-wing populism across U.S. history noting a wide array of ideologies which lead to both convergence and contradiction on the American political landscape. They make timely and compelling arguments that lead us to re-evaluate our definitions of these social movements and call for a re-examination of our currently ineffective social policies which are aimed at containing right-wing groups. Right-Wing Populism is an accessible and engaging book which is appropriate for use in college undergraduate and graduate classes as well as useful for a more general readership."

Stephanie Shanks-Meile, co-author of  "White Power, White Pride!" The White Separatist Movement in the United States.

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