Guardian Best Book of 2018

PopMatters Best Book of 2018

“Belew’s book helps explain how we got to today’s alt right.”—Terry Gross, Fresh Air

“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.”—Patrick Blanchfield, The Nation

“...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.”—Nicole Hemmer, New York Times

“Kathleen Belew’s superbly comprehensive (Bring the War Home) – which argues that a white power movement emerged as a reaction to the Vietnam war – supplants all journalistic accounts of America’s resurgent white supremacism.”—Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian

“This is a work of fierce intelligence. In a breathtaking and wholly convincing manner, Belew shows how white power activists used their view of the Vietnam War to advance every element of their reactionary agenda and to justify domestic terrorism. A book of signal importance and urgency, it provides a haunting vantage point on contemporary American political culture.”—Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

“Fascinating… Belew connects seemingly disparate events like the killings at Greensboro, the persecution of Vietnamese fishers in Texas in the early 1980s, and the siege at Ruby Ridge. She shows how hatred of the federal government, fears of communism, and racism all combined in white-power ideology and explains why our responses to the movement have long been woefully inadequate.”—Rebecca Onion, Slate

“Kathleen Belew’s vital new book begins in the belly of a Huey helicopter somewhere over South Vietnam. From there she follows with unflinching honesty the violence that violence begat, from the tiny cadre of veterans who decided to bring the war home through Ruby Ridge and Waco to the horror of the Oklahoma City terrorist attack. Over the years I’ve read any number of exemplary histories. Never have I read a more courageous one.”—Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

“For those who wish to make sense of the enduring ‘catastrophic ricochet of the Vietnam War’ as well as recent events in places like Charlottesville, Belew’s Bring the War Home is required reading.”—Keira Williams, PopMatters

“An unquestionably powerful, well-researched and must-read addition to the post-2016 upsurge in analysis and investigation of the foundations of modern fascism. Anyone seeking to understand the origins of the modern far right in the U.S. should include this work at the top of their reading list.”—Ryan Smith, Truthout

“Bring the War Home is a tour de force. An utterly engrossing and piercingly argued history that tracks how the seismic aftershocks of the Vietnam War gave rise to a white power movement whose toxic admixture of violent bigotry, antigovernmental hostility, and racial terrorism helped set the stage for Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing, and, yes, the presidency of Donald Trump.”—Junot Díaz, author of This is How You Lose Her

“Fascinating and riveting, and that archive is truly incredible.”—Soledad O’Brien, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien

“Belew…traces the origins of the white power movement to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. She examines how various racist groups—skinheads, Klansmen, white separatists, neo-Nazis, militiamen, and others—united under a common banner and took the movement in a violent and revolutionary direction… Belew also argues that the anti-government sentiment created by the Vietnam War helped consolidate and radicalize the white power movement in ways we haven’t fully understood.”—Sean Illing, Vox

“Belew…counters the treatment of white terrorists as ‘lone wolves’ by tracing the contours of an organized white power movement that connected radical white extremists from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and from Waco, Texas, to Oklahoma City… Belew does the hard work of restoring those connections, revealing how white supremacists built a coalition of rural survivalists, urban skinheads, and anti-Semitic Christian Identity believers.”—Joseph Darda, The Los Angeles Review of Books

“A smart and powerfully argued book about the way that the Vietnam War in particular reshaped white power in the United States… It’s really fascinating, and it’s deeply archival work that Belew does.”—Nicole Hemmer, Past Present [podcast]

“The connection between hate groups and the military is not new… Bring the War Home charts the path of radical white supremacists from the end of the Vietnam War to the 1995 bombing of a Federal government building in Oklahoma City.”—CBS News

“This necessary work reminds readers that white violence—on behalf of, and against, the state—has a long and deep history.”—Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, Library Journal

“In this major work of scholarly synthesis, Kathleen Belew uses letters, ephemera and ‘zines’ as well as newspaper reports and official documents to reconstruct a dark chapter in American history that has chilling echoes for today.”—Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education

“Bring the War Home is a fascinating account of right-wing white power extremists in the United States. Kathleen Belew illuminates this history through staggeringly broad research. A compelling and sometimes shocking read, it is an outstanding contribution to the history of violence.”—Mary L. Dudziak, author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

“An engrossing and comprehensive history of the white power movement in America, highlighting its racism, antigovernment hostility, and terrorist tactics… Belew presents a convincing case that white power rhetoric and activism continue to influence mainstream U.S. politics.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)