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"An important book, offering the clearest explanation of how dark forces conspired to overthrow our democratically elected government and install a fascist regime in its place. And it’s a warning that what comes next might be even worse... His prose is passionate, thoughtful, at times blisteringly funny and always deeply morally engaged with the importance of the work." -- The Seattle Times
The strange and terrible tale of the far right’s long war on American democracy . . .
From a smattering of ominous right-wing compounds in the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s, to the shocking January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, America has seen the culmination of a long-building war on democracy being waged by a fundamentally violent and antidemocratic far-right movement that unironically calls itself the "Patriot" movement.
So how did we get here? Award-winning journalist David Neiwert — who been following the rise of these extremist groups since the late 1970s, when he was a young reporter in Idaho — explores how the movement was built over decades, how it was set aflame by Donald Trump and his cohorts, and how it will continue to attack American democracy for the foreseeable future. Neiwert especially studies how the Pacific Northwest has long been a breeding ground of extremist violence, from the time when neo-nazis migrated to the area from southern California in the 1970s, through the great battles in Portland and Seattle and neighboring towns over the last decade.
Laying out how these groups organize their terroristic violence and attacks on democratic institutions at every level—including local, state, and federal targets—Neiwert details what their strategies and plans look like for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
David Neiwert is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of several books, including Red Pill, Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories that are Killing Us (Prometheus 2020), Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (Verso 2017), Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us (Overlook 2016), and And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border (Nation Books 2013).
"David Neiwert offers a necessary and chilling read about American extremists and the threat they pose to us all...America’s only hope lies in the power of important books like this one to inspire decent citizens to redouble their efforts to defeat these vile scourges of freedom and democracy." --Charles Kaizer for The Guardian
"An important book, offering the clearest explanation of how dark forces conspired to overthrow our democratically elected government and install a fascist regime in its place. And it’s a warning that what comes next might be even worse... His prose is passionate, thoughtful, at times blisteringly funny and always deeply morally engaged with the importance of the work." --Paul Constant for The Seattle Times
"Now in his fifth decade of reporting on right-wing extremism in the U.S., this expert on authoritarianism warns that the taste of power will propel extremists to continue their assault on democracy... Well-written, impeccably researched, easy to digest, and vivid in its profiles of far-right radicals, The Age of Insurrection is a key source for readers trying to make sense of it all." --Booklist, STARRED review
"Award-winning investigative journalist Neiwert chronicles, defines, and thoroughly documents the rise of alt-right ideologies in the U.S... Equal parts enlightening and terrifying, this is imperative reading for anyone in the United States." --Library Journal, STARRED review
"A brisk and searing history... It's a disturbing look at how hard extremism is to stamp out." --Publishers Weekly
"A trenchant analysis of the many dangers of the far right... Well reported and well written, Neiwert's book also exposes allies that one wishes the radical right didn't have--e.g., local police departments such as those of Portland, Oregon, whose leaders saw the Proud Boys as less alien than the left-wing protestors; and even the senior echelons of the Department of Homeland Security, who exhibited "authoritarian incompetence" throughout the Trump years... Politics watchers will find Neiwert's book illuminating -- and frightening." --Kirkus
“For over a decade, David Neiwert has been America’s canary in the coal mine—our national early-warning system on the spread of corrosive, eliminationist, right-wing hatred in our midst.”—Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
"Over the last two decades, David Neiwert has been one of our finest analysts of the American far right, paying sustained, serious and careful attention to the seemingly fringe movements of conspiracy theorists and insurrectionists. Now it turns out these movements are not so fringe after all but have helped elect Donald Trump as president. This crisply written book, grounded in his solid reporting, tells the whole sordid story with clarity and force. More than anyone else, Neiwert understands that Trumpism has deep roots in American culture and history. In this book, he lays out those roots for all to see.” —Jeet Heer, Senior Editor at the New Republic
“David Neiwert is among the most astute analysts of the contemporary right.” —Joe Conason, author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth
“Neiwert has not only earned his investigative chops over the past decade or so by exploring the dangerous side of right-wing extremism—he’s proven himself to be one of the more lyrical and elegant writers on the beat.” —Daily Kos
“There is no more dogged or more courageous chronicler of the radical American Right than Dave Neiwert. He is the polestar by which we navigate the great distance between what we claim to be as a people, and what we truly are.” – Charles Pierce, Esquire