Years of Rage is a revealing—and frightening—history of the many and varied white supremacist groups that have operated in the United States from the rebirth of the Klan in 1915 through to the rise of the alt-right and the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Historian D. J. Mulloy explores the motivations and underlying beliefs of these racists, their fears of displacement, their propaganda, their propensity to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and their deep and unwavering sense of rage. He also considers the important role played by women within the movement, as well as white supremacy’s deep roots in American society. Indeed, Mulloy demonstrates that rather than being consigned to the margins of American history, at times—the 1920s; the 1950s; the presidency of Trump—white supremacy has been remarkably close to the center.
Wide-ranging yet accessible, Years of Rage examines a host of fascinating topics and events including the skillful promotion of the Klan by professional salesmen during the 1920s, the vicious campaign of violence directed against the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s, the development of a Nazi-Klan alliance during the 1970s, the centrality of esoteric religious beliefs like Identity Christianity to many white supremacists, the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, and the critical role played by the Internet, social media, and Donald Trump to the startling resurgence of far right in our own time.
D. J. Mulloy is Chair and Professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he specializes in the study of post-1945 U.S. history. He is the author of American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement (2004), The World of the John Birch Society: Conspiracy, Conservatism and the Cold War (2014) and Enemies of the State: The Radical Right in America from FDR to Trump.
Chapter 1. The Burning Cross:
The Klan, Silver Shirts, Legionnaires, and Bundsmen
Chapter 2. Fighting Civil Rights:
Citizens’ Councils, Guerillas, and American Nazis
Chapter 3. The “New” Klan:
David Duke, Louis Beam, William Pierce, and the
Chapter 4. Religion and Revolution:
The Posse, Identity Christianity, and The Order
Chapter 5. Terror in the Heartland:
Ruby Ridge, Militias, and Oklahoma City
Chapter 6: Facing the Present:
White Nationalism, Obama, Trump, and the Alt-Right
A Note on Sources
About the Author
Years of Rage is comprehensive and accessible, efficiently summarizing more than a century of important history. It is a valuable resource for scholars of the American extreme right.
Mulloy’s study is a masterful history of the development of the American extreme right from its inception in 1915, when the Ku Klux Klan was revived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, to the contemporary alt-right and its relationship with the nationalist-populism advanced by Donald Trump. He demonstrates the different approaches that the extreme right subculture has employed to influence politics, culture, and public discourse. While some right-wing activists have sought to normalize white nationalism and introduce it to the mainstream of America, others have espoused violent revolution and racial separatism. Reading Mulloy’s book will provide great insight into the alarming polarization that bedevils the United States today.
Mulloy's book is essential reading for Americans interested in safeguarding democratic equality, and that should be all of us.