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Religion and the Racist Right


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About the Author

Michael Barkun is professor emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and is a former FBI consultant in domestic terrorism cases. He is author of five previous books, including Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement.


While the Christian Identity cult is numerically insignificant, its ideology informs and influences American racist powers of every stripe. Identity's bizarre conceptual stew stirs together peculiar interpretations of biblical scripture to "prove" inherent Caucasian superiority. Its literal demonization of Jews fuels not only white racist groups such as WAR but also Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. Barkun (political science, Syracuse Univ.) here proffers the first sustained study of Identity from its origins in 19th-century British-Israelism, which held that the Anglo-Saxons were the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. While James Aho's fine Politics of Righteousness (Univ. of Washington Pr., 1990) addresses Identity's political activity, this work remains the only complete analysis of its more pervasive religious teachings. Essential to every academic collection concerned with racism, anti-Semitism, and American religious cults.-Bill Piekarski, Southwestern Coll. Lib., Chula Vista, Cal.

Well written, informative, and thoughtful.

"American Political Science Review"

"Religion and the Racist Right" is a singular achievement.

"New York Times Book Review"

"Well written, informative, and thoughtful.

"American Political Science Review""

A superb model of scholarship on a subject loaded with polemics and misunderstanding.

"Church History"

A valuable contribution to the expansive bibliography of American racism.

"The Journal of Religion"

It is an especially useful contribution to the study of anti-Semitism in America.

"Journal of Church and State"

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