Ridgeway’s Blood In The Face

Blood In The Face: Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of New White Culture

James Ridgeway

Published in 1995 (the year of the Oklahoma City Bombing), Ridgeway’s Blood in the Face was, was the first serious book I read on the rise of post-war neo-Nazi formations like Aryan Nations and Skinhead subculture. While the book begins by tracing the history of the KKK, it’s real worth, I think, is in the serious reporting Ridgeway put into tracing the formation of Aryan Nations, Posse Comitas, and the various amorphous nazi-skinhead groups which plagued the punk rock scene of my youth.

Much of what we see today in terms of the racist and anti-semitic tropes of the so called “alt-right” had their beginnings in these groups. You can see a clear through line from the simplistic hate literature Ridgeway reproduces here to the pepe the frog gas chamber meme’s of today’s alt-right twitter. While others have covered this ground since, Ridgeway was there first and his book remains essential reading for anyone interested in understanding postwar neo Nazism in America.

Recommended.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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