01: Millennium Rage: Survivalists, White Supremacists, and the Doomsday Prophecy (Plenum, $25.95) is an absorbing look at the current wave of militias, white supremacists, and other similar groups.
Author Philip Lamy attempts to show how so-called “hate groups” have manufactured an apocalyptic ideology that fits in with their racist ideologies. Millennium Rage is useful for those with an interest in stopping hate groups and their activities, it will be of limited use for the scholar with expertise in this field as it doesn’t really say anything new and is primarily a compendium of Lamy’s opinions on the far right.
02: Vincent Coppola is a former correspondent for Newsweek who has long been interested in paramilitary culture.
That interest and knowledge serves him well in retelling of his forays into understanding those involved with far right religious and political groups in Dragons of God: A Journey Through Far Right America (Longstreet Press, $20). He is most interested in Christian Identity and its impact on the far right’s ideology, and does a competent job of explaining its complicated theology and its appeal to whites who feel disinherited from the American Dream.
Coppola’s writing style brings the reader right into the story; at times it seems as if one is eavesdropping on his interviews and conversations with his subjects. Dragons is not an academically oriented book and does not present much new information that might be of use to scholars, but it is an entertaining and sobering look at the far right.
03: Jeffrey Kaplan’s Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements From the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Syracuse University Press, $16.95) is an outstanding overview of contemporary American millenarianism that thoroughly explores the religious ferment that so dominates American culture.
Kaplan focuses on three movements: Asatru/Odinism, a racist variant of ancient Norse paganism; the Church of the Creator, a branch of Christian Identity; and B’Nai Noah, comprising former fundamentalist Christians who have developed a sect based on philosemitism and the seven Noahide Commandments. He capably illustrates how millennial thinking and apocalypticism play major roles in each movement’s theology.
Kaplan also shows how each sect has been heavily influenced by American millenarianism. He makes excellent use of recent scholarship in the field and the book is well written and would be enjoyed by both the general reader interested in religion and the scholar.
— Books reviewed by Lin Collette, a writer and researcher who specializes in the far right.
04: The new book by RW‘s editor Against The Stream: The Adoption of Traditional Christian Faiths by Young Adults is still available at a discount rate.
RW subscribers can obtain the book for $24.50, including postage and handling. The list price for the book is $26 — not including postage and handling (which is an additional $3.75). Be sure to make out payments to Religion Watch when ordering a copy.