Explores the complex relationship between Christianity and American white nationalists.
"Berry’s groundbreaking debut traces the history of the "alt-right"—an offshoot of conservatism that mixes white nationalism and populism—while unpacking its relationship to the religious right and the tension between them. Certain branches of Christianity have long shared space with the nationalist movement in the U.S., but Berry provocatively posits that racialized Christian mythologies are not the only religious ideologies influencing white racist activists. Berry cites Odinism (a Norse-inspired paganism) and Creativity (a new age racialized movement that began in the 1970s) as the two main examples. Berry stresses that understanding this trend away from Christianity in racialized, right-wing politics is particularly important due to rising "pan-European ethnonationalism committed to the survival of the imagined global white racial community." The chosen medium for the movement is the internet, and its goal is to undermine the mainstream political establishment. Berry’s primary mission is to examine why white nationalists are rejecting historical connections to racist Christianity in favor of a new Odinism, racialist Paganism, and other Euro-Aryan ideologies that are providing “spiritual” foundations for the larger goal of "white racial survival." This is a must-read for all Americans who want to understand the shifting spiritual allegiances of the strengthening white nationalist movements throughout the U.S. and Europe."—Publishers Weekly starred review
"Berry does a fine job bringing together the ideological, ‘biological,’ and theological strands of belief that form the bones and sinews of the race movement in the United States."—Jeffrey Kaplan, School of International and Public Affairs, Jilin University, Changchun, China
"A powerful, original, and extremely timely book. Tracing the history of white nationalism in the United States, Berry examines a series of hugely influential but today little known figures and movements, revealing their key role in the broader landscape of American religious, political, and racist discourses. Perhaps most importantly, Berry’s book also highlights the continuities between these twentieth-century racist currents and our own historical moment, with the rise of the alt-right movement, and the resurgence of white nationalism."—Hugh Urban, author of The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion