Rather than simply demonizing or directing outrage at Patriot and militia organizations, as some recent high-visibility publications have done, David Neiwert takes the approach of allowing Patriot extremists to speak for themselves and largely on their own terms. His critical journalistic dialogue allows us to better understand the social, economic, philosophical, and religious complexities of how and why these people have come to think the way they do.
There is no question that strains of racism, paranoia, ill-will, and even evilness can characterize many of these people, but it is equally true that they—often minimally educated, and economically and socially challenged by the changing times—are desperately responding to feelings of having been marginalized, and even disenfranchised, from the American dream.
Neiwert’s comprehensive manuscript presents an overview of the multitude of Patriot organizations and beliefs found in the Northwest today. Neiwert feels it is essential to maintain some kind of dialogue with Patriots because, after all, these people are our neighbors and relatives, and they are here to stay.
David A. Neiwert, formerly of Idaho, is a longtime journalist and writer on contemporary issues in the American West.
Illustrations / photographs / bibliography / 320 pages (2003)