American Extremism explains how at the heart of the politics practiced by the militia movement is an attempt to define the nature of 'Americanism', and shows how militia members employ the myths, metaphors and perceived historical lessons of the American Revolution, the constitutional settlement and America's frontier experience to do so. Mulloy argues that militia members' search for the 'authority of history' leads them to a position best characterized as 'ahistorical historicism', in which political interests in the present are given greater weight than the demands of a historically accurate reading of the past.
With discussion of such recent events as the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco and the September 11th attacks alongside topical issues including militia conspiracy theories and the origins of Americans' right to keep and bear arms, this work provides the deepest understanding to date of the American militia movement.
' … important to scholars interested in the area of terrorism, religion and hatred … ' - The Times Higher Education Supplement
Preface 1. Introducing the Militia Movement 2. Approaching Extremism: Theoretical perspectives on the far right in American history 3. Conversations with the Dead: The militia movement and American history 4. A Revolutionary History 5. A Republican Tradition 6. A Frontier Nation 7. Conclusion: History and conspiracy Selected Bibliography
This series covers academic studies within the broad fields of ‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’, with volumes focusing on adjacent concepts such as populism, radicalism, and ideological/religious fundamentalism. These topics have been considered largely in isolation by scholars interested in the study of political parties, elections, social movements, activism, and radicalisation in democratic settings. A key focus of the series, therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism, radicalism, populism, fundamentalism, and democracy. Since its establishment in 1999, the series has encompassed both influential contributions to the discipline and informative accounts for public debate. Works will seek to problematise the role of extremism, broadly defined, within an ever-globalising world, and/or the way social and political actors can respond to these challenges without undermining democratic credentials.