This book celebrates the life and work of scholar-activist Chip Berlet. His contributions over four decades have had broad-ranging impacts on activists, independent intellectuals, and academics, from think tanks and social movements to generations of scholars.
Berlet’s work over the decades has covered a wide range of topics, from the Christian Right, armed militias, social movement theory, and white supremacy to conspiracism, civil liberties, and government surveillance. This book features contributions reflecting on many of these topics by leading scholars and activists who have been inspired by his work and example.
This book will be of great interest to scholars, students, and activists within anti-racist, anti-fascist, and progressive social movements.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Early Years
1. Chip in the 1960s
2. My Friend Chip
3. From Way Back When to Now
4. Chip: The "Winni" Years
5. Our Best Friend
6. Awe-Inspiring Moments and Radical Alterations: A Conversation with Chip Berlet
Part II: Analysis
7. Ruminations on an Intellectual History of Chip Berlet and the "Right Wing Populism" Formulation
8. Transnational Right-Wing Populism: Chip Berlet’s Enduring Insights
9. Chip Berlet’s Brave Look at the Far Right’s History and Ourselves
10. Reading Chip Berlet in the Rose City
11. Chip Berlet and the Fidelity of the Clerks: A Historical Excursus
12. Understanding and Resisting Left-Right Convergence in the Internet Age
13. Social Movement Theory and Right-Wing Conspiracism: Hints from Chip Berlet’s Work
14. What I Learned from Interacting with and Reading Chip Berlet: An Appreciation and Thank You
G. William Domhoff
15. Why I’m a Chipite: Lessons from Chip Berlet
16. Agent and Archive: Chip Berlet and the Historicity of Right-Watchers
17. Donald Trump and the Myth of the Deep State
Part III: Practice
18. Our Chip
Angelia R. Wilson
19. In Praise of Chip Berlet: Intrepid and Trustworthy Trail Guide
20. Chip Berlet’s Magic and Militias
Kenneth S. Stern
21. Homage to Chip
22. A Conversation on Chip’s Praxis
Mary N. Taylor and Sophie Bjork-James
23. Righteous Mensch
24. The Berlet School of Political Thought
25. Chip: You Rock My World!
Loretta J. Ross
26. Fighting the Good Fight: No Chip on his Shoulder
27. Genuine Chip
28. He Opened the Library to Me
29. Chip Berlet, Co-author
Matthew N. Lyons
30. Chip’s Intellectual Influence in Exploring African Anti-gay Politics
31. The Still, Strategic, Organizer Mind of Chip Berlet
32. Passing the Torch
33. Studies on the Right with Chip Berlet
James P. Danky
34. Desperately Seeking Chip
Part IV: Legacy
35. Reflections on Reading Chip Berlet
36. Chip Berlet and Defending Dissent
37. Always There in My Corner
38. A Bridge Called Chip Berlet
39. The Generosity of Chip Berlet
40. A Tribute to Chip
41. For Chip
42. A Hero
43. Chip Berlet was My Foundation
Daryle Lamont Jenkins
44. The Significance of Chip Berlet
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
45. A Bright Light of Scholarship and Reporting in a Darkening Time
46. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
47. Chip Berlet Made Me a Better Researcher and Thinker
Pam Chamberlain worked, for fifteen years, alongside Chip Berlet at Political Research Associates, USA, as a researcher and analyst, helping to produce the Defending Democracy series of activist toolkits. Her writing focused on issues of sex, sexuality, gender, and how the Right sought to limit progress and gain power through its organizing in these areas. She has been a high school English teacher, a sex educator, an anti-nuclear activist, and an advisor to LGBTQ youth organizations.
Matthew N. Lyons writes regularly for Three Way Fight, a radical anti-fascist blog. He has written several books, including one co-authored with Chip Berlet, and for various journals, magazines, and websites. His work focuses on the interplay between right-wing movements and systems of oppression, and responses to these movements by leftists, liberals, and the state. He is co-trustee of the Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust, which stewards the literary legacy of the late playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry.
Abby Scher is a New York-based sociologist whose writing on the Right, economic justice, and women’s and immigrant issues appears in national outlets. She served as Editorial Director and Interim Research Director of Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank that tracks the U.S. Right, where she was a colleague of Chip Berlet. She is a partner in Research|Action, a worker-owned cooperative that allies with community and labor organizations to promote social change. The Ford Foundation recognized her organizing work bridging racial and ethnic divides with its Leadership for a Changing World Award.
Spencer Sunshine has a Ph.D. in Sociology and has spent over fifteen years researching, writing about, and counter-organizing against the Far Right. From 2013 to 2019, he was an Associate Fellow at the think tank Political Research Associates, USA. He has written numerous articles chronicling the Far Right in the Trump era, including one co-authored with Chip Berlet. He is currently working on a history of neo-Nazi James Mason’s influential pro-terrorist book, Siege.