Trumping Democracy: From Reagan to the Alt-Right, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Trumping Democracy

From Reagan to the Alt-Right, 1st Edition

By Chip Berlet


240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138212497
pub: 2019-11-07
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9781138212480
pub: 2019-11-07
Available for pre-order

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Since 2014, over 80 people have been killed in the United States of America by right-wing extremists. In 2016 Donald Trump was elected President of the Unites States and received substantial support from white nationalists.

This book explains the increase in violent white nationalism and Trump’s ascendancy in the context of the backlash against the presidency of Barack Obama. It demonstrates how there is a dynamic relationship between the Republican Party, various right-wing populist movements, and the extreme right. Far right social movements, political campaigns and the online presence of the so-called ‘alt-right’ are all discussed. The book argues that unfair hierarchies of race, gender, and class are not aberrational tremors in America, but the fracturing bedrock of a nation in which being White, male, Christian, or straight no longer ensures a stable floor for power, status, or privilege.

This is vital reading for students, researchers and activists interested in American politics and the dangers of right-wing extremism.


"For over four decades, Chip Berlet has tirelessly exposed the reactionary forces that threaten our democratic foundations. With this book he assembles prescient contributions from a diverse array of scholar-activists committed to confronting anti-democratic threats both within and outside of political parties. The authors lay bare the roots of current political challenges; and offer progressive paths forward. Anyone seeking astute analysis of the forces that drive right-wing populism in the 21st century should look no further than this volume."

Professor David Cunningham, Author of Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan

"This book will help you to understand how authentic movements harmonize individual freedom and aspirations with community ones. Communities raise up authentic leaders rather than leaders raising themselves up above their communities because of their Empire credentials. Movements for liberation start with a common vision that the collective agrees to struggle and risk together to achieve."

Ruby Sales, Civil Rights and Human Rights Activist, founder, Spirit House Project

"We can build a world based on friendship or fear. The authors in this volume document what happens when political strategists choose to mobilize our fears and unilateralism that are elements of de-civilization.

Professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, Presidential Scholar in Islamic Studies and Chair in Middle East and North African Studies at Oberlin College

"If you want to know about right-wing populism you should read Chip Berlet."

Professor Noam Chomsky, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Linguistics department, University of Arizona in Tucson. Author of Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy

"Chip Berlet continues to courageously and brilliantly expose the dangers of white supremacy and Christian nationalism. This book is a fascinating and indispensable roadmap of the US political right…arriving just in time!"

Penny Rosenwasser, PhD. Founding Board Member: Jewish Voice for Peace. Author of Hope into practice: Jewish women choosing justice despite our fears

"For scholars seeking a better understand events which led to the Trump Presidency, this is a must read. For interested readers, shocked by the rise of the American right, this is the history you need. For Americans who genuinely desire for our country to live up to ideals of our Constitution - ideas of justice and equality - this is where you start."

Professor Angelia Wilson, University of Manchester, England; Chair of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom. Author of The Politics of Intersectionality: Politics, Policy, and Power

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Roots of Reaction - Chip Berlet

Interlude A: What is Democracy? -Chip Berlet

Introduction: The Roots of Reaction - Chip Berlet

Chapter 1: Theocracy and White Supremacy: Behind the Culture War to Restore Traditional Values - Chip Berlet and Margaret Quigley

Chapter 2: "Swastikas in Cyberspace: How Hate Went Online" - Chip Berlet and Carol Mason

Chapter 3:The European New Right & US Politics - Margaret Quigley

Interlude B: Uniting to Defend the Four Freedoms - Chip Berlet

Chapter 4: Why Now? - Jean V. Hardisty

Chapter 5: Drifting Right and Going Wrong:An Overview of the U.S. Political Right - Chip Berlet and Jean V. Hardisty

Chapter 6: Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy - Chip Berlet and Nikhil Aziz

Interlude C: Condi’s Dad and the Lessons of War- Chip Berlet

Chapter 7: Running Against Sodom and Osama: The Christian Right, Values Voters and the Culture Wars in 2006 - Chip Berlet and Pam Chamberlain

Chapter 8: The Rise of Dominionism: Remaking America as a Christian Nation - Frederick Clarkson

Chapter 9: Exporting Right-Wing Christianity - Jean Hardisty and Chip Berlet

Interlude D: Taking Tea Partiers Seriously - Chip Berlet

Chapter 10: The Tea Party Moment - Abby Scher and Chip Berlet

Chapter 11: Republican Ideological Shift in Election 2016 - Alex DiBranco and Chip Berlet

Chapter 12: Romney Appeals to White Tribalism in Ohio - Arun Gupta and Michelle Fawcett

Chapter 13: Trumping Democracy: Right-Wing Populism, Fascism, and the Case for Action - Chip Berlet

Chapter 14: From Fascist Ratlines to Republican Politics: How Nazi Collaborators Came to America - Chip Berlet

Chapter 15: Trump, Sado-Populism, Alt-Right, and Apocalyptic Neofascism - Chip Berlet

Postscript by Frederick Douglass

About the Author

John Foster "Chip" Berlet is an American investigative journalist, research analyst, photojournalist, scholar, and activist specializing in the study of extreme right-wing movements in the United States.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right

This new book series focuses upon fascist, far right and right-wing politics primarily within a historical context but also drawing on insights from other disciplinary perspectives. Its scope also includes radical-right populism, cultural manifestations of the far right and points of convergence and exchange with the mainstream and traditional right.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Fascism & Totalitarianism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes