Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe

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Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America is a 1992 book by John George and Laird Wilcox. It is an examination of political extremism of both the far left and far right in the United States.

The authors attempt to summarize the pre-1960 historical background of American extremist movements, discuss conspiracy theories and their validity, offer their insight on what motivates extremists, and discuss a number of contemporary groups on the "far left" and "far right" based principally on their personal contacts with approximately six hundred individual extremists and the extremists' own writings.

It was published by Prometheus Books (Buffalo, New York) in 1992 as a 523-page hardcover (ISBN 0-87975-680-2). In 1996, Prometheus Books (Amherst, New York) republished it as American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists and Others in a 443-page paperback (ISBN 1-57392-058-4).


The authors give the history of their personal interest in political extremism. Recognizing their fallibility, and inability to claim "anything approaching complete objectivity", the authors attempted to "make an honest and diligent attempt to be fair and even-handed in our treatment of this subject." Distinguishing this book from the many covering "extremism" or "extremists" on the market (with their own agenda "to provide a rationale for persecuting or doing away with certain 'extremists'"), the authors' goal was "to provide understanding of a human problem, not a basis for one more round of persecutions." The authors propose a definition of "extremism" based on "the behavioral model" ("defined in terms of certain behaviors, particularly behavior toward other human beings"), passing up the "normative or "statistical" way" (framing the spectrum on a linear scale, a "bell curve") and the "popularity contest" theory ("social definition agreed upon by collective fiat"). The authors describe their position on the political spectrum as "a bit difficult to pin down"; they "might be most accurately described as pragmatists with libertarian tendencies."


Chapter 35. The National States' Rights Party
Chapter 36. National Christian Publishers
Chapter 37. Ku Klux Klans
  • Appendix I. Fake Quotes and Fabricated Documents: A Common Extremist Tactic
  • Appendix II. Principal Characteristics of the Extremes and the Mainstream in America: A Handy Guide for Extremist Watchers
  • Index

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