POLITICAL SCIENCE

Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism

Little, Brown. Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780316487771. $28. POL SCI
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Darby (editor in chief, The Atavist Magazine) noticed that most reporting on white nationalist groups focused on men, even though women also participate. After presenting a brief overview of white nationalism, she argues that women have always been a key part of white nationalist movements, and uses the stories of three women—Corinna Olsen, Ayla Stewart, and Lana Lokteff—to illustrate how and why. Each woman’s story includes her motivations for joining white nationalist groups and the actions they undertake. Additionally, Darby pulls in accounts of key historical figures and events to demonstrate prominent overarching themes in the movements, including rejection of feminism, idealization of motherhood, and purity. Darby is critical of her subjects, and much of her work is imbued with skepticism as she questions whether the three women are relating their stories honestly. Lokteff and Stewart declined to participate in follow-up interviews; therefore, their portions of the narrative feel more abrupt and unresolved than Olsen’s.
VERDICT Darby’s timely and important account helps to shed insight into understanding the motivations of white nationalist movements in American culture, and what draws people to them.

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