Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy

Hachette. Oct. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780306846434. $27. POL SCI
Lavin takes investigative journalism to the next level by going undercover in chatrooms where discussions mainly focus on how much the participants want to harm her and others of her Jewish faith. In this book, Lavin cites some primary sources, but the majority of this narrative is a first-person account of her deep dive into far-right rhetoric, misogyny, and white-supremacy; which most of the time, in Lavin’s experience, all intertwine. She discusses her experiences on chatrooms for incels, dating sites for only white subscribers, and even in-person events such as a conference for right-wing YouTubers and an anniversary event of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA. The author often recalls what she reads and subsequently writes in these online spaces as grotesque, but she steels herself in order to expose these topics and the people who are participating in such hate.
VERDICT This is a heavy read, but an important one. Lavin sacrificed parts of herself to tell this dark story, and readers should be prepared to do the same in reading it. For those interested in current sociopolitical events, and readers wanting more insight into stories like the ones found in Seyward Darby’s Sisters in Hate.
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