Finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Research Nonfiction
Finalist for the Ron Ridenhour Book Prize from the Nation Institute
A Book of the Month Club Finalist for Best Nonfiction of 2003
A Book Sense 76 Pick
On Saturday, November 12, 1988, a group of Portland, Oregon, skinheads known as East Side White Pride met for an afternoon of beer and racist banter. That night, they handed out white supremacist newspapers, swung by a party, and got thrown out of a friend's apartment. A short while later, three of the skinheads encountered three Ethiopians; a street fight broke out and Kenneth Mieske brutally beat Mulugeta Seraw with a bat. In the early morning hours, Seraw died.
Drawing on more than ten years of interviews and research, award-winning journalist Elinor Langer takes the Seraw case as the occasion for a thorough exploration of the Nazi-inspired racialist movement in the United States. She vividly reconstructs the world of the skinheads, both in Portland and nationally: their origins in the punk scene, their basement shrines to Nazi power, their moments of glory on Oprah and Geraldo. She delves into the long-standing radical groups with which the skinheads became allied, tracking the progress of such powerful figures as California White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger through the stations of the far right, from the Birch Society to the Wallace campaign, from Christian Identity to David Duke's Klan. In gripping detail, she follows ambitious Alabama civil rights lawyer Morris Dees's campaign to prove Tom Metzger responsible for the Portland killing—a sensational but ultimately empty effort to curb the growth of neo-Nazism.
Compelling, disturbing, and important, A Hundred Little Hitlers is at once an epic story of American racism and justice, and a taut investigation into powerful social forces that loom ever more dangerous