OVERRIDE

A Hundred Little Hitlers

The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America

Elinor Langer

Picador

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
dn0 today.

REVIEWS

Praise for A Hundred Little Hitlers

"Elinor Langer is one of our most eloquent and astute social critics. Telling this troubling story of murder and racism in an American town, she compels us to think beyond that, to wonder about the future of justice in our country."
--Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
"Haunting...a book that looks deep below the surface to reveal confounding information from many sides...a riveting work that avoids easy answers in its examination of the forces of hate, the aftermath of violence, and the imposition of justice."
--John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Utterly well-written, utterly fascinating...an absolutely top-drawer exploration of racist politics and its strange players, who remain legion."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"There are works of journalism so intelligent, scrupulous, thorough, and deep that they outlive their occasions and instantly rise to the level of classics. Elinor Langer's A Hundred Little Hitlers is [in] this very rare company. This is not the investigation of a murder: it is an investigation of a society."
--Todd Gitlin, author of Media Unlimited

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Elinor Langer

  • Elinor Langer, author of the acclaimed biography Josephine Herbst, has written for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and The Nation, among other publications. A Hundred Little Hitlers was chonsen as a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Award for work-in-progress. Langer lives in Portland, Oregon.
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

A Hundred Little Hitlers

The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America

Elinor Langer

Oregon Book Award - Finalist
  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

BACK