In 1951 William Faulker wrote, “The past is never dead.” Nothing is more prophetic than Mulloy’s excellent Enemies of the State, an account of the radical Right in the US. Mulloy takes readers on a journey through the twisted world of right-wing politics. Although many Americans are justifiably worried about the ascendancy of Donald Trump, his rise, according to Mulloy, can be traced to the growth of extremist movements emerging after the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. With the extension of the federal government came the birth of the Liberty Lobby and an assortment of organizations opposed to economic and social change. In the 1950s, this opposition was especially evident when it came to challenging the racial status quo, particularly following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Mulloy links those fears, especially the fear of communism demonstrated by the John Birch Society, to the South’s massive resistance to civil rights, a resistance that continues today. Mulloy’s candid account of right-wing radicalism demonstrates that Trumpism is not a new phenomenon, but is in fact directly linked to earlier, less-successful rightist movements. Mulloy’s study is a must for anyone seeking to understand the fracturing of the American political order today. Summing Up: Essential. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, researchers, faculty, professionals, general readers.
“Enemies of the State provides a fascinating look at the development of the radical right in America. Tracing its origins as a reaction to FDR’s New Deal, the movement evolved over the years in response to broad historical trends, including the cold war, the civil right movement, and the changing demographics of America occasioned by immigration. Still, enduring themes continue to animate the radical right: a preference for lower taxes, smaller government, less bureaucracy, and fewer regulations. As Mulloy points out, Donald Trump exemplifies the radical right tradition with his populist persona and penchant for conspiracy theories. Mulloy’s book will be richly enjoyed by both academics and the general public.”
[This book's] highly readable and concise presentation will appeal for use in history and political science classrooms, as well as to general readers wondering how Trumpism has developed into a political ideology.
This invaluable book ties together the various strands of extremism, including anti-statism, anti-communism, Fundamentalist Christianity, resistance to desegregation, and the at-times nihilistic obstruction of progress that radicals on the right have perpetuated in various forms since the 1930s…. [W]ritten for a general audience, this account will be of great interest to readers with questions about American politics.
Mulloy...writes in a clear and accessible style and provides dispassionate scholarly analysis that convincingly supports his thesis. Readers seeking information about the far right will find this book enlightening.