On November 12, 1988, a group of Portland, Oregon, skinheads known as East Side White Pride met for an evening of beer and racist banter. Later that night, they 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 original research, award-winning journalist Elinor Langer takes the Seraw case as the occasion for a thorough investigation of the Nazi-inspired racist 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 white Aryan resistance leader Tom Metzger through the stations of the far right, from the Birch Society to Christian Identity to David Duke's Klan. In gripping detail, she follows ambitious civil-rights lawyer Morris Dees's efforts to prove Metzger responsible for the Portland killing-a sensational campaign to curb the growth of neo-Nazism.
Compelling, disturbing, and important, A Hundred Little Hitlers is both an epic account of racism and justice, and a close examination of social forces that loom ever more dangerously today.
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