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464Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril American history, civil rights, and legal history will find a treasure of information in this collection. University ofHouston-DowntownGene B. Preuss Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Searchfor a New Frontier, igyo-2000. By Evelyn A. Schlatter. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. Pp. 268. Illustrations , map, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 978-0-29271-471-7. $19.95, paper.) In Aryan Cowboys, Evelyn Schlatter makes two important and somewhat unsetding assertions. First, she argues that the extreme Right cannot and should not be written offas "simply" a lunatic fringe. To underemphasize their power ignores die reality of their growing presence and increases the threat diey pose to the American government and way of life. Secondly, the extreme Right, Schlatter contends, is not an aberration of modern American life but a natural, if distorted, result of certain traits apparent throughoutAmerican history. In the end, although she uses her research to validate her concerns about die danger posed by extremists and to raise interesting questions about the connections between rightist groups and the West, she does not completely succeed in making her point. As shocking as some academics may find it, Schlatter offers ample evidence that a growing number ofAmericans believe some variation of the theory that an international Jewish conspiracy direatens to eliminate the white race and install women and nonwhite men as a New World Order. Many ofthese believers maintain that the best way to prevent this nightmare is for true Americans (white Protestant men and their families) to begin an intensive program ofpreparation, moving away from the increasingly dark urban areas to die wide open spaces of the West where they can stockpile food and weapons, engage in military training, and plan for the new millennium. Relying on die existing literature as well as her own internet research and numerous interviews, Schlatter uses die modern Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, Posse Comitas, and a number of prominent individuals as examples of the modern extremism. She includes discussions of several important confrontations between the Right and the federal government which resulted in winning new adherents for some of the extremist groups. Schlatter attempts to connect the rise of extremism to at least two traditional American symbols. First, she discusses the ways extremists have manipulated the mydiology of the West as a land of manly men who embodied die American ideal to work to the advantage of rightists. Second, she expands her analysis to include the image of the American farmer. Harkening back to the Jeffersonian ideal of the yeoman farmer, extremists, Schlatter explains, emphasize the importance of the agricultural life to modern America. Some groups and individuals utilized the economic disasters small farmers faced during the 1 980s to build up their memberships . Farmers' frustration and anger at their situation provided a fertile ground in which extremists could plant dieir seeds of antigovernment conspiracy theories. Schlatter is at her best when describing and deciphering her examples. She treats her subjects with respect even as it is obvious diat she strongly disagrees with 2??8Book Reviews465 them. She provides a great service by helping the rest ofus begin to understand the motivations and goals of the men and women whojoin the movement. Despite all of diis intriguing information, however, die book is ultimately frustrating . Schlatter's assertions are logical, supported by some evidence, and make sense. The problem is that she does not always use the evidence to its full potential. She has a habit ofgoing back and forth in time, ofmentioning individuals as if the reader recognizes their roles, and ofrelying too heavily on secondary sources. Most importandy, she raises questions which she does not fully address. She promises in the introduction that she will connect "masculinity" with the western ideal and that she will show how this played an essential role in die relationship between the West and the extremists. Although she mentions this briefly, she never fully develops that connection. Texas Slate University-San ManosMary C. Brennan LBJ's American Promise: The VotingRights Address. By Garth E. Pauley. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007. Pp. 1 90. Illustration, notes, bibliography, index . ISBN 1-58544-574-6. $29.95, cloth; ISBN 1-58544-581-9...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 464-465
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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