- Editor’s Introduction
In this issue, I’d like to begin by observing that JSR: Journal for the Study of Radicalism has now published several in a row of the strongest issues in the history of the journal, and the exceptional number of articles we have under review now would indicate that future issues promise to be even stronger. The journal has really begun to achieve what we thought it could when we launched it. We have articles on the gamut of radicalism across the political spectrum, and our authors consistently provide insights into very different radical groups, movements, and individuals. Our call for articles on radicalization and terrorism generated an unusually high number of submissions from around the globe, and you can expect to see the best of these appearing in these pages in the next several issues. We are very pleased both with where the journal is at and with its forward momentum, and are delighted to introduce this issue.
The first of these articles, John LeJeune’s “Revolutionary Terror and Nation-Building: Frantz Fanon and the Algerian Revolution,” analyzes Frantz Fanon’s reflections on revolutionary violence. By some he is deemed a prophetic and inspirational figure, even though Fanon is seen by many as glorifying revolutionary violence. By focusing on Fanon’s work in relation to the Algerian war, LeJeune shows both conditional origins and consequences of rhetorically espousing radical violence. In our second article, Italian scholar Michele Presutto’s “Fearless Before the Lord: Giuseppe Alia and Religious and Political Radicalism,” Presutto begins with the sensational murder of a priest celebrating Mass in Denver, Colorado, and then delves into the [End Page v] attribution of the murder to anarchism, and the relationship of the case to a Protestant sect. The article is a kind of detective story. Our third article, Richard Marcy’s and Valerie D’Erman’s “The European ‘New Right’ as Radical Social Innovation,” discusses the metapolitical strategy of the European New Right movement(s) as akin to that of the Situationists of the 1960s, that is, seeking to affect change first through cultural–intellectual “sense-breaking” before moving to political action.
Our second three articles are all on different aspects of American black radicalism. The first of these, Colton Saylor’s “Breaking Down the Door: Horror and Black Radical Fiction,” draws on the work of Frantz Fanon in order to argue that horror can play an important role in the development of black radicalism through the disruption of existing or expected social order. The second, Richard Mares’s “‘Catching Hell’: Robert F. Williams’s Life as a Black Radical in Exile, 1961–1966,” discusses Williams’s espousal of violent radicalism and his consequent exile in Cuba during the early 1960s. And the final of these articles on black radicalism is Jack Taylor’s “Laugh! The Revolution Is Here: Humor and Anger in the Speeches of Malcolm X,” in which he discusses the ways Malcolm X deployed humor as a way of softening the impact of some of his more extreme revolutionary rhetoric.
The issue concludes with a series of book reviews on a wide range of stimulating and sometimes surprising topics, including the major new book Far Right Politics in Europe, a book on anti-labor ideology and practice, several books on various figures and movements of African American radicalism, a book on free speech and radicalism, and a politically inflected review of a somewhat tendentious publication decrying what the author sees as the resurgence of fascism (to some extent serving also as independent confirmation of Marcy’s and D’Erman’s thesis in their article in this issue).
As always, JSR seeks provide a forum for the scholarly and dispassionate analysis of radicalism of many kinds, and from many different perspectives. We continue to welcome a steady stream of excellent articles, and remain the only journal in the world that focuses on the full range of political, social, and religious forms of radicalism.
In coming issues, we will feature a series of articles on radicalization as a process in a variety of contexts, as well as its relationship to radical violence. And as always, we welcome articles on subjects like...