23 June 2021
Gale, a Cengage company, has released the second installment of its Political Extremism and Radicalism series. Political Extremism and Radicalism: Far-Right Groups in America examines the history of radical right movements in the U.S. from 1850-2010s. Available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, this rare, never-before-digitized collection expands upon the first installment, with a particular focus on white supremacist and nationalist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. Now scholars and researchers can analyze the rhetoric, ideology and evolution of fringe, right-wing groups to better understand their impact on today's mainstream politics as well as broader society. Read Gale’s blog about this new archive.
“We created Far-Right Groups in America in response to the growing number of research centers, university departments and undergraduate courses dedicated to the academic study of far-right and extremist political research,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of Gale Primary Sources. “It’s a must-have teaching and learning tool for understanding how the resurgence of right-wing populism and the movement of far-right thinking into the mainstream has been able to develop over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries.”
California State University (CSU) at Fullerton uses the Political Extremism and Radicalism archive to support research in history and American studies courses. More than 40,000 students have access to the collection through the university’s library. Megan Graewingholt, Social Sciences and Government Documents Librarian at CSU Fullerton’s Pollak Library, believes that primary sources like those found in Political Extremism and Radicalism are invaluable for teaching and learning. They provide students with unique historical insight from multiple points of views to examine and understand current events and issues:
"Primary sources are snippets of history; they often come without context or are incomplete, but they can help develop critical thinking skills and analytical abilities," said Graewingholt. "They expose students to multiple perspectives on issues, helping them to develop reasoned explanations and interpretations of these events and issues. This collection provides the perfect academic ground to explore the longer history of many present-day political issues."
Far-Right Groups in America covers topics such as fascism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, nationalism, Christian Identity, political misinformation and conspiracy theories. The archive includes essential publications and ephemera that explore the nature of right-wing politics in the U.S., including material that both supports and criticizes the radical right. It examines the varying manifestations of far-right ideologies, looking at their emergence, growth, structure and development, as well as the identities of individual groups, making it an ideal resource for undergraduate teaching.
View/download images from the archive.
Far-Right Groups in America brings together five collections from renowned libraries and institutions that include:
- University of California, Santa Barbara - Christian Identity and Far-Right Wing Politics: this collection consists of periodicals, pamphlets, programs and other printed ephemera regarding American Christian conservative groups' philosophies, as well as far-right wing politics and election propaganda. It includes both ephemera and periodicals through which researchers can explore the intersection of Christian conservatism and the far right.
- University of Iowa - Social Documents Collection: contains a large accumulation of materials published by conservative organizations; groups generally considered to be to the right on the political spectrum. Far-right Groups in America includes a number of pamphlets, publications, leaflets, correspondence and ephemera focusing specifically on material related to far-right groups that have been selected from the wider Social Documents Collection. Materials concern a range of right-wing and far-right thinking from Second Amendment gun rights and tax protest to anti-communist, racist, anti-Semitic, Neo-Confederate thinking and much more.
- University of California, Davis - Walter Goldwater Radical Pamphlet Collection: was established in 1966 with a collection of pamphlets purchased from Walter Goldwater, a book dealer who specialized in radical politics, and who was also one of the first book dealers to specialize in African American Studies. Through the material in this collection researchers can explore the role that the far-right plays in the U.S., with titles authored by both those in support of and criticizing far-right viewpoints, and which cover topics such as the Ku Klux Klan, communism, politics, racism and fascism.
- Idaho State University - James Aho Collection: comprised of a variety of materials documenting right-wing extremism in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. Materials consist of printed matter, recordings, and ephemera with the bulk of the collection consisting of newsletters from various churches and organizations promoting their beliefs. Of particular interest is the collection of recorded sermons and interviews (hosted as audio files and transcripts) that provide an interesting window into the viewpoints and inner workings of far-right groups such as Aryan Nations.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Files: files on Joseph McCarthy, Charles Lindbergh, Ezra Pound and the Posse Comitatus document the FBI’s surveillance of influential right-wing thinkers and one extremist hate group. These fascinating materials will appeal to anyone interested in 20th century American social history as well as far-right extremism in America.
Political Extremism and Radicalism series is available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, enabling cross-archival searching to help users make new connections across topics. For those looking to explore even deeper insights, the series is also available through the Gale Digital Scholar Lab. This allows researchers to apply natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR) from the collections or Gale Primary Sources archives and perform textual analysis on large corpora of historical texts. Now researchers can analyze and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights and content sets not previously possible.
For more information on Far-Right Groups in America, visit the Political Extremism and Radicalism series webpage.