Cover image for The militia movement : fighters of the far right
The militia movement : fighters of the far right
Sonder, Ben, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : F. Watts, [2000]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Discusses the history and philosophies of the far-right militia movement and its connections with hate groups and domestic terrorism.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 10.3 5.0 1927.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6432 .S69 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



First brought to the nation's attention with the Oklahoma City bombing, militia movements actually have a long history in our country and abroad. The author traces their evolution by analyzing their connection to extremist right-wing politics and religion as well as the conspiracy theories woven by the Ku Klux Klan, the Order, Aryan Nations, and Christian Identify.


For many Americans, the Oklahoma City bombing was the first glimpse into the secret and violent world of the militia movement. But this movement has a long and varied history in the United States and abroad. In The Militia Movement, Ben Sonder traces evolution of militia and analyzes their connection to the larger Patriot movement and extremist right-wing politics and religion. Sonder also explores the events that served as the catalysts for the rise of the present-day militia movement: Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City. Equally important to the issue are the various hate groups, and the author details the web of conspiracy theories woven by such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, The Order, Aryan Nations, and Christian Identity.

Author Notes

Ben Sonder is a writer, editor, translator, and screenwriter and lives in New York City.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-9. In an informative guide to a frightening part of American society, Sonder casts some light on the shadowy world of right-wing hate and militia groups. After a discussion of the origins of the militia movement going back to the nineteenth century (the book's suggestion that Jesse and Frank James were precursors of the present militia movements is debatable), Sonder describes a variety of groups; their paranoid, hate-filled ideologies; and some of their illegal activities, with special focus on three major contemporary events: the tragedies at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City. His coverage of the sequence of events at Ruby Ridge and Waco, and the effect those incidents had on far-right groups, is particularly good. Extensive notes, further readings (mostly adult books), and addresses and Web sites of groups that monitor the activities of right-wing groups are appended. --Todd Morning

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-While Sonder acknowledges that most paramilitary groups or "citizen armies" have few members and are not involved in violent activities, his text focuses on groups that espouse extreme political stances, fanatical religious beliefs, or racist messages. He traces the history of militias from the responsible defenders of their rights in colonial times through disgruntled ex-Confederate soldiers to the "Know Nothings" and Ku Klux Klan. The author then details the origins, philosophies, and activities of such high-profile, right-wing organizations as the Aryan Nations, Christian Identity, Branch Davidians, Liberty Lobby, and Militia of Montana. Black-and-white photographs of some of their founders and leaders are included. Significant attention is also given to major confrontations between militia members and federal agencies, such as Ruby Ridge and Waco. A chapter is devoted to the Oklahoma City bombing. The text concludes by addressing efforts by the federal government to track, control, and counteract destructive activities and the work of private organizations and ordinary individuals who monitor the activities of far-right groups. Similar in scope to Kathlyn Gay's Militias: Armed and Dangerous (Enslow) and Gail Stewart's Militias (both 1997, Lucent), Sonder's book provides some understanding of hate-group motivation and appeal.-Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Militia Mentalityp. 7
Chapter 2 The Catalysts: Ruby Ridge And Wacop. 36
Chapter 3 The Militia Movement's Leading Figuresp. 60
Chapter 4 Brute Force: How the Militia Movement Finally Shook the Worldp. 86
Chapter 5 Brush Fires: The Continuing Drama of the Militia Movementp. 102
Notesp. 113
To Find out Morep. 118
For Further Readingp. 120
Indexp. 121