In 1996, British author Nick Ryan began a 6 year project, traveling
among white nationalists to gather information for a book. He visited
with participants in the movement in England, the U.S., Germany and
Belgium, among other nations. His book has already been released in
England, where the title is HOMELAND, Into a World of Hate. It will be
released in the U.S. on May 15, under the title INTO A WORLD OF HATE, A
Journey Among the Extreme Right.
If you read for information, you will find a lot in this book. Even
if you regard yourself as an expert on these things, there is likely to
be something in this book that you don't know that you might want to.
For example, back around '87 or '88 I swapped a few letters with
Third Way out in Virginia. They were selling copies of Gaddafi's (Ryan's spelling) GREEN BOOK. They made it sound interesting so I ordered a copy through the
Inter Library Loan system and it came in from the university library in
Athens Georgia. Now, years later, I am amused to find this passage in
Ryan's book, regarding a visit by the National Front to Libya:
"They wanted support from the regime that previously shipped arms to
the IRA and which they had first approached shortly before WPC Yvonne
Fletcher died outside the Libyan Embassy in London, shot by a Libyan
In the end, all they got were 5,000 copies of Colonel Muammar
Gadaffi's GREEN BOOK."
According to Ryan, when the National Front fell apart, one of its
members went on to form the International Third Position.
There are loads of such details in the book. But you will have to
work for it. The index is stingy, the glossary is stingier and there is
no bibliography at all. Ryan mentions numerous publications throughout
the text but does not bother to provide a list for the convenience of
There are no charts or graphs either, though the way the main
figures in the book hop from organization to organization and pop in
and out of the story, a couple of link charts ... at the very least ...
would be a Godsend.
Curiously, there are no photos. Imagine spending 6 years
interviewing hooligans and terrorists and attending their public court
trials and their street demonstrations and not having any photos at
all. Not even one.
Even simply scanning the book for facts will be difficult, because
its is not a factual, linear commentary. Ryan has fashioned it into a
personal tale of his own big adventure. You will have to dig through
such things as descriptive passages of the pubs and other places in which he sits,
drinking one thing or another, to interview his subjects. His
interviews are presented as dialogue, played out in detail between
himself and his subject, including micro-detailing of the interviewee,
the locale and Ryan's feelings about the whole thing.
If you read for entertainment you will fare a bit better. He knows
his way around a phrase. Here's an example.
"Then it happened.
An enormous bang, a crash followed by the telltale 'crump' and
shockwave. For one small second she stopped. They all did. But as she
later told me, she knew instantly it was a bomb. 'Judy!' she shrieked,
hands flying to her mouth, tears already starting to course down her
face. 'No!' She turned to her partner, mouth open her legs beginning to
move her away from the counter.
A wave of dust and glass billowed over the street. There was a
moment of silence. The teller smiled at her nervously. Then she rushed
outside, ignoring the cries of alarm from behind her, thinking the Tube
had been targeted. Where her sister had just gone.
'Get out of here, get the fuck out of here!' A plain-clothes cop,
stomach rippling out over a flapping shirt, waved his hands furiously
at the shocked pedestrians. 'Move! It's a bomb! screamed another, water
streaming over his head and down onto the glinting badge. She was
pushed backwards, but could see the station was still untouched. Fifty
yards down the road, though, was another story. Wounded shapes, some
missing limbs, others with nails sticking from eyes, fingers and other
parts of their bodies, writhed in agony on the ground. Bone protruded
from flesh. Nearby, someone stared silently down at his foot. It was
Then the screams started."
There are some elements of his presentation that will be a matter
of personal taste among readers. For one, its in first person.
Secondly, it contains long descriptive passages. Thirdly it has
numerous, very long sections of dialogue, pages and pages at a time.
Fourthly, he tends to be rude and harsh when describing the people ne
encounters. Downright snotty at times.
Look at these passages:
"The one major odd feature is his left eye. It's placid, still, a
different colour to his right. Small deposits of crusty goo collect at
its edges. It's fake, I realise."
"The sight of fat Americans, wedged with their tiny legs into
cruising automatics, makes a smile surface onto my lips."
These are the elements he has built into his book. If you happen
to like all of those features, you will enjoy reading the book. If you
dislike them all, you will find yourself struggling.
His inclusion of himself in the story, in first person narrative,
is of doubtful value to the book. His wisdom is even more doubtful when
it comes to constantly reminding the reader of the terrible dangers of
the project and his continual fear for life and limb.
Maybe pampered yuppie housewives, party crazy frat boys and mall
rats would be impressed by this, but chances are none of them will be
reading this book. More likely it will be sold to teachers and
political scholars, investigators, anti-racists and the white
nationalists themselves. Many of those people face their own risks
because of their participation in the scene, from physical assaults, to
arrest and imprisonment, to loss of employment. His most interested
readers are likely to regard him as a wimp. Really, if it's really all
that bad he could always take a job at the mill.
There's no real story here, its more like a travelogue, a National
Geographic sort of view into a land of strange people with strange
ways. But there are loads of details, with names and places and dates
and a dizzying whirl of political connections. If you have an interest
in the racialist / white nationalist scene it's well worth a read.
By Elaine Long, former publisher the Crystal Rain Agency, Maxine's
Pages and Coyote's Journal.
For more information on Nick Ryan and his exploration and travels
into far-right extremism, please visit his website at www.NickRyan.net
If you would like to schedule and interview with Nick Ryan,
please contact Lizzy Mason at 917-351-7108 or
Elizabeth.Mason (at) TaylorandFrancis.com