from National Security and Defense Program and Renewing America

God, Guns, and Sedition

Far-Right Terrorism in America

A riveting exploration of the current state of far-right terrorism in the United States—and recommendations to stop its rise.

Book
Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

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Radicalization and Extremism

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Shocking acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. These incidents, however, are neither novel nor unprecedented. They are the latest flashpoints in a process that has been unfolding for decades, in which vast conspiracy theories and radical ideologies such as white supremacism, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and hostility to government converge into a deadly threat to democracy.

God, Guns, and Sedition offers the definitive account of the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States—and how to counter it. Leading experts Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware trace the historical trajectory and assess the present-day dangers of this violent extremist movement, along with the harm it poses to U.S. national security. They combine authoritative, nuanced analysis with gripping storytelling and portraits of the leaders behind this violence and their followers. Hoffman and Ware highlight key terrorist tactics, such as the use of cutting-edge communications technology; the embrace of leaderless resistance or lone-wolf strategies; infiltration and recruitment in the military and law enforcement; and the movement’s intricate relationship with mainstream politics. An unparalleled examination of one of today’s great perils, God, Guns, and Sedition ends with an array of essential practical recommendations to halt the growth of violent far-right extremism and address this global terrorist threat.

More on:

Radicalization and Extremism

Terrorism and Counterterrorism

National Security

Reviews and Endorsements

Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware rightly situate contemporary far-right growth within its long historical context while deftly analyzing today’s unique challenges. A vital addition to the global understanding of supremacist terror and what we might do to turn the tide, and indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand what is demonstrably the most pressing threat to democracy and social cohesion.

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, author of Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right

Hoffman and Ware have produced a revealing history of America’s almost uninterrupted experience with domestic terrorism, from the Ku Klux Klan to the January 6 assault on the Capitol. This is an essential volume for understanding the dark side of the American dream and comes with an urgent call to reverse the drift toward violence and disunity.

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

At a pivotal moment in American history, Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware have given Americans of all stripes a vital guide to the dangers pervading our politics and especially the risk of internecine violence. Few if any other scholars could approach this freighted topic with the historical perspective, disciplinary breadth, and methodological rigor as do Hoffman and Ware. Their writing, moreover, is brisk and stylish, all the better to reach the wide audience this urgently needed book deserves.

Steven Simon, author of Grand Delusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East

Gods, Guns, and Sedition offers a timely and comprehensive assessment of the evolution of far-right extremism in the United States. Hoffman and Ware identify and analyze the most important trends affecting the far right, uncovering a phenomenon with deep roots, poised to remain a major threat to the security of the country.

Ali H. Soufan, author of Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State

Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware have delivered a crisply written and deeply researched account of the history of far-right terrorism in the United States that will be of great interest both to specialists and general readers.

Peter Bergen, author of The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

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