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The Turner Diaries: A Novel by Andrew…

The Turner Diaries: A Novel (1978)

by Andrew Macdonald

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2761164,941 (2.64)32
The Turner Diaries has been considered by the US Justice Department and other government agencies to be the bible of right-wing militia groups and the FBI believes it provided the blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing.



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It's a good book. No, I don't agree with the racism prevalent throughout, but it is a good book and presents an interesting "what if" scenario. ( )
  knfmn | Dec 22, 2016 |
pap ( )
2 vote Kampuskop | Feb 22, 2016 |
I wish the star ratings did not have the "liked" or disliked connotation. You can loathe a book and still think it is worth reading, or has a valuable lesson. I think both apply to this book.

This book is an eye-opening view into racist minds. Racism is still a problem today but it is not so blatantly open, so easily identified. Racism today is apparent in things many white people will never take notice of, such as the lack of minority race characters in television and books (and ever children's cartoons, where lack of actors can not play into the decisions), the "whitewashing" of black characters on books' covers, the attitude of white being the default, "normal" race, etc. Today we mostly see racism by ommission-keeping non-whites out of the best jobs and places, and to a large extent underrepresented in the media and many career fields. What we do not often see if open, vile hatred that actively wishes violence on non-whites.

And if you are not a racist yourself, it's hard to comprehend how someone could honestly hate another person for their skin color, and the minor physical traits we associate with a race. We think of racists as misguided, or just looking for a scapegoat for their problems, or other excuses for why people are racist.

This book shows none of that. It shows hatred. It does not show hatred of certain groups of humans because I do not honestly think the author of this book or anyone that identifies with it sees non-whites as human beings. Blacks and Jews are described as a "diabolically clever, alien minority" and as a "pestilence from the sewers of the east". The reference to them as alien is repeated several times. (No, I am not implying the author thinks they are from outer space). Rather, he is showing that he thinks there is no familiarity, no relation to non-whites as humans.

Some people have called the writing and the grammar in the book poor or full of errors, but sadly it is not so. Naturally we wish that people who have hateful, offensive beliefs will be stupid and unable to write. Wishing does not make so. The sentence structure is clear in almost every case-I remember noting only one oddity where a comma might have helped.

The plot moves at a decent clip, does not waste time on boring descriptions of things like flora and faces, and although it lacks fleshed-out characters (Earl Turner is the only one who gets any character development) it does not impair the story. The racism is bizarre and it's at the very least interesting to see the sort of crazy bullshit the author thinks up (at one point a group of anti-racist demonstrators attack a white cat and rip it to shreds). Blacks are portrayed as cannibalistic rapists and Jews as the evil mastermind. Other races are portrayed negatively but not really focused on as much. While not the focus of the book it makes digs at the Women's Lib movement, describing it as mass psychosis.

Is this book disturbing, dehumanizing, and enough to make you feel dirty just from reading it? Probably. Is it an eye-opener to the hatred and delusions of some racists? Definitely.

( )
2 vote broccolima | Jan 26, 2014 |
I found out about this book whilst reading another book, it was mentioned as being a recruitment tool for far right groups/militias. When looking up the book to find out what it was about I then found out it's illegal to own in Canada & parts of Europe which alone made me want to read it to find out what all the fuss is about.

Overall, it's a reasonable dystopian novel, you have the oppressive government and a group of people who organise themselves to overthrow it. There's a few relevant parts in the book which reflect todays society such as the majority of society being content to go along with the status quo despite worsening circumstances as long as they have TV & food on the table.

Allegedly the book inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the FBI building in Oklahoma City based on a similar sequence of events in the book, however I personally feel for someone to undertake such an act they already need to be 'unhinged' and simply reading this book wouldn't drive them to such. Others may disagree.

I believe that books like this should be more widespread so the contents within can be rationally discussed, not simply banned which merely reinforces the content as being something valuable and insightful (to those who promote the contents) as a government or organisation has taken the time to attempt to conceal its contents.

It's now available free of charge on the Internet Archive (google search: internet archive turner diaries). ( )
1 vote HenriMoreaux | Mar 30, 2013 |
My wife had to buy a copy of this for her sociology courses, so I gave it a look. After all, it is one of the more controversial books and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

The book itself is not written well. It's not written for someone who is highly educated. It's mainly meant to appeal to an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to people that you think are keeping you down (or leeching off the system).

As to how people think that this book will launch a revolution, I'm kind of lost. You'd think people would see through the racist tripe, or at least hope for a higher grade of it.

I'd recommend most people at least thumb through a copy of this if you can find it for free (or maybe for a quarter at a yard sale.) I don't think we should ban books, but I also don't think that the author deserves to make another penny from this.
( )
  phlll | Feb 22, 2013 |
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