The first book since Christchurch to trace the massacre’s fascist roots and what it represents.
The massacre of more than fifty worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, shocked the world. The murders were not random. They expressed a particular ideology, one that the alleged perpetrator described as ‘fascism’.
But what does fascism mean today — and what kind of threat does it pose? Jeff Sparrow traces the history of the far right, showing how fascists have adapted to the new politics of the twenty-first century. He argues that the mosque killer represents a frightening new phenomenon — decentralised right-wing terrorism that recruits by committing atrocities, feeding on itself and spreading from country to country.
Burgeoning in dark places online, contemporary fascism exults in violence and picks its targets strategically. Today, it is Muslims; tomorrow, it will be Jews or gays or Asians. Even the widespread despair generated by climate change is being harvested to weaponise young men with the politics of hate.
With imitative massacres already occurring around the world, Christchurch must be a wake-up call. This book makes a compelling, urgent case for a new response to an old menace.
‘With conceptual clarity and meticulous research, Jeff Sparrow has produced an indispensable guidebook to the intellectual and political sewers from which the Christchurch mass murderer emerged. Sparrow understands the role social media has played in the rebirth of fascism. He also understands that ideas matter.’
Robert Manne, emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor's fellow at La Trobe University
View all reviews
‘Part history lesson, part detective story, part deep-dive into an online swamp, Fascists Among Us is essential reading for anyone who wants to take a stand against hate.’
‘Jeff Sparrow charts the ideological underpinnings of fascism with uncommon clarity, demonstrating the importance of confronting the truth rather than retreating from its horrors. Read. This. Book.’
‘Lit with insight and urgency. Read it, just read it.’
‘This is succinct, steady writing, well-informed and organised. With the advantage of having recently completed a book on the rise of the right (Trigger Warnings), Sparrow has managed to deal with the problems associated with writing about such a sensationally awful event.’
Rosemary Sorensen, Daily Review
‘Sparrow’s analysis is poignant and confronting, yet avoids being voyeuristic or disrespectful.’
Ellen Muller, ArtsHub
‘This is a very good book and well worth a read.’
James Pierson, NB Magazine