(pb; 1978, 1980, 1996)
From the front cover:
"THIS BOOK CONTAINS RACIST PROPAGANDA.
"THE FBI SAID IT WAS THE BLUEPRINT FOR THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING.
"MANY WOULD LIKE IT BANNED. IT IS BEING PUBLISHED TO ALERT AND WARN AMERICA."
Publisher Lyle Stuart, not a White Power racialist (racist terrorist), says it best in his Introduction to this book: "The Turner Diaries is a dreadful book. It is ignorant. Even its author boasts, 'It offends almost everyone: Afro-Americans, feminists, gays and lesbians, liberals, communists, Mexicans, democrats, the FBI, egalitarians, and Jews. Especially the Jews: for it portrays them as incarnations of evil and destructive.'"
Why was this book, which not only inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, but other antigovernment terrorists (e.g., "the Order," a 1985 group of murderers) being published, in 1996?
It wasn't, initially. You could only get this "underground" book -- more than 185,000 copies were sold, pre-mainstream publication -- through gun-shops and other locations where "gun fanatics," "rednecks" and others of that ilk, hung out.
Oren J. Teicher, President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression offers a compelling reason for this hateful book's mainstream (well, as mainstream as something this vile can be) publication: "As outrageous as the content of The Turner Diaries may be, we believe that even offensive and objectionable material is protected by the First Amendment. In fact, as you certainly understand, we do not need a First Amendment to protect the popular and non-controversial; it is the unpopular and controversial that requires our vigilance. . . I'd suggest [that we, as free people,]. . . expose and debate those [objectionable] ideas in a concerted effort to make certain that the truth emerges."
I, as a fiction writer, read this for research purposes.
I'll judge this book on two levels, plot/writing-ability, and its propagandist content. This review contains plot-spoilers.
This is (mostly) written in personal-journal form. The person writing the journal is Earl Turner, a thirty-five year old electrical engineer. He's a hardcore hater, part of an ineffective racialist group called the Organization. The Organization is barely getting by, financially and recruitment-wise.
The diary starts on September 16, 1991 (aka, 8 BNE, whichs stands for "Before New Era").
Time passes, things change. Turner gets a girlfriend, Katherine (a White sister-in-arms, always written about in glowing terms), and the group becomes more effective. By mid-1993, the Organization's acts of "strategic sabotage" (nationwide bombings, assassinations, counterfeiting, and other "operations") are severely undermining the daily life of the average, panicked American (who, of course, is White).
By 1999 (the year the New Era begins) the Organization is controlling southern California, particularly Los Angeles, where "race traitors" (those who worked with, or supported non-Whites and Jews) are being hung from light poles and traffic lights. Any surviving non-Whites and Jews are being marched eastward, en masse, outside southern Calfornia, so as to flood/burden the other states with non-Whites (and thereby foment the seeds of discord towards non-Whites, getting new "recruits" in the process).
It's not long before an international and civil nuclear war ensues. By late 1999, the Organization, with help from other White Power groups (notably, The Order), have dominated the world -- with the exception of China.
The first half of the book is decently-written, pacing- and character-wise (when it comes to Whites). Turner comes off as recognizably human, if an extreme/racist idealogue: he constantly attributes rape and cannibalism exclusively to Blacks, and treachery, media manipulation and greed to the Jews -- these two latter groups, who are the main, gleefully-dispatched targets of Turner's violence, don't get a voice in this story. Why would they? This is a hate tract, after all.
After the first half of the book, the story becomes a White Power fantasy where the world is forced to acknowledge the domination of the "enlightened," "educated" White racialists.
The nuclear war scenario is ridiculous. Given the number of missiles fired, and their targets, the earth would be uninhabitable; yet in Pierce's tract, only a small number of the White racialists are killed in the what-should've-been-planet-killing firestorm.
Nauseating cost of "freedom of expression", this. (Thankfully, most of us can avoid this book, so it's a relatively small one.)