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The Fame of a Dead Man’s Deeds:
An Up-Close Portrait of White Nationalist William Pierce
Robert S. Griffin
Softcover book. 436 pages.
Stock Number: 0254
An informative and inspiring look at the remarkable life of a principled, far-sighted man, and a lucid, well-organized presentation of his worldview. This in-depth book explores the personality, career and outlook of the most influential and intriguing figure of the American “extreme right.”
For nearly 30 years Dr. William Pierce was the chairman of the National Alliance, which he built into the largest and most influential white nationalist organization in America. The Jewish-Zionist “Anti-Defamation League” called it the most dangerous hate group in the US. At the time of his death in 2002, the National Alliance had about fifteen hundred members and more than a dozen full-time staff members. Pierce’s writings and recorded talks are still widely appreciated and influential.
Pierce was perhaps best known as the author (under the name of Andrew Macdonald) of the infamous underground novel,
The Turner Diaries
, which reportedly sold more than two hundred thousand copies, and very likely inspired the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
Most books and articles about Pierce and the “white nationalist” movement have been produced by unsympathetic and even hostile writers, and therefore are predictably biased and misleading, and often strewn with factual errors. This account is different. Griffin is clearly motivated to understand and explain, and he has taken great care to be accurate.
This is perhaps the single best book available anywhere on the worldview of “white nationalism” in the US and its outlook and critique of American life.
The author, a professor of education at the University of Vermont, lived for a month on Pierce's secluded property in mountainous West Virginia and came to know Pierce and those around him. Robert Griffin conducted twenty hours of audio-taped interviews with Pierce, which he drew upon extensively in writing this book.
The author recounts Pierce’s personal story from childhood on, reviews the individuals, and their writings, and the situations, that particularly influenced him, spells out his perspective on the great issues of our time, and describes his day-to-day routine.
Griffin looks closely at the lives and writings of the individuals who influenced Pierce, including George Bernard Shaw, Adolf Hitler, Revilo Oliver, Savitri Devi, George Lincoln Rockwell, and William Gayley Simpson. The author also looks at the lives and ideas of other individuals of America’s “far right,” most of them unfamiliar to the general public. Griffin sheds light on Pierce’s personal life, including his upbringing, education and marriages. The author presents and explains Pierce’s outlook on American history, World War II, the issue of race, and the Jewish role in history and modern America.
At his headquarters in rural West Virginia, Pierce wrote and produced his weekly “American Dissident Voices” broadcast talk, supervised publication of the organization’s periodicals (
National Vanguard magazine
), wrote and published the Alliance’s internal newsletter, supervised the staff and many routine upkeep matters, and oversaw the Alliance’s book publishing operations, and the production of musical recordings issued by the its “Resistance Records” affiliate.
The title of the book is drawn from an old Norse poem which, in ways that become clear as the book progresses, captures the meaning Pierce ascribed to his own life.
Griffin explains how Pierce’s worldview developed, and what motivated him, as a married man with a wife and two young sons, to set aside at age 32 a secure, successful career in academic and professional life to devote himself entirely to work that he believed to be of the utmost importance, and thereby accepting a precarious future of financial insecurity and social ostracism.
The author describes Pierce as "a person of remarkable capability, decency, integrity, courage, and dedication.” Griffin also writes: "This book changed my life forever. I came away from my encounter with Pierce far more conscious of race from a white perspective and of myself as a white man and of my European cultural and historical roots."
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