New Library resource gives insight into Extremism and Radicalism in the 20th century

Statue of Homer on the Lawn during anti-war student strike of May 1970, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library

Gain insight into the history of radical and extremist movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the current decade with the Library’s new online resource, Gale’s Political Extremism & Radicalism in the 20th Century. Find previously hidden sources of information on both far-right and far-left political groups in the US, the UK, and other geographic regions. Materials include periodicals, campaign propaganda, government records, oral histories, and ephemera such as stickers, leaflets, and pamphlets.

Documents trace the development of movements once considered “fringe” that have since achieved acceptance (movements for minority rights, women’s rights, and gay rights) and others whose hateful ideologies persist (anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, and white nationalist). You’ll get unique, behind-the-scenes perspectives on often inaccessible groups such as the Black Panther Party and the John Birch Society.

Peripheral groups of all stripes deemed “extreme” or “radical” by contemporaries are represented—anti-war, communist or socialist, creationist, environmentalist, holocaust denial, new left, survivalist.

Collection highlights:

  • The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda from the John Hay Library at Browextremist literature from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s, includes a cross-section of extremist reactions to integration and civil rights activism, and materials on American anti-Semitism, Christian Identity theology, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacy movements.
  • The American Radicalism Collection from Michigan State University—ephemera on radical political groups, including those involved in religion, race, gender, the environment, and equal rights, from 1970 to the present.
  • The Searchlight Archive, held at the University of Northampton in the UKmaterial from Searchlight Associates, founded in 1962 to investigate racist and fascist groups in Britain and abroad, and publicize their activities. Includes ephemera, the complete run of Searchlight magazine (1965–present), oral histories, interviews with anti-fascists active from 1940s–1990s, available as audio files and transcripts.
  • The National Archives at Kew in the UKdigitized secret service and home office documents relating to inter-and post-war British fascist and communist movements, includes files on suspected spies in the First and Second World War periods and the inter-war years.

Political Extremism & Radicalism in the 20th Century is an invaluable resource to researchers focused on international and European history, politics, international relations, and government studies, as well as African American studies, gender studies, sociology, psychology, and religious studies.

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