BOOK REVIEW: ‘Culture Warlords’ by Talia Lavin — undercover among neo-Nazis
A compelling exploration of the modern far-right points to the banality of extremists
London — Culture Warlords, Talia Lavin’s debut, does not ease readers in. Less than 10 pages in, the author opens a far-right chat room to discover members discussing whether she is too ugly to rape. It is a stark, powerful introduction to the combination of misogyny, anti-Semitism and white supremacy to follow.
Similarly to Julia Ebner’s excellent Going Dark, Culture Warlords relies heavily on undercover work in extreme-right spaces to draw out the poison which dwells there. While efforts to explain the alt-right proliferated throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, Lavin’s work — started after she was targeted by the very neo-Nazis who she set out to undermine — has a raw and deeply understandable anger...