In Culture Warlords, Talia Lavin capably leads readers through chilly tunnels of loathing, burrowing deep into dens of violent racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny. She describes communities of hate and how they're growing with precision, seriousness, and humor. Even as she takes on multiple identities, readers will find in her a steady and often lyrical guide: transparent about her fears, fury, and ever-changing sense of self. Culture Warlords is surely brutal and urgent; it is also unexpectedly delicate.
As someone who has gone undercover and waded through the dark trenches of white supremacy, I know firsthand how jarring it can be to find yourself in the belly of the beast - and the courage it takes to dig your way to the other side. Culture Warlords is a searingly original and breathtaking feat of fearless journalism, and it is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the nefarious context for the world we live in today.
Talia Lavin's Culture Warlords is a necessary and urgent read that could not have come at a much better time. You will be astounded at the depths to which Lavin sinks to expose how far and wide white supremacy spreads across both real-life meetings and internet communities. Thoroughly researched and engaging, this debut demonstrates the work of a fearless reporter.
Culture Warlords is a shock to the system - an urgent, incendiary work that takes us into the most hate-filled corners of American culture. Having immersed herself, Gonzo-style, in a toxic online world where white supremacy is the norm, Talia Lavin shows us the fun-house mirror reflection of American culture. Lavin writes like her hands are on fire, forcing us to take a hard look at our nation's ugliest truths."
One of the marvels of this furious book is how insolent and funny Lavin is; she refuses to soft-pedal the monstrous views she encounters.
A well-researched overview of the ecosystem of online hate.
Lavin is an entertaining Virgil for this neo-Nazi hell...She forges engaging narrative paths through the distant and near history of the alt-right.
Equal parts gonzo journalism and sociological study of the rise of the modern alt-right, the book is a disturbing but compelling portrait of contemporary hatred and the people who perpetrate it, all told in Ms. Lavin's deeply confident, emotionally wrenching prose. It's the rare book that simultaneously offers a vital big-picture overview of a social phenomenon and also makes you care deeply about the author as a character in her own right.