Culture Warlords

My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy

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Pub Date 12 Nov 2020 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

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"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." - The New York Times

"Shocking, angry, funny and wise... Talia Lavin takes no prisoners." - Danny Wallace, bestselling author of Yes Man

"Lavin writes like her hands are on fire, forcing us to take a hard look at our ugliest truths." - Pamela Collof, The New York Times Magazine & Pro Publica

"Shocking, provocative and humorous, taking readers down the path of some of the vilest subcultures on the internet." - E&T Magazine

Talia Lavin is every fascist's worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic young Jewish woman, with the online investigative know-how to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers. Outspoken and uncompromising, Lavin's debut uncovers the hidden corners of the web where extremists hang out, from white nationalists and incels to national socialists and Proud Boys.

In stories crammed with catfishing and gatecrashing, combined with extensive, gut-wrenching research, Lavin goes undercover as a blonde Nazi babe and a forlorn incel to infiltrate extremist communities online, including a whites-only dating site. She also discovers the network of disturbingly young extremists, including a white supremacist YouTube channel run by a 14-year-old girl with nearly one million followers. Ultimately, she turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and quash the online hate movement's schisms, recruiting tactics, and the threat it represents to politics and beyond.

Shocking, provocative and humorous in equal measure, and with a take-no-prisoners attitude, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the internet and how they're doing their best to infiltrate the mainstream. And then she shows us how we can fight back.

"Culture Warlords is a necessary and urgent read that could not have come at a much better time. Thoroughly researched and engaging, this debut demonstrates the work of a fearless reporter." - Morgan Jerkins, New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing

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"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." - The New York Times

"Shocking, angry, funny and wise...


A Note From the Publisher

Copies will be released in November

Copies will be released in November


Advance Praise

"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." - The New York Times


"Lavin writes like her hands are on fire, forcing us to take a hard look at our ugliest truths." - Pamela Collof, The New York Times Magazine & Pro Publica


"Culture Warlords is a necessary and urgent read that could not have come at a much better time. Thoroughly researched and engaging, this debut demonstrates the work of a fearless reporter." - Morgan Jerkins, New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing

"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." - The New York Times


"Lavin writes like her hands are on...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781913183936
PRICE £18.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 16 members


Featured Reviews

This powerful and important book was an extremely uncomfortable read, intimately examining incredible hatred and vitriol. ⁣Talia Lavin infiltrated white supremacist Telegram groups, forums, and dating sites in an attempt to understand and expose this ideology. What she encountered was horrifically perverse and, despite mainstream numbing to alt-right chatter, still shocking. There are Telegram chat groups named after the poison gas used during the Holocaust and allegations that all leftists are HIV positive. This is a world so completely inverse to what I hold dear that it has often been easier to dismiss it as fantastical. Lavin shows that this hatred is not fantastical, but one that is very real, extremely dangerous, and has already costed many lives. ⁣ The book alternates between details of her encounters online and solid analyses of white supremacist ideology, history, and its intersection with misogyny, religion, and right-wing politics. Lavin does a wonderful job of writing about these horrors with sharp condemnation and acerbic wit - I was particularly tickled by the love letters her character Ashlynn received on a white supremacist dating site, which she described as a cross between Mein Kampf and Nicholas Sparks. She also speaks with admirable levity about the torrent of abuse she receives online - ‘after the thousandth time someone points out that I’m Jewish, or fat, or a bitch, I struggle with the urge to point out that I know all these things about myself already, and it’s really not much of a revelation’. ⁣ ⁣ What I found most frightening is how ordinary most of these people are, quiet neighbours who pass you in the supermarket or are tasked with keeping your community safe - ‘The worst people are still people; their humanity is impossible to disregard, but it does not absolve them. If anything, it makes their choices more abhorrent, surrounded, as they are, by the banality of a life indistinguishable from other lives... They choose to dream not of peace or of equality or of anything better...but of a worse world, riven by terror, awash in the blood of those they consider subhuman.’ ⁣

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This is an excellent and worthwhile book that I hope gains a large readership. It really did examine white supremacy online and how the movement is evergrowing. If you have read Laura Bate's book 'Men Who Hate Women', you will be familiar with much of what Lavin talks about, I do think that this book in time will become a textbook about the growth of far-right and emboldening of neo-nazism during this decade. A must-read!

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Culture Warlords is a highly uncomfortable - but necessary - read. Talia Lavin investigates the deplorable world of white supremacy via forums, chatrooms and dating sites in order to attempt to understand why these people behave they do, with the ultimate aim of exposing them. As much as I was aware of these groups, I wasn't fully aware of the vulgarity of their beliefs and was appalled at the casual way such hatred and vitriol was discussed. Lavin explains the historical significance of these groups as well as how the political landscape of today is exacerbating the situation. I found it chilling to think that these people are mostly able to blend into society. They could be a relative, neighbour or even a friend, I have given the book 3 stars due to Lavin's writing style which is extremely erratic. Highly repetitive (e.g. in the chapter on incels, Lavin gives a definition of an incel 3 times), and jumping from subject to subject with no flow or connection made it a chore to read at times. It almost reads as if it hasn't been proofread, with sections that would be appropriate in other chapters haphazardly scattered throughout the book as if the author has just remembered to include them as opposed to putting them in a relevant section. Overall, rather poorly written, but an essential read in today's climate. Thanks to NetGalley and Octopus Publishing for the ARC.

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This was such a compelling and horrifying read. While I obviously knew that White Supremacy was a thing, I had no idea about the levels it goes to. White Supremacist dating sites?! Who knew? I found parts of it quite difficult to read - the levels of hate that spill out from the boards Talia Lavin infiltrates is just awful. I honestly don't know how she managed to spend enough time reading them and participating in order to get enough material for this book.

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A difficult and challenging read. Talia Lavin is a brave human being, and a necessary writer. Her explorations and excavations of one of the most challenging and frightening subjects facing modern culture is extraordinary. I read this over the week of the election, and I found myself viewing the news, the pundits, the parties, the polls with new eyes. Lavin's book serves as a warning, as much as a lesson in radicalised subcultures. This book is immediate, emotional, and raw.

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