SET THE WORLD ON FIRE: How Antisemitism Fuels White Nationalism | Reading List

Learn more about our panelists.

Eric Ward

Racial justice activist, Eric Ward has been sounding the alarm for years. A nationally recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate violence, and preserving inclusive democracy, he documented his first white nationalist rally in 1990. Currently the Executive Director of Western States Center and a Senior Fellow with Southern Poverty Law Center Executive, he has tracked and responded to bigoted violence across the country for more than three decades. In his seminal article, Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism, Ward emphasizes that to understand the threat posed by the white nationalist movement in the United States today, we must first come to terms with the antisemitic ideology at its core.

Pamela Nadell

Professor Pamela Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University where she directs the Jewish Studies Program and received the university’s highest award, Scholar/Teacher of the Year. Her recent book, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today (W.W. Norton) won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award’s Jewish Book of the Year. In 2017, she testified before Congress about antisemitism on college campuses and is currently writing a history of antisemitism in America. She is currently writing a book about the history of American antisemitism.

Daryl Johnson

Daryl Johnson is one of the foremost experts on domestic terrorism in the U.S. and a former senior analyst at the Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, Johnson wrote an internal Homeland Security report warning that right-wing extremism was on the rise in the US. When the report leaked, the backlash was immediate and Johnson’s domestic terrorism unit was dissolved. In 2012, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.

R. Derek Black

R. Derek Black was raised in one of the leading families of the American white nationalist movement. His father founded the first online white power community in 1994, Stormfront. From an early age, Derek participated in national media interviews, gave talks around the country, established Stormfront’s internet radio network in the early 2000s, ran a daily radio program in support of his family’s ideology, and won public office when he was 19 years old. After going away to college at a small liberal arts college, he was condemned by the campus community, and over several years came to engage with antiracist ideas. He ultimately condemned his family’s ideology in 2013 and has spoken out since 2016 against the reality of white supremacist political activism. He is currently a doctoral student in history at the University of Chicago, researching the medieval and early modern origins of the concept of race and of racist hierarchies and ideologies. He is the subject of the book by Eli Saslow, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist (2018).