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Book Review

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University of Michigan Law School




Strangers there are among us, practicing with weapons for something they believe might come - something some of them believe should come. Militia men, patriots, self-proclaimed true Americans. Chosen people. What are we, members of the power elite, the academy, the legal intelligentsia - the other chosen people - to make of them? Sideshow freaks may titillate even a scholar, but they rarely, if ever, inform. Is there more here?

Along with the authors of Gathering Storm and Rural Radicals, I believe there is. Neither of these books sets out to convince lawyers or law professors in particular that these groups are worthy of attention, but both are written to convince a more general audience that these groups warrant serious attention. Gathering Storm is written for the public at large, while Rural Radicals is written for a more highly educated subset thereof. Unfortunately, neither book is entirely successful at its assumed task, although both pose important questions.


Review of Morris Dees, Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat, HarperCollins Publishers (1996) and Catherine McNicol Stock, Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain, Cornell University Press (1996).

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