|About the Book|
Timothy McVeigh is not alone. The 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City killed 168 innocent people and shattered the complacency of a nation. But this event, horrible as it was, may well be only the beginning of an unprecedented waveMoreTimothy McVeigh is not alone. The 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City killed 168 innocent people and shattered the complacency of a nation. But this event, horrible as it was, may well be only the beginning of an unprecedented wave of terror in America. This is the chilling conclusion reached by Joel Dyer in Harvest of Rage, the first book to explore the surprisingly deep rural roots of today’s growing and increasingly deadly antigovernment movement.As a reporter who has spent years investigating the personal and social devastation facing rural Americans, Dyer has documented the tragic, lingering aftermath of the 1980s farm crisis that we have all but forgotten. But our shattered heartland is still there, collapsing like a black hole, pulling an entire way of life down with it and distorting rural America’s perceptions of economic and political reality. In its destructive wake, only the question Why? remains.That is a hard question to answer for people who have lived right, invested all they had, and believed that the American dream would come by the sweat of their brows, only to find themselves driven to the wall by impersonal and incomprehensible forces. Some in rural America cannot overcome their deep sense of personal failure. They are ending their lives at a rate that has made suicide overtake accidents as the leading cause of death on America’s farms.But others have discovered an alternative. They are drawn in by the gravitational pull of radical right-wing movements offering support, friendship, and paranoid explanations for Washington’s flawed rural policies and the global economy that has crushed so many. It’s the Jews, they whisper, it’s the United Nations, it’s the Black Helicopters. And most of all, it’s the federal government.Harvest of Rage explains why many otherwise decent people have joined an “alternate America” that seems to defy rational comprehension—until you begin to see the grains of truth that reside in the big lies of the radical antigovernment movement. Dyer shows us the complex arguments that antigovernment proponents use to justify their actions. Based on unprecedented and often intimate interviews with the leaders and the foot soldiers of these groups, his research reveals a complicated and often contradictory amalgam of politically and religiously based forces.Some, like the Republic of Texas, have already “seceded” from the United States and declared war on the U.S. government. Others have set up a secret system of courts, supposedly based in Anglo-Saxon common law, that judges and sentences perceived enemies. Meanwhile, armed militias and independent terrorist cells stand ready to carry out those sentences, including the death penalty.As the year 2000 approaches, many of these groups share a growing millennial fervor, a sense that they are in a state of war with the U.S. government and that an all-out confrontation must take place in the next three years. In this warped world, Oklahoma City truly is just the beginning. And until we come to understand that, until we begin to address the true underlying causes of America’s confrontation with domestic terror, we are doomed to continue to reap what has been sown: a Harvest of Rage. Completely updated with new material on the McVeigh Trial, the defense of Terry Nichols, and the lingering doubt that both were not alone, but assisted by a host of ”unknown others” in the militia movements of rural America.