Swastika Nation by Arnie Bernstein
Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund

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The author does not hide his disdain from the subject of the book, a bunch of ugly people doing ugly things. The book nonetheless covers a fascinating chapter in American history, showing how a fringe group can take the ideals this nation was founded on and manipulate them for their own purposes.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

In the late 1930s, the German–American Bund, led by its popinjay dictator Fritz Kuhn, was a small but powerful national movement in pre-World War II America, determined to conquer the United States government with a fascist dictatorship. They met in private social halls and beer garden backrooms, gathered at private resorts and public rallies, developed their own version of the SS and Hitler Youth, published a national newspaper and—for a brief moment of their own imagined glory—seemed poised to make an impact on American politics.

But while the American Nazi leadership dreamed of their Swastika Nation, an amalgamation of politicians, a rising legal star, an ego-charged newspaper columnist, and denizens of the criminal underworld utilized their respective means and muscle to bring down the movement and its dreams of a United Reich States.
Swastika Nation by Arnie Bernstein is a story of bad guys, good guys, and a few guys who fell somewhere in-between. The rise and fall of Fritz Kuhn and his German-American Bund at the hands of these disparate fighters is a sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing, and always compelling story from start to finish.

 

About Arnie Bernstein

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ARNIE BERNSTEIN learned firsthand about American Nazis as a high school student, when a group of neo-fascists threatened to march in his neighborhood, known for its large Jewish population. Bernstein has been interviewed by the New York Times, BBC Radio, NPR, PBS, and for many documentaries. He’s lectured at DePaul University, the Chicago History Museum, and other respected venues, and has received numerous grants and awards. Bernstein is the author of Bath Massacre and lives in Chicago.
 
Published September 3, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. 367 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Swastika Nation
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 17 2013

...disturbing story of the pro-Nazi movement that grew in 1930s America...A story of disgusting people doing disgusting things, told with relish and undisguised disdain.

Read Full Review of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn a... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jul 01 2013

Bernstein manages to present a fresh account of a well-documented era, and the egotistical, philandering, and deluded Kuhn makes a great and detestable star.

Read Full Review of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn a... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by ManoflaBook.com on Jan 28 2014

The author does not hide his disdain from the subject of the book, a bunch of ugly people doing ugly things. The book nonetheless covers a fascinating chapter in American history, showing how a fringe group can take the ideals this nation was founded on and manipulate them for their own purposes.

Read Full Review of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn a... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Reader Rating for Swastika Nation
72%

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