Radical Propaganda & Literature: Collections

The Radical Propaganda and Literature Collections featured in the archive feature a wide selection of propaganda materials, extremist literature, government documents, books, art, ephemera and other materials from a wide range of people and perspectives.

Being free, transitory and ephemeral in nature, propaganda and ephemera are often difficult to find, being retained for only the short time needed to read it and so quickly lost unless archived soon after publication, but also give a unique snapshot into the politics and ideology of a particular party or organisation at an exact moment in time.

The propaganda in the Radical Propaganda and Literature Collections offers unique perspectives on pivotal moments in history, such as an election, short-lived extremist campaigns, and changes in government. The radical literature included adds a rarely seen snapshot of the real people behind the spread of propaganda, and the extreme claims that affected their day-to-day activities. With these online collections, researchers living in the era of Fake News can use multiple different approaches as they search and assess the propaganda, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding into how political propaganda and ephemera has been used to attract followers and persuade people to support both left-wing and right-wing causes, or to strengthen the conviction of a small number of true believers, and how it influenced public opinion through art, video, pamphlets and books.

  • The American Radicalism Collection

    Since 1970, the American Radicalism Collection at Michigan State University has been collecting paper ephemera on radical political movements across a range of extremist campaigns, including those involved in religion, race, gender, the environment, and equal rights. It covers four general categories, each with a different focus: leftist politics and anti-war movements; religion and the radical right; race, gender, and equal rights; and social, economic, and environmental movements. The offering also includes papers on such topics as survivalism, Holocaust denial, creationism, and anti-Catholicism from organizations like the John Birch Society and the Black Panther Party. The materials represent a variety of viewpoints, from the far-right to the far-left, on political, social, cultural, sexual, and economic issues.

    The aggregation process did not end with propaganda and materials from the late 1960s and 1970s; the compilation includes propaganda and materials from the 1980s, the 1990s, and the beginning of the twenty-first century. In totality, this compilation provides a non-idealised and minimally brokered snapshot of social change concerns in the United States from 1970 to the present.

    Expansive and detailed, American Radicalism offers researchers the opportunity to study and compare multiple fringe political movements in the United States and examine what impact they have had on today’s society.

    Researchers interested in the evolution of the radical right around the world in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century will find this publication indispensable for its coverage of a wide range of organisations, individuals, and topics.

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  • Fascist and Anti-Fascist Booklets

    This collection contains booklets from both fascist and anti-fascist activist groups from as early as 1918. Coverage includes a broad spectrum of far-right political propaganda penned by notable far-right individuals, such as Arnold Leese and William Joyce, as well as the output of their left-wing opposition, such as the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

    Fascist and Anti-Fascist Booklets is vital for those researching far-right parties, anti-fascist activism, racism, anti-Semitism, politicians, and radical politics.

    Researchers interested in the evolution of extreme right-wing parties in European politics and around the world in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century will find this publication indispensable for its wide coverage of far-right groups, individuals, leaders, and related topics.

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  • Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda

    The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda from the John Hay Library at Brown University began as a selection of radical literature gathered by Gordon Hall. After returning from the war, Hall investigated hate groups in the United States for Friends of Democracy, an anti-totalitarian organisation. He built a substantial offering of propaganda materials, mainly focused on anti-integrationist, anti-Semitic, and racist groups, such as the American Fascist Union and Ku Klux Klan.

    Hall-Hoag Printed Propaganda is a treasure trove of primary source materials for academic researchers of modern extremism in American history. Extremist literature has always been difficult to find because its authors intended the material to be read only by a limited number of readers who identified as true believers. Consequently, media print runs tend to be small and erratic. It takes a dedicated effort to amass and organize offerings of this type. Most of the extremist propaganda in this offering ranges from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s, which were the most contentious days of the civil rights campaigns. Publications represent a cross-section of extremist opinion toward integration and civil rights activism, but also contained are propaganda materials on anti-Semitism, Christian Identity theology, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacy movements.

    These extremist propaganda materials are the products of decades of collaboration between Gordon Hall and his research assistant, Grace Hoag. Hoag first worked with Hall as a volunteer and later as a collaborator. They were able to collect propaganda, known to be difficult to maintain, from major extremist organizations and groups from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s.

    Hall and Hoag gathered a representative sample of printed ephemera from a variety of extremist organizations in the country that researchers can search through. In examining the Hall-Hoag materials, the groups that had a particularly significant impact can be studied in greater depth. When cataloguing the propaganda, Hall and Hoag divided their propaganda materials into the following categories: anti-integrationist organizations, anti-Jewish racist organizations, hate groups extreme Right, and Ku Klux Klan Organizations. Each of these groups shared a belief in, and a commitment to, white supremacy.

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  • Leaflets, Stickers, Posters, Electoral Ephemera from Fascist and Anti-Fascist Groups

    This ephemera collection includes leaflets, stickers, posters, tickets, and electoral ephemera created for as a propaganda tool by far-right groups, such as the British Movement, British National Party, Combat 18, England First, International Third Positionists, National Front, National Socialist Movement, and the National Socialist Party of Australia. These propaganda materials offer unique insight into the beliefs, actions, and campaigning strategies of several fascist and racist groups, and their leaders. In addition to mapping the evolution of far-right movements throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, they also showcase the development of the propaganda technique itself.

    This offering is highly important, not only for those interested in the history and ideology of right-wing groups and far-right extremism in Britain and abroad, but any researcher trying to understand global politics in the twentieth century.

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  • Searchlight Magazine

    Searchlight was founded in 1964 as an occasional newspaper publication, but from 1975 to present it has been published as a monthly magazine. Its primary purpose is to investigate and publish exposes on fascist, anti-Semitic, and racist groups operating both in Britain and abroad.

    The 62 Group, an anti-fascist coalition set up in 1962 in response to the resurgence of fascism in Britain, appointed Gerry Gable to work with their intelligence operation. In 1964 he established a press agency to make the information that they were gathering available to the public in the form of the Searchlight newspaper, under the editorship of Reginald Freeson MP. It was relaunched as a monthly magazine in 1975 and continues to publish today.

    Coverage has included a number of British far-right groups, including the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18, and the English Defence League (EDL), as well as international fascist and racist organizations, such as the Norwegian Nazi Party and the Australian National Socialist Party. Searchlight’s network includes several anti-racist organizations from around the world and it has published many notable journalists, including Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, whose magazine Expo is often considered Searchlight’s sister publication.

    Researchers interested in the evolution of far-right groups around the world in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century will find this publication indispensable for its coverage of a wide range of groups, individuals, and topics.

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