Joe Mulhall – Drums in the Distance

Joe Mulhall of the UK’s Hope Not Hate has a new book out called Drums in the Distance – Journeys Into the Global Far Right. Short review: It rocks so go buy it and read it!

Drums in the Distance is a worldwide walkabout into the work of Joe and his colleagues at Hope Not Hate infiltrating and exposing the principal haters and their organizations. Starting with an historical view of modern British right-wing extremism (soup to nuts or ‘British National Party to Brexit’ as Joe puts it), he then considers the various anti-Muslim movements (including the effect of Islamist extremist groups and DAESH), before moving on to Europe’s far-right and their xenophobic responses to migrants.

The US is looked at with visits with American militia border patrols and infiltration of KKK groups. The cornerstone rise (and fall?) of Trumpism rounds out the US coverage up to the attempted insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th – and that timeliness makes it seem like the book was being worked on up to yesterday.

The effects of the rise of Hindu Nationalism in India and Bolsanaro in Brazil within the context of a global pandemic and the increasing risks from climate change raise issues not just about political dominos but also how the far-right seeks to capitalize on a world turned upside down.

One of the things that Mulhall’s travels brought to mind was reading the 1990 seminal work Among the Thugs by Bill Buford about his time with Britain’s violent soccer hooligans that also raises questions about how best to accurately portray and expose otherwise closed groups. In his conclusion, Mulhall openly admits that his work has sometimes been imperfect, but that the unbearable human cost that far-right dominance would bring has kept him going and a fire in the belly.

If you want a great collection of stories about the struggle (including victories and losses) against international far-right extremism that entertain, educate, and inspire – Joe Mulhall’s Drums in the Distance is the book you should buy today.

Here’s how you can buy Joe’s book from your local independent bookstore.

full disclosure – I’ve had pints with Joe Mulhall and hope to do so again in the future – this is for Joe:

Sonic Youth – Youth Against Fascism