Hitler's American Friends: The Third Reich's Supporters in the United States
Bradley W. Hart
Thomas Dunne Books
In the 1930s and '40s, a small but energetic minority of Americans cheered the rise of Hitler, opposed Allied efforts to fight Nazism, and longed for an "American führer" to seize the reins of U.S. politics. These pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic groups and their schemes, which ran the gamut from propaganda campaigns to espionage, have already been documented.
In Hitler's American Friends, historian Bradley W. Hart revisits the evidence, attempting to build a case that the "threats posed by the American pro-Nazi movement were far greater than we remember." It's a murky thesis, and this makes it hard to evaluate the constant parallels Hart draws between past and present, or his implication that we should be taking the threat of a Russia-Trump nexus more seriously. Each chapter condenses into a nervous storm cloud of historical might-have-beens—a fitting companion to our age of diffuse paranoia.
A version of this story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Pacific Standard. Subscribe now to support independent journalism in the public interest. It was first published online on September 20th, 2018, exclusively for PS Premium members.