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Publisher's Summary

A harrowing journey into the heart of white supremacy

Talia Lavin is every skinhead's worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers. Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. 

Within these chapters, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a 14-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more. 

By combining compelling stories chock-full of catfishing and gate-crashing with her own in-depth, gut-wrenching research, she also turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and decimate the online hate movement from within. Shocking, humorous, and merciless in equal measure, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the Web - and shows us how we can fight back. 

©2020 Talia Lavin (P)2020 Hachette Books

What the critics say

"Culture Warlords is a shock to the system - an urgent, incendiary work that takes us into the most hate-filled corners of American culture. Having immersed herself, Gonzo-style, in a toxic online world where white supremacy is the norm, Talia Lavin shows us the fun-house mirror reflection of American culture. Lavin writes like her hands are on fire, forcing us to take a hard look at our nation's ugliest truths." (Pamela Colloff, New York Times Magazine and ProPublica)

"In Culture Warlords, Talia Lavin capably leads readers through chilly tunnels of loathing, burrowing deep into dens of violent racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny. She describes communities of hate and how they're growing with precision, seriousness, and humor. Even as she takes on multiple identities, readers will find in her a steady and often lyrical guide: transparent about her fears, fury, and ever-changing sense of self. Culture Warlords is surely brutal and urgent; it is also unexpectedly delicate." (Rebecca Traister, New York Times best-selling author of All the Single Ladies and Good and Mad)

"Talia Lavin's Culture Warlords is a necessary and urgent read that could not have come at a much better time. You will be astounded at the depths to which Lavin sinks to expose how far and wide white supremacy spreads across both real-life meetings and internet communities. Thoroughly researched and engaging, this debut demonstrates the work of a fearless reporter." (Morgan Jerkins, New York Times best-selling author of This Will Be My Undoing and Wandering in Strange Lands)

What listeners say about Culture Warlords

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Informative book

Very well researched book. Lavin’s exposée on the white surpremacist movement should open the eyes of people, who believe this is just a fringe movement. Captivating.

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Couldn't finish

Tried to return it, but see no option. I agree with Talia on almost everything but the way she narrates with sarcasm takes away from the story. It also feels like she wore a thesaurus out while writing. While the topic is important (albeit, I would rather get info from those who have studied this issue a little more deeply), I just couldn't finish this book.

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  • Charles Allen Cox
  • 2020-10-14

Amazin!

filled with humor and horror, Talia gives a great overview of the white supremacist movement in America and its expression online.

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  • Christina -- Audible
  • 2020-10-13

Gonzo journalism online

Talia Lavin explored a toxic and violent online subculture so you don't have to. In person at events, and online undercover (assuming personae both hilarious and sad), she spent 2019 in the belly of the beast of white supremacy. I know I sound like I'm clutching my pearls, but I was taken aback by the specificity of the attacks against her and others, and the personal hatred fomented online by people who -- ironically -- don't even know each other. I listened to this audio at 1.1 speed; I enjoyed the narration, and the story -- while uncomfortable -- was an eye-opener.

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  • chris boutte
  • 2020-11-09

Bravest book of the year

This was my first time reading anything from Talia Lavin, and this was a really great book. As much as people like to talk about "snowflakes" and SJWs, the incel and white supremacy movement online is real, and it's scary stuff. Personally, I grew up online and as a gamer, and I've known many of these types of guys, and I don't know how many mass shootings we need to witness before people take this issue of domestic terrorism seriously.  I recently started following Talia on Twitter, and although I don't 100% agree with everything she says, I respect the hell out of her for this book. She put a lot on the line by infiltrating incel and white supremacy groups to get an inside look of what's going on. Not only did she do it, but before she started investigating, she knew the threats that she would receive after she published this book from those groups, but she did it anyway.  I don't know what the solution is to help curb this hatred that's happening from these groups, but the least we can do is be aware that it's happening. With that said, I highly recommend this book.

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  • Will
  • 2020-10-22

I took this book too personally.

This was the single most difficult book for me to finish this year. The author delves deep into the hate filled online world of white supremacy. She frequently brings up that she is Jewish and how people in these online groups are, directly or indirectly, threatening her, her family, and peoples she cares about. It isn't difficult to see my own family and the people I care about reflected there. I took this book maybe too personally. The threat of violence from groups like these are very real, and the author brings up several examples where extremists cultivated hate online and committed atrocities in the offline world. I want to say that I recommend this book to everyone, but it made me sick to my stomach, it made me afraid, and it made me mad. It also gave me hope. When we begin to understand the disease we can treat it, we can begin to know what to look for. I'm not sure if extremism, like what is exposed in this book, will ever truly be rooted out, but I'm glad this book is out there.

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  • backupbesty
  • 2020-10-22

Telling all my friends to read this

Finished it really quick and found it to be very useful in understanding the depth and depravity of alt-right, white nationalist, Nazis, white supremacists and even incels. She didn't pull any punches. q very fine piece of muckraking!

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  • raraavis
  • 2020-12-02

Excellent listen.

A must listen for anyone wanting to understand the online alt-right pipeline and how a generation of young (mostly) men are being inspired to join hate groups and commit acts of violence. Read very well by the author herself.

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  • rumbero
  • 2020-11-29

I am a new fan of your magnificent work.

I love your commitment, your strength, your will, your righteousness and your passion as well as the beautifully and clearly told story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-11-23

I couldn’t put it down.

I listened to the full book in two days because I was obsessed with the story and the deep dive into the swampier places of the universe. I will definitely need and want to listen again to absorb the story and the information fully. Most of all I appreciate the narrative and the memoir style of what Talia experienced in her investigation. It brought it to life and inspired me.

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  • B.M.
  • 2020-11-27

solid book for these times

The book was good overall, there was an over abundance of personal opinion and not facts

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  • A. R.
  • 2020-11-24

Great Listen!

An uncomfortable topic, but well worth a listen. Talia Lavin narrating her own story adds to the impact.