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“In American spy parlance, it’s called ‘blowback’ — the unintended consequences of covert activity kept secret from the U.S. public. The covert recruitment of a Nazi spy network to wage a shadow war against the Soviet Union was the CIA’s ‘original sin’ and it ultimately backfired against the United States.”

— Martin A. Lee

true American flag - swastika and stripes - symbol of American state terrorism

The Beast Reawakens

bookcover by Martin A. Lee
Little, Brown and Co., 1997; Routledge, 2000; ISBN 0-316-51959-6

From the introduction:

“The speed and ferocity with which the extreme Right asserted itself after the Berlin Wall crumbled — not only in Germany, but across Europe and North America — caught nearly everyone by surprise. The growing clout of far Right political parties in Europe; the emergence of a ‘Red-Brown’ alliance in Russia; the rise of the U.S. militia movement; the mounting pattern of violence against refugees, immigrants, guest workers, asylum-seekers, and racial minorities throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere — all are manifestations of a widespread neofascist resurgence.

“Accentuated by the reunification of Germany, the collapse of Soviet bloc Communism, and major changes in the global economy, the sharp escalation of neofascist activity constitutes one of the most dangerous trends in international politics.

“Focusing primarily on Germany, and to a lesser extent on the United States, Russia, and other countries, this book examines how and why fascism — utterly vanquished and discredited fifty years ago — has once again become a force to be reckoned with.

“This is the saga of an underground political movement that has reawakened after a half century of hibernation. It is the history of something long hidden reappearing in a new form, a thing once forbidden that is gradually gaining influence and respectability. Most of all, it is a story about a cadre of old-guard fascists who kept the torch burning and bequeathed it to a new generation of extremists who are carrying on the struggle today.”

Full text of the introduction at:


“Fascism reared its fire-breathing head out of the ruins of the Berlin Wall before we even finished the victory dance. Where did it come from? In this powerful work of research and discovery, Martin A. Lee reveals more of the beast and its origins than has ever been seen before. The vitality of fascism is nourished by some sources that will surprise and startle you.”

— Andrei Codrescu
NPR Commentator
author of The Hole in the Flag

“[A] compelling, intelligent investigation which reads more like a thriller than a history lesson [and] contributes much toward understanding the politics of hatred.”

— Publishers Weekly

“A vivid survey of fascist resurgence.”

— The New York Times Book Review

“Brilliant...dramatic...hard to put down.”

— The San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Martin A. Lee (martin@sfbg.com) is a journalist with the online San Francisco Bay Guardian. Some of the articles of his former column, “Reality Bites”, may be found at http://www.sfbg.com/reality/index.html. He was the winner of the 1994 Pope Foundation Award for Investigative Journalism.

The Beast Reawakens, was published in hardcover by Little, Brown in 1997, and as a revised and updated paperback by Routledge, in 2000. A Spanish translation will be published next year. The Beast Reawakens is also the basis for a documentary film currently in production.

Lee’s first book, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion, was published by Grove Press in 1986. Andrew Weil, in The Nation, described Acid Dreams as “Engaging throughout — at once entertaining and disturbing.” Choice hailed it as “a landmark contribution to the sociopolitical history of the U.S.” The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a generalist’s history that should replace all others.” Acid Dreams was on the Chronicle’s bestseller list for six weeks. Foreign-language editions of Acid Dreams have been published in France and the Czech Republic. British and Spanish editions will be published in 2001.

Lee is a co-founder of the New York-based media research group FAIR, (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting; http://www.fair.org), former editor and publisher of FAIR’s magazine Extra!, and co-author of Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias In News Media (Lyle Stuart, 1990). The Washington Post called Unreliable Sources “a worthy addition to the library of any student of American news media, social structure and political science.” A Chinese-language edition of Unreliable Sources was published in 1995.

Interviewed as an expert on terrorism, espionage, and media issues, Lee has been a guest on CBS 48 Hours, CNN’s International Hour, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, C-Span, NPR’s Fresh Air, and Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now. His articles have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Newsday, Miami Herald, The Nation, Village Voice, Spin, Christian Science Monitor, Interview, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Jose Mercury News, Dissent, the Progressive, In These Times, and the National Catholic Reporter. Lee has also written for the Associated Press and Inter Press Service, and his stories on neo-Nazism and right-wing extremism have been syndicated by the New York Times.

Lee’s writing has been translated and published in numerous foreign periodicals, including Le Monde Diplomatique and L’Evenement du Jeudi (Paris), New Statesman and Index on Censorship (London), Aktuelt (Copenhagen), Humo (Brussels), Sydsvenska Dagbladet (Stockholm), Vrij Nederland (Amsterdam), Avvenimenti and Il Manifesto (Rome), and Die Tageszeitung (Berlin).

Lee has been a guest teacher-in-residence at the University of Illinois. He has lectured widely at colleges and universities including Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and the American University in Paris. As an undergraduate student in Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Lee won four Hopwood awards for creative writing.

A note of caution from the writer of this site:

The fact that Martin Lee would be interviewed by so many mainstream corporate media shows and published by so many mainstream newspapers is cause for extreme suspicion. Nobody who has any kind of message which threatens the fascist-Zionist plutocracy is ever going to be on CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, be syndicated by the New York Times or be an Associated Press writer. To be portrayed as “an expert on terrorism, espionage, and media issues” by these corporate media entities makes Martin Lee look like an establishment disinformation agent.

It may be that he is leading people astray with The Beast Reawakens by portraying the emerging fascism as the work only of underground, grassroots groups of racists, rather than something which is covertly funded and encouraged at the top levels of the American plutocracy.

I don’t yet know enough about him to be sure, so that’s why I have a page for The Beast Reawakens on this site. Because of it’s anti-fascist subject matter I’m taking a chance on giving him the benefit of the doubt for the time being, but with this warning.

Related sites

The CIA’s Worst-Kept Secret:
Newly Declassified Files Confirm United States Collaboration with Nazis
by Martin A. Lee

“‘Honest and idealist ... enjoys good food and wine ... unprejudiced mind...’

“That’s how a 1952 Central Intelligence Agency assessment described Nazi ideologue Emil Augsburg, an officer at the infamous Wannsee Institute, the SS think tank involved in planning the Final Solution. Augsburg’s SS unit performed ‘special duties,’ a euphemism for exterminating Jews and other ‘undesirables’ during the Second World War.”

The CIA’S neo-Nazis:
Strange bedfellows boost extreme right in Germany
by Martin A. Lee

“In American spy parlance, it’s called ‘blowback’ — the unintended consequences of covert activity kept secret from the U.S. public. The covert recruitment of a Nazi spy network to wage a shadow war against the Soviet Union was the CIA’s ‘original sin’ and it ultimately backfired against the United States.

“An unforeseen consequence of the CIA’s ghoulish tryst with the Org is evident today in a resurgent neofascist movement in Europe that can trace its ideological lineage back to Hitler’s Reich through Gehlen operatives who served U.S. intelligence. Moreover, by subsidizing a top Nazi spymaster and enlisting badly comprised war criminals, the CIA laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet agents.

“‘One of the biggest mistakes the United States ever made in intelligence was taking on Gehlen,’ a U.S. intelligence official later admitted. With that fateful sub rosa embrace, the stage was set for Washington’s tolerance of human rights abuses and other dubious acts in the name of anti-Communism.”

With Times Tough, Fascism Coming Back
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“The revival is not orchestrated by a sieg-heiling dictator flanked by men in brown shirts and swastika armbands. Rather, a new breed of right-wing extremists have trimmed their sails to suit the political moment. Realizing that the fascist game can be played in many ways, the more sophisticated tacticians underwent an ideological face-lift and mainstreamed their message for the sake of democratic appearances.

“Fascism is on the march again. No simple formula, however, can predict how strong contemporary fascist movements or their functional equivalents will become. ‘It is only a matter of time,’ predicts historian Paul Johnson, ‘before the fascism of the 1990s, under new names, of course, and ‘responsible’ leaders, becomes respectable.’ That time may already have arrived.”

Apocalypse again:
White supremacist numbers game
by Martin A. Lee

“Some right-wing extremists prophesy the cataclysmic breakup of the union. Thomas W. Chittum, a New Jersey-based Vietnam veteran, proclaims in his book Civil War Two, that the U.S. will go the way of Yugoslavia, splintering into ethnically-based national regions.

‘America was born in blood. America suckled on blood. America gorged on blood and grew into a giant, and America will drown in blood,’ Chittum declared.

“White separatists have set up groups such as ‘Americans for Self-Determination.’ One of that group’s founders, Jeff Anderson, urged that ‘the U.S. be partitioned into states for blacks, whites, Latinos, and so on, along with the multiracial states for those who wish to continue with this experiment. Now is the time to begin such a multiracial dialogue about separatism before a storm of violent racial conflict rages.’

“Today’s more image-conscious white-power advocates eschew heavy-handed master-race rhetoric. Couching their arguments in coded language that recasts bigotry as ethnic pride, they claim to be for whites rather than against people of color. They talk about preserving white identity and protecting the rights of European Americans, which are allegedly under assault. Trumpeting what has since become the standard GOP line on ‘giveaway programs’ and ‘special preferences’ for minorities, white supremacists maintain that their deteriorating status in society is primarily a consequence of ‘reverse discrimination’ aimed at fair-skinned folk — not the result of global economic forces and social processes that are having a disruptive impact on almost everyone.”

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

“FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.

“We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled.

“As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.”

The Public Eye
Political Research Associates

“Political Research Associates is an independent, not-for-profit research center which monitors and analyzes those organizations, leaders, ideas, and activities of the US political right that undermine democracy and diversity.”

Center for Democratic Renewal

Responding to Hate Groups: Ten Points to Remember

Hitler Was Gay, German Historian Says

“FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Adolf Hitler was a closet homosexual and used his homoerotic charisma to gain power, a leading German historian said.

“Lothar Machtan’s book Hitler’s Secret: The Double Life of a Dictator argues that an awareness of the Nazi leader’s sexual orientation may help us understand his life. Its launch has caused a sensation at this year’s [2001] Frankfurt Book Fair.”

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See the review:
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