Radicalism and Music
Fig. 1. Radicalism and Music. Courtesy of Wesleyan University Press, 2015.

Wesleyan University Press published a book titled "Radicalism and Music: An Introduction to the Music Cultures of al-Qa'ida, Racist Skinheads, Christian-Affiliated Radicals, and Eco-Animal Rights Militants" written by Jonathan Pieslak.

Publication Data

Pieslak, Jonathan. Radicalism and Music: An Introduction to the Music Cultures of al-Qa'ida, Racist Skinheads, Christian-Affiliated Radicals, and Eco-Animal Rights Militants. Wesleyan University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-8195-7584-5.

Description

Radicalism and Music offers a convincing argument for music’s transformational impact on the radicalization, reinforcement, and motivational techniques of violent political activists. It makes a case for the careful examination of music’s roles in radical cultures, roles that have serious impacts, as evidenced by the actions of the Frankfurt Airport shooter Arid Uka, Sikh Temple murderer Wade Page, white supremacist Matthew Hale, and animal-rights activist Walter Bond, among others. Such cases bring up difficult questions about how those involved in radical groups can be stirred to feel or act under the influence of music.

Radicalism and Music is based on interviews, email correspondence, concerts, and videos. As a “sound strategy,” music is exploited to its fullest potential as a tool for recruiting and retaining members by members of al-Qa’ida, the Hammerskin Nation, Christian Identity, Kids in Ministry International, Earth First!, and Vegan Straight Edge. But, as the book points out, the coercive use of music is not isolated to radical cultures, but in political propaganda, sporting events, and popular music as well. Ultimately, Radicalism and Music shows how music affects us through our emotions, and how it triggers violence and enables hateful ideology.

Table of Contents

Opening
Al-Qa’ida Culture and Anashid
The Music of Racist-Skinhead Culture
Interlude: Race Faiths and Music—The Intersection of White Supremacy and Christianity
Christian-Affiliated Radicalism and Music
The Music Cultures of Radical Environmental and Animal Rights Activism
Understanding Music’s Roles in Radical Culture
Closing
Appendix: Hardline Manifesto

About the Author

Jonathan Pieslak is an associate professor at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War.

To order the book online visit the Wesleyan University Press website.