An engaging and reflective look at how austerity and the billionaire class paved the way for Trump's presidency, the rise of the "alt-right," and the caging of migrants children and adults in detention centers across the country. For all of the energy that the far right has demonstrated-and for all of the support that they receive from institutional conservatives in the GOP and affiliated organizations-the United States is experiencing an upsurge in left-wing social movements unlike any other in the past half-century, with roots not in the Democratic Party but Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.
Drawing on his original reporting as well as archival research, O'Connor investigates how the capitalist class and the radical right mobilize racism to defend their interests, while focusing on one of the most pressing issues of our time: immigration.
"Blood Red Lines makes an important contribution to the political debate over immigration by refusing to debate on the terms of those who would see immigration—and citizenship—savagely curtailed...This is a call to continuous action on the left." —The New Republic
"[I]t’s clear that [O'Connor] isn’t drawing from a solely journalistic tradition but an academic and historical one as well.... His proposition is to...reject racialized borders and build a global labor movement to combat border fascism...O'Connor's argument about worker power is a persuasive one...." —The Nation
"Blood Red Lines has set the bar for new works on the contemporary fascist right, for researchers and antifascist organizers both." —Dissent
"Journalist O’Connor debuts with a searing and wide-ranging investigation into “the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy” and “the machinery of exploitation and oppression used by the ruling class” in America....O’Connor’s impressive research and investigative skills shine through. Liberals will cheer this impassioned manifesto." —Publishers Weekly
"In Blood Red Lines, Brendan O'Connor draws a dizzying map of the institutions, ideas, and people connecting American capitalism to white supremacist fascism—and illuminates the way immigration sits at the dead center of this machinery, providing both fodder for and a challenge to our national regime of exploitation, and opening up the path to new visions of solidarity and possibility. This is a painful, clear-sighted, casually shocking, necessary read." —Jia Tolentino, author,Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
"Blood Red Lines lucidly distills scholarly literature and marshals years of on-the-ground reporting to explain and expose how manufactured border and immigration threats have become the central means through which racist demagogues mobilize right-wing politics against a liberal capitalist state in crisis. It is because racism always drove nationalist and capitalist US politics in their ascendance, O'Connor shows, they have also definitively shaped today's Trumpist reaction." —Dan Denvir, The Dig
"O’Connor has stood in the desert with activists seeking to rescue migrants, watched as militant antifascists battled the far right, and milled around at a “border security expo” where new tools of state violence are marketed. Standing on these front lines, he has been in a unique position to observe a disturbing sameness, the ways politicians, vigilantes and neo-Nazis alike exploit blood, soil and borders for their own, poisonous ends. Blood Red Lines is a work of groundbreaking reporting and intense urgency, focused on how “fringe” and “mainstream” far-right groups are all inter-related, interconnected, and, ultimately, focused on the same deadly goals." —Anna Merlan, Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power
"In this brilliantly clear-eyed book, O’Connor deftly unties the odious rat-king of old-money nativism, murderous fascism and rapacious neo-liberalism, exposing how white-supremacy lies at the core of not just capitalism but America itself." —Vegas Tenold, author of Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America
"Brendan O'Connor's Blood Red Linesconnects the dots, providing a vivid account of the rise of a unique kind of U.S. fascism, born on the border but now nationalized. O'Connor simultaneously produces empathy and outrage, in the exact proportions we need to fight back. Indispensable."—Greg Grandin, Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History at Yale University and author of The End of the Myth
"Blood-Red Lines is a forensic deep-dive into the dark arterial network of the anti-immigrant far-right. In an engaging journalistic method and story-telling style, O’Connor presents a map-like, chronological exposé of the white nationalist origination of restrictionist policy and its comfortable convergence with capitalist political economy. He painstakingly details the methods by which these toxic ideas have enabled opportunists, demagogues, and fascist foot-soldiers to gain entry and influence within the political mainstream. Not to despair, O’Connor also introduces us to the people, organizations, and efforts taking shape to defeat the resurgent far-right. Anyone trying to understand how the far-right has surged in ranks and influence in recent decades--and everyone committed to the cause of justice for migrants and refugees--needs to read this book and take action." —Justin Akers Chacón, author of No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the US-Mexico Border
"A wide-ranging, deep-thinking, profoundly necessary book on the overlap between the alt-right and anti-immigrant movements on the boil in the United States—what O'Connor aptly calls border fascism. O'Connor deftly identifies the diverse contemporary and historical strains of xenophobic, racist, white nationalist, misogynistic, and eugenicist thought that has laid the groundwork for Trumpism, anti-immigrant cruelty, and insurgent alt-right violence in the United States. For anybody studying immigration policy or trends today, this part of the story cannot be overlooked: O'Connor's work in Blood Red Lines is essential."—John Washington, author, The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond