Sisters in Hate

American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism


By Seyward Darby

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Journalist Seyward Darby's "masterfully reported and incisive" (Nell Irvin Painter) exposé pulls back the curtain on modern racial and political extremism in America telling the "eye-opening and unforgettable" (Ibram X. Kendi) account of three women immersed in the white nationalist movement.

After the election of Donald J. Trump, journalist Seyward Darby went looking for the women of the so-called "alt-right" — really just white nationalism with a new label. The mainstream media depicted the alt-right as a bastion of angry white men, but was it? As women headlined resistance to the Trump administration's bigotry and sexism, most notably at the Women's Marches, Darby wanted to know why others were joining a movement espousing racism and anti-feminism. Who were these women, and what did their activism reveal about America's past, present, and future?

Darby researched dozens of women across the country before settling on three — Corinna Olsen, Ayla Stewart, and Lana Lokteff. Each was born in 1979, and became a white nationalist in the post-9/11 era. Their respective stories of radicalization upend much of what we assume about women, politics, and political extremism.

Corinna, a professional embalmer who was once a body builder, found community in white nationalism before it was the alt-right, while she was grieving the death of her brother and the end of hermarriage. For Corinna, hate was more than just personal animus — it could also bring people together. Eventually, she decided to leave the movement and served as an informant for the FBI.

Ayla, a devoutly Christian mother of six, underwent a personal transformation from self-professed feminist to far-right online personality. Her identification with the burgeoning "tradwife" movement reveals how white nationalism traffics in society's preferred, retrograde ways of seeing women.

Lana, who runs a right-wing media company with her husband, enjoys greater fame and notoriety than many of her sisters in hate. Her work disseminating and monetizing far-right dogma is a testament to the power of disinformation.

With acute psychological insight and eye-opening reporting, Darby steps inside the contemporary hate movement and draws connections to precursors like the Ku Klux Klan. Far more than mere helpmeets, women like Corinna, Ayla, and Lana have been sustaining features of white nationalism. Sisters in Hate shows how the work women do to normalize and propagate racist extremism has consequences well beyond the hate movement.


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There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

—Toni Morrison, The Nation




Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

—Samuel Beckett, "Worstward Ho"


The Fun-House Mirror

Once a battlefield, ever a battlefield—so goes the story of this land. During the Civil War, the North and South fought fiercely in the Shenandoah Valley, clashing in places with quaint names like Tom's Brook and New Market. In 1862, Stonewall Jackson advanced north through the region to threaten Washington, D.C., and the Confederacy held the Shenandoah with such a firm grip for so many months that it became known as "the valley of humiliation" for the Union. Then the tide turned, flooding southward. In 1864, the Union waged a scorched-earth campaign to destroy everything the Confederacy had built and sown.1

The war became embedded in Virginia's landscape. Poet Mary Mackey writes of bodies revivified in nature:

the Confederate boys made themselves

into grass

and the Yankee boys made themselves

into gravel roads

they made themselves into cold fronts

coming in from the north

and tornadoes

sweeping across from the west

and hurricanes blowing in

from the Gulf

and sycamores

and pines

and red dirt.2

I visited Virginia in November 2016, on the cusp of winter, the time of year when the midday sun slants sharply against the Appalachian foothills and chilly air pricks the lungs. The news on the car radio felt just as piercing: Donald Trump had won the presidential election. Hillary Clinton had taken Virginia by five points, but the state's electoral map, carved up into counties, showed far more red than blue. In the Shenandoah, people had voted overwhelmingly for Trump.3 On roadsides and in yards, MAGA signs stood alongside Confederate flags.

One of the flags was huge—twenty by thirty feet, strung up an eighty-foot pole—and already infamous. A month after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine black people in a South Carolina church in 2015, the flag's owner bought advertising space in a Virginia newspaper. "Because of all the trouble the democrats and black race are causing, I place this ad," the text read. "No black people or democrats are allowed on my property until further notice."4 Since then, the owner had doubled down on his political messaging, painting the phrases "Vote for Trump" and "Lock Her Up" on the side of his barn.5

My husband and I were in the Shenandoah for Thanksgiving, seeing family. When it was time to go, our last stop before snaking north of the Mason-Dixon was a gas station near the city of Harrisonburg. I went inside to get a bottle of water. At first, the only other customer was a black woman who had come in with two little girls; she was waiting while they used the bathroom. Then the station's glass door opened. I heard the sucking noise of its rubberized edges giving way and the weak ding of an automatic bell. A white woman stormed inside. Her hair was in a loose ponytail, and she wore a burgundy sweatshirt. She looked to be in her thirties, around my age. She began yelling at the black woman.

Don't you know how gas stations work?i she demanded. Or are you just lazy and stupid? She was driving an SUV and needed to pump gas. Apparently, the black woman had parked her sedan next to the only available tank.

The white woman turned her ire on the two female cashiers—also white—behind the store's counter, demanding to know why they didn't do something. She threatened to never buy gas there again. She said that she was a longtime customer; the station would lose her good business.

The encounter couldn't have lasted more than a minute. The white woman turned on her heel and shoved the door open. Sucking sound. Weak bell. And a parting insult.

Fucking nigger!

She said it without looking back.

The women behind the counter said nothing. The black woman's face revealed only mild surprise—or maybe it was practiced defense. Just then, the little girls returned from the bathroom. Before she left the station, I asked the woman if she was all right. She could've just asked me to move my car, she replied with a shrug.

*  *  *

NINE MONTHS LATER and a short drive away, hundreds of demonstrators gathered after sundown on the campus of the University of Virginia. The tiki torches they carried glowed bright against their white skin and the inky night sky. The group kicked off their march with a collective yell that coursed through their winding formation of bodies: two by two, shoulder to shoulder, trooping forward.

The iconic images from August 11, 2017, the eve of the Unite the Right rally, show illuminated male faces—grimacing, grinning, threatening. Women were there too, but in fewer numbers than men. Amid chants of "You will not replace us" and "One people, one nation, end immigration," some marchers broke ranks to scream at people recording or protesting the event. In one moment, captured in a shaky video that was later posted on the internet, a woman stepped out of line. She wore a loose-fitting white top and jeans, and her long blond hair gleamed. She stood facing a manicured lawn that stretched toward one of UVA's signature white colonnades.6

"You sound like a nigger!" she shouted.

The target of her ire, presumably a critic of the march, wasn't visible on camera.

"You sound like a nigger!" the woman yelled again.

Five words that spoke to nearly four hundred years of accumulated racial privilege and contempt. The slur rang harshly, and "like" spoke volumes. Was the unseen person white? The woman's sneering sentence sounded like an accusation of tribal treason. She seemed disgusted that someone would debase themselves instead of standing with their own kind.

The woman repeated herself a third time before falling back in step with the marchers. She held her shoulders back, chin up, and torch aloft as she strode away. She looked proud.

*  *  *

BY THE TIME Charlottesville happened, I was already researching women who support white nationalism—the belief that America should remain a predominantly white country, led by white people. I had embarked on the project right after Trump's election, when exit polls showed that more than half of white women nationwide had voted for the president. The women I was observing and interviewing were like the one caught on camera at Unite the Right, the most prominent display of organized racism in recent memory. But I was also interested in women like the one at the gas station. Her banal malice was a paradox, so similar to what was chanted and championed in Charlottesville yet so unremarkable that it scarcely rattled the other people in the store. That scene planted a seed in my brain about white women's singular capacity to sow hate in ways both loud and quiet, blatant and not.

White Americans are often quick to distinguish between everyday prejudice and radical bigotry, between what I saw in Harrisonburg and what happened in Charlottesville, almost as if one doesn't have anything to do with the other. It's a convenient distinction, if a false one. "We like to think that the white-supremacist movement is in fact a 'lunatic fringe.' Yet the vitriol of hate groups is not so much an aberration as it is a reaffirmation of racist and gendered views that permeate society," writes sociologist Barbara Perry. "The political rhetoric of hate does not fall on deaf ears."7 White nationalists make explicit ideas that are already coded, veiled, or circumscribed in the wider white imagination. Hate is what many white Americans would see if they looked in a fun-house mirror: a distorted but familiar reflection.

White nationalists have long exploited ideological intersections with the political mainstream. Recently, they have capitalized on the wide appeal of Trump's race-baiting and xenophobia. Around the 2016 election, many of them identified as part of the alt-right, a motley movement of racist pseudointellectuals, nihilistic internet trolls, conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, and other extremists. The alt-right tried to seem cutting-edge. It had its own slang, operated in every corner of the internet, and projected a smug, exclusive vibe. But it was merely laundering the old tenets of white nationalism, the hand-me-downs of scientific racism, anti-Semitism, antifeminism, and other forms of intolerance. "There's not really anything 'alt' about it," sociologist Kathleen Blee, one of the foremost experts on organized hate, told me in 2017. The scavenged worldview of the alt-right drew from America's paleoconservative movement and France's Nouvelle Droite (New Right), among other extremist philosophies. In railing against a purported white genocide and rhapsodizing about ethno-states, they echoed terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations.

Polling in 2016 and 2017 suggested that between 6 and 10 percent of Americans supported the alt-right's ideology.8 Still, it was hard to say how big the movement really was. It's just as difficult now, a few years down the line. People aren't necessarily forthcoming when pollsters ask them about controversial beliefs or affiliations, and gauging the strength of a diffuse social crusade is a nearly impossible challenge in the digital era. There's no centralized membership database; counting heads requires wading into an abyss of avatars, bots, and pseudonyms, where nothing may be what it seems. J. M. Berger, a researcher of extremism, attempted to tally the number of alt-right believers on Twitter, and the best he could come up with was an "extremely conservative" baseline of two hundred thousand. "The broader far-right community on Twitter," he concluded, "almost certainly runs into the millions."9

The mainstream media response to the far right has centered on male figures like Richard Spencer, who is college educated and telegenic, partial to dapper suits and hair gel. "He's able to be mainstream because he looks like a freaking weatherman," a former white nationalist told me.10 At a conference in late 2016, Spencer elicited a heil Hitler salute in honor of Trump's victory, and he later got socked in the face during a media interview, launching a thousand "punch a Nazi" memes. On the even more extreme end of the spectrum is Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. Anglin has urged his readers to unleash torrents of online abuse—"troll storms," he calls them—against handpicked targets, including the first black woman elected as the student body president of American University.11 Anglin once wrote, "I ask myself this, in all things: WWHD? (What Would Hitler Do?)"12

The journalistic coverage of these men has been, by turns, fair, glib, or naive. Meanwhile, there has been a comparative shortage of reporting—good or bad—on the women of the far right. There seems to be a loose consensus that while protesters in pink pussy hats have become icons of the resistance to Trumpism, women aren't nearly as significant on the other side of the battle for America's soul. The relative paucity of women in Charlottesville has advanced this narrative. So has white nationalists' cross-pollination with misogynists—men's rights activists, men going their own way, incels, and other groups—to the point that they share lingo. "Red pill," a term that originated on chauvinist message boards, is a reference to The Matrix, in which Neo, the protagonist played by Keanu Reeves, must choose between swallowing a blue capsule that will allow him to live in ignorant bliss or downing a red one that will reveal a terrible conspiracy against humankind. Online, "red-pilling" has come to mean accepting the truth—a wholesale myth, in fact—about the oppression of men and white people at the hands of a liberal, multicultural establishment intent on wiping out America's heritage. To be red-pilled is to know that white people are under threat in a country that's rightfully theirs and, as Spencer once suggested, that women's "vindictiveness knows no bounds." It is to believe, in Anglin's words, that black people's "biological nature is incompatible with White society" and that a white woman who wastes motherhood on mixed-race children is a traitor. "It's OUR WOMB," Anglin once wrote. "It belongs to the males in her society."13

Washington Post gender columnist Monica Hesse summed up well the popular sentiment about these repellent gender politics. "It's hard to imagine a woman volunteering to be the backroom support staff for a group that believes women's liberation contributes to the deterioration of civilization,"14 she wrote in 2019. There are at least two assumptions here: that women likely wouldn't fight against their own interests, and that if they did, their power and influence would not rival that of the men in their orbit. Neither, however, is accurate. We don't have to imagine what is already true: Women have been in backrooms and classrooms, chat rooms and newsrooms, boardrooms and bedrooms. Far from being incidental to white nationalism, they are a sustaining feature.

When I went looking for the women of the far right, it didn't take long to find them. They'd been there all along. So had the legacies of white women whose racist advocacy dated back more than a century. This book tells their story.

*  *  *

"RACE IS AN idea, not a fact," writes historian Nell Irvin Painter. In America, the edifice of whiteness is as mutable as it is entrenched. Who counts as white—what they look like, where they come from, even what they believe—has shifted over time according to what Painter describes as "individual taste and political need."15 White supremacy, however, is a constant.

It began with slavery and the extermination of Native people; endured in the wake of the Civil War; found footholds in the Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Progressive eras; seeped into policies governing everything from education to immigration to incarceration; and shaped lasting cultural paradigms. White supremacy lurks in mediocrity and civility as much as it fuels slurs and violence. It conceals itself in the false promises of Christian kindness, race blindness, and e pluribus unum.

According to legal scholar Frances Lee Ansley, white supremacy is "a political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings."16 For the purposes of this book, Ansley's definition is a baseline. Sisters in Hate is about women whose raison d'être is the preservation of white supremacy. In their chosen cause, they imagine solutions to problems both political and personal—their frustration with contemporary feminism, say, or their sense of dislocation in a rapidly changing country. Their commitment to white supremacy is what makes them white nationalists, denizens of the far right, supporters of the hate movement.

White nationalism is not a monolith. Supporters come from varied social, religious, and political backgrounds. Some are comfortable with overt cruelty, while others are quick to embrace a narrow definition of bigotry in order to sidestep personal culpability in the suffering of others. What they share is an outlook defined by binary thinking and perceived victimization. Flattened and facile, white nationalism possesses a near-apocalyptic sense of urgency: The time is now or never for white people to protect their own kind. For women, that means bearing white babies, putting a smiling face on an odious ideology, promising camaraderie to women who join their crusade, and challenging white nationalism's misogynistic reputation.

Three women are this book's main subjects. They are among the most notable female figures to emerge on the far right in the new millennium. "The internet is full of strange people," Gawker wrote in 2010. "Corinna [Olsen] may be the strangest." Gawker was referring to Corinna's interests, which included embalming, bodybuilding, amateur pornography, and neo-Nazi activism. It was a bizarre list but an intelligible one, if you knew her: Corinna is a seeker who craves extreme experiences that she hopes will give her life gravity. Ayla Stewart is also a seeker. A college-educated, Christian stay-at-home mother of six, Ayla is better known online as Wife with a Purpose. She once considered herself a liberal feminist, until she found the way, the truth, and the light of white nationalism. She became a proselytizer of traditional gender roles, white pride, and personal redemption. Among the catalysts of Ayla's hard right turn was the third woman featured in Sisters in Hate: Lana Lokteff. With her husband, Lana runs Red Ice, an online media platform that presents itself as a viable alternative to mainstream news. In reality, it's a propaganda machine that promotes conspiracy theories in the service of a far-right agenda.

Corinna cooperated fully with my reporting. Lana and Ayla did so for a few months, before deciding that I was a leftist, feminist journalist who couldn't be trusted. They were also loath to give up control of their image and message, which they can curate tightly on social media. I gathered additional information about all three women's lives from blogs, Twitter feeds, personal websites, and other digital sources, and from people who know them or once did. Taken together, their stories reveal how abstract, toxic ideas can become knitted into people's lives and how women in particular can be swept up in a cause that seeks to circumscribe their freedoms. Corinna, Ayla, and Lana have much in common, but their differences are also important. They offer avenues for examining the breadth and depth of female participation in white nationalism over time, and how closely those contributions have tracked with white women's wider impact on establishment politics and social mores.

Since its nascence, the hate movement has fed on social anxiety, offering racist explanations for seismic change that has rattled many white Americans. The KKK formed in response to perceived racial dispossession after the Civil War and reached its zenith in the 1920s, on the coattails of a national fervor for purity: social reform, nativism, Prohibition, eugenics. "Civilization's going to pieces," Tom Buchanan says in The Great Gatsby, published in 1925. "If we don't look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved."17 Meanwhile, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) found fuel in popular nostalgia. Established in 1894 by two Southern society women, the UDC worked tirelessly to perpetuate the lore of the Lost Cause. Its members edited school textbooks to teach children that slavery didn't cause the Civil War, rewarded students who wrote essays in support of the Klan, and erected some seven hundred Confederate monuments—the ones that people continue to fight over today. The UDC's work, undertaken during the entrenchment of Jim Crow, didn't soften the legal regime's cruel blow so much as suggest that there was none at all: America was merely re-creating the halcyon days of noble white overlords, dependent blacks, and national peace.

Neo-Nazism was born amid the Red Scare of the 1950s, and a woman was among its most influential ideologues, helping to imprint the doctrine, policy, and symbolism of the Third Reich on America's far right. White Citizens' Councils and other organs of resistance emerged in reaction to the civil rights movement; women were among the backlash's most important proponents. By the 1970s, outright bigotry was less socially acceptable than ever before, giving way to Lee Atwater–style dog whistles. White nationalism became an iconoclastic project, a platform for wannabe revolutionaries, warriors, and prophets with a vision of the future that looked strikingly like the past. It was nourished by other forms of social upheaval, including second-wave feminism and its discontents, veterans' mass return from the failure of the Vietnam War, and the rise of the new Christian right.

The three women at the heart of Sisters in Hate were born in 1979, a year of profound geopolitical significance. The United States and China established diplomatic relations. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The Shah fell in Iran, prompting a global oil shock. The year was also a critical one in the history of white nationalism. On November 3, the day before the Iran hostage crisis overtook headlines, a group of white supremacists attacked an antiracism event organized by members of the Communist Workers' Party in Greensboro, North Carolina. Four white men and a black woman were shot and killed. The perpetrators were acquitted in both state and federal court. Among them were neo-Nazis and Klan members who found common cause in their opposition to liberal politics—"distinctions among white power factions melted away," writes historian Kathleen Belew, and "anti-communism was used as an alibi for racism."18 The alibi stuck, and others followed: Heritage not hate. It's okay to be white. All lives matter.

The organizers of the Greensboro Massacre dubbed themselves the United Racist Front, much like, some four decades later, the white supremacists in Charlottesville would call their event Unite the Right. In the intervening years, enterprising groups and leaders had packaged white nationalism as what Barbara Perry calls "button-down terror"—a seemingly modern, palatable version of the movement. It was intended to appeal to Americans who didn't want to be skinheads or separatists but who agreed that the country would benefit by doubling down on white supremacy. White nationalists had also mastered the internet, an infinite, unbridled space where they could communicate and recruit, evading scrutiny and the countervailing influence of reason and facts. Combined with epochal events—the September 11 attacks, two endless foreign wars, the financial crisis, the election of a black president, rising immigration, Trump's populist candidacy—the digital revolution heralded white nationalism's next groundswell. National unease, for reasons both real and imagined, was rampant. Recoil was all but inevitable. And women were likely to be on the front lines.

*  *  *

BY THE TIME Unite the Right happened, Corinna Olsen had renounced the hate movement. Ayla Stewart was invited to deliver a speech at the rally. Lana Lokteff wasn't there only because she had a new baby to care for.

I wasn't in Charlottesville either. I followed Unite the Right from afar, refreshing my social media feeds obsessively for the latest news about an event that would ultimately leave one woman murdered, two police officers dead in a helicopter crash, dozens of people injured, and countless more traumatized. I was angry, sad, and scared, but I wasn't surprised.

Because Sisters in Hate is about identity and ideology—how each can reinforce the other—I want to give a plain accounting of the personal lenses through which I view the material. I am a white woman married to a white man. I am a feminist and a progressive. My middle name, Lanier, comes from the poet Sidney Lanier, an ancestor of mine who, in addition to writing pleasant verse, was a private in the Confederate army. Several of my forebears fought on the wrong side of the Civil War, and most of my family still lives in the South. I was raised in North Carolina, in a small city a few hours east of Greensboro. A Confederate monument standing in front of the county courthouse a half mile from my childhood home honors "the heroes of 1861–1865." It was erected by the UDC. My parents are liberal; the place where I grew up is not. I once had a babysitter who referred to the predominantly black side of my hometown, situated across a set of railroad tracks from where she and I lived, as "Niggertown." A college coliseum a short drive from my parents' house is where, in the summer of 2019, a fervent audience chanted "Send her back" at a Trump rally, referring to a woman of color serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.


  • One of TIME's Books to Read This July 
    A Bitch Book for Feminists to Read in July 
    LitHub's Most Anticipated Books of 2020
  • "It's a hell of a story…Darby sketches her subjects finely, with a level of detail that never feels forced."—Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR
  • "Seyward argues that it’s important to tell stories like these because to defeat hate you have to understand it."—Honor Jones, The New York Times
  • "In delving into the stories of each woman, one of whom has defected from the movement, Darby offers an unnerving portrait of extremism."—Annabelle Gutterman, TIME
  • "A fascinating yet highly disturbing deep dive into the toxic world of female white supremacists."—EJ Dickson, Rolling Stone
  • "Darby charts the lives of three women who were or are active in the White nationalist movement. In doing so, she adds dimension to readers' understanding of the complex role that gender plays in bolstering the country's racial regime."—CNN
  • "Darby’s key intervention is to show just how far these women go in comparison to their male peers."—Josephine Livingstone, The New Repubic
  • "[Sisters in Hate] shows just how "permeable" the line between mainstream America and white supremacy is"—Sam Gillette, People
  • "Darby...offers rigorous research about the rise of white nationalism, how it retains its relevance, and the various reasons white women, including those profiled in the book, are drawn to it."—Evette Dionne, Bitch
  • "No, I don't want to hang out in the minds of white nationalists, either, but Darby does that on the reader's behalf, promising a book that probes the architecture of "the war embedded in the landscape" of the US. American identity, and the oft-overlooked role of women therein."—Lauren Markham, Lit Hub
  • "Seyward Darby's eye-opening and unforgettable book sheds light on the often-hidden movers of America's growing white nationalist movement: women. By telling the riveting story of the lives of three women advancing their agendas of bigotry, Darby exposes the ways in which white nationalism hinges on the contributions of women."—Ibram X. Kendi, National BookAward-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Howto Be an Anti-Racist and Stamped from the Beginning
  • “‘Women are the hate movement’s dulcet voices and its standard bearers,’ Seyward Darby observes in Sisters in Hate—a timely, deeply reported, and chilling exploration of the role that women play in promoting white nationalism. By exploring the lives of three different women who have embraced white supremacy, Darby holds a mirror up to American society, illuminating the forces at work within our culture that continue, to this day, to lead to radicalization and violence. Sisters in Hate is a warning cry for the future while also suggesting the possibility of a another, better path forward.”—Pamela Colloff, senior reporter at ProPublica and staff writer at The New York Times Magazine
  • "A brave, detailed and insightful portrait of three women who came to advocate the alt-Right's bigotry, but a portrait that is not simplistic. Especially valuable is its examination of the women's complex and contradictory ideas about gender and the appropriate place for women."—Linda Gordon, author of The Second Coming of the KKK
  • “A gripping, terrifying look at the white women who are pumping racist hate into the heart of their communities.  Darby’s clear-eyed and nuanced insights are essential for ending the racial hate movement in America.”—Kathleen M. Blee, author of Women of the Klan
  • "Trump 2016. Charlottesville 2017. How to understand the unavoidable fact of masses of white women at the core of white nationalism, a movement marked by misogyny? With enormous care, Seyward Darby discovers the hungers within white women's attraction to hateful conspiracy theories of anti-Semitism and racism. Hers is a riveting account that I could not put down."—Nell Irvin Painter,author of the bestseller The History of White People
  • "Seyward Darby's Sisters In Hate is a masterfully reported and incisive look at the virulence of American extremism, as seen through the eyes of three white women who trafficked in monstrous prejudice. Now, more than ever, it's important to comprehend, and not look away, from the unspeakable damage caused by the far-right, and Darby's book helps us understand the critical role women play in spreading such dangerous ideas."—Sarah Weinman, authorof The Real Lolita
  • "There is no more urgent story than the resurgence of violent white supremacist groups in America. Sisters in Hate delivers an invaluable examination of the ideologies at this movement's core by tracing the stories of three women who found themselves seduced by lies of hatred. Darby provides the most in-depth reporting I've ever encountered on the role of women in this emboldened movement, while unflinchingly dissecting the misogyny implanted at its ideological core. Those who've spent recent years wondering "how" will find the unsettling answers within this book's pages."—Wesley Lowery, author of They Can't Kill Us All
  • "This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the origins and depths of modern white supremacy. With dogged reporting and exacting prose, Seyward Darby not only paints a gripping portrait of the women enmeshed in hate movements, she reveals how seeds of racism take hold in minds and communities. Sisters in Hate is terrible and mesmerizing, a book perfectly pitched for this moment."—Evan Ratliff, author of The Mastermind and co-host of the Longform Podcast
  • "Engaging, horrifying, and informative—Darby offers an important, fresh angle on the problems tearing our country apart."—Kirkus Review
  • "“This book is eye-opening and incredibly timely.”—Booklist

On Sale
Jul 21, 2020
Page Count
320 pages

Seyward Darby

About the Author

Seyward Darby is the editor in chief of The Atavist Magazine. She previously served as the deputy editor of Foreign Policy and the online editor and assistant managing editor of The New Republic. As a writer, she has contributed to The New York Times, The AtlanticThe Washington Post, and The Guardian, among other publications.

Learn more about this author