HATE ON TRIAL by Morris Dees

HATE ON TRIAL

The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Exciting tale of a legal battle against neo-Nazi skinhead goons, by the attorney who bankrupted the Ku Klux Klan. In A Season for Justice (1991), Dees and fellow attorney Fiffer revealed how Dees busted Grand Dragon Bobby Shelton and his KKK; now, the authors turn their attention to Dees's parallel confrontation with the White Aryan Resistance and its leader, 50-year-old Tom Metzger, America's most prominent white-supremacist revolutionary. A critical bit of information fell into Dees's lap in November 1988: A few weeks earlier, a young Ethiopian student, Mulugeta Seraw, had been clubbed to death by skinheads in Portland, Oregon. The trail of blood led indirectly to Metzger, who, Dees was convinced, had provoked the Portland rowdies. What ensued was a multiyear struggle to bring down Metzger in a civil case demanding $10 million in financial reparation for the Seraw family. The task was tough, especially as the key prosecution witness was Dave Mazzella, a volatile skinhead who fell afoul of the law several times during the proceedings. Perhaps Mazzella was erratic out of fear; after all, the previous leader of his neo-Nazi group, the Aryan Youth Movement, had been crucified--literally--when he quit the organization a few years back. Moreover, Metzger, a spellbinding speaker, planned to act as his own attorney, presenting a free-speech defense. The trial itself was a slugfest: Emotions ran high, and riot police were needed to protect those in the courtroom. But Mazzella delivered, and a horrifying portrait emerged of a subworld of ``berserkers'' and ``predators'' who attend ``Reich-and-Roll'' concerts when they're not busy killing. Dees won the case, which is now on appeal; Mazzella is in hiding. Scary stuff--according to Dees, skinhead violence is on the rise--with a gripping courtroom confrontation between hatred and righteousness. (B&w photos--not seen.)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-40614-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992




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