I didn’t know much about the Proud Boys before reading this book, and now I do. I suppose that is one of the reasons I pick up books like this, so mission accomplished there. But I didn’t really enjoy the execution of this book, for two main reasons.
First, there are a LOT of opinions in here. I totally agree with what Campbell thinks about the Proud Boys - don’t get me wrong - but it would be nice to have a modicum of journalistic detachment here. It felt like there were no objective statements in the book and that every paragraph was an opportunity for the author to mention that he hates the Proud Boys. Me too, man, but the facts speak for themselves here! There’s no need to be constantly inserting your opinion.
Second, it felt a bit meandering and structureless. Each chapter was on a specific topic - like how the Proud Boys get funding, the role of the media, explaining the Antifa bogeyman that they’ve created - but I wish there was more of a story connecting it all. It more felt like the author was saying, “Oh, and that reminds me, now I need to tell you about the role of the Republican Party in tacitly endorsing the Proud Boys!!”
So if you want to learn about this terrifying but somehow buffoonish group, this is probably the most comprehensive book on them so far, despite its narrative flaws. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC via Netgalley!
A dive into the creation and history of the Proud Boys gang, but not an unbiased one. But biased doesn't mean incorrect, the Proud Boys are reprehensible and it doesn't bother me that the author doesn't make any bones about his dislike for them and their founder. I do wish the author had given a more realistic picture of left-wing group antagonism as it comes off that there inst any at all which only works to discredit the facts presented. Obvious tilt aside it is an important look into how these groups get started and proliferate in society.
Chilling and timely account of how the Proud Boys rose up from the brainchild of a right wing radio host to becoming a violent extremist street gang. I would have liked more from former members / current members but I appreciate that isn't easy given the subject.
WOW! I had heard of the Proud Boys, who hasn't. But I didn't know how they formed or who led them. I knew a little bit about how they were Trump lovers.
The author does a deep dive into how the Proud Boys gang was introduced, who started it, the main players, the uniform, and the degrees of Proud Boys.
I also learned about Anitfa and what that looked like.
I was surprised that the Proud BOys have gotten away with so much violence and hate and I wondered if it was just a continuation of the HYPER masculinity that is now plaguing the United States.
I know that the Proud Boys go one step further in that they have racism, violence, and hatred.
I also wonder what is their end goal, what would their perfect United States look like? Yet, do I even want to know.
This book should be required reading for anyone interesting in White Nationalism, Racism, and Gangs.
An important book for the times we are living in. Honestly, people need to wake up and become more aware of the dangers in our midst, for example the "Proud Boys'. The author does an excellent job of chronicling who and what this hate group is. Where they came from, how they are organized, and their goals.
Basically a bunch of thugs and bullies who like fighting (when they outnumber their victims) and chose "conservative values" as their rallying cry, the Proud Boys seized onto the Trump bandwagon as their savior. And he was more than willing to use them and promote them for his own needs.
Any student of history can recognize the parallels between Trump and Hitler in promoting this type of hate group, and their using them for their own personal militia. It's terrifying that we have not squashed this group through proactive law enforcement actions. Hopefully, if enough people become aware and start to push for action, we can stop this group (and others like it) before it is too late.
This is a frightening, disturbing book. It will make you angry. It will make you question why they are allowed to form and exist in today's world. I hope it will cause you to become active in pushing for action against them. Before it's too late!
We Are Proud Boys is a great entry book for anyone looking to learn more about the Proud Boys and their tactics. I went into this book knowing a little more than the average reader, but I still walked away with some new knowledge. Thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Books for the e-ARC of this book.
This one takes an open mind to read. You will get an inside look at a unique organization and how they behave. You will not like them. I do admire the author for having the balls to write this book though.
This is a seriously scary book, but I think it is also an important one. When people in the future are wondering how this political time could have come up in this country, this will be the book they study. It also helped me understand how the Third Reich was able to get such a hold in Germany.
This book is a scathing expose on the street gang/political group known as the Proud Boys. Starting with the founder of the group it goes into detail about the members both past and present (and why being a past member doesn’t mean all that much in the long run), the ideas/practices of the group members and the group as a whole, it’s violent and bloody history, and the police/politicians that they are involved with. It tells at tale of racism, bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, and extreme and bloody brutal violence starting and their founding, leading up to the capital riot/invasion and beyond. There is also a small segment all about antifa (what the group is, what their members are like, their ideology, and their relationship to the Proud Boys and other groups like them).
I admit that before I read this I knew almost nothing about the Proud Boys. I knew they were a group of Trump supporters but I don’t watch much news (especially far right news sources) and I haven’t been very active in politics. Reading about all of the things that the group and members of the group have been allowed to get away with, at times with the full protection and support of police and politicians is incredibly frustrating. The Proud Boys are extremists that get drunk and pick fights on purpose but they are the people that are usually sided with by the local police. You would think that any group that encourages and takes part in this kind of violence and extremism wouldn’t be able to thrive like they have but apparently that’s wrong. The fact that they have such a long history of open and public violence and downright terrorism is deeply unsettling.
This is very well written and researched in my opinion. The Proud Boys like to call themselves a simple drinking club but that point is very hard to argue with their history. They claim to only resort to violence in self defense but that is very plainly not true. I will admit that it took me longer to read than books this size usually do and I think it was because of the subject matter. I could only read so much of it at a time. A lot of the content is quotes from group members and exchanges pulled from chat logs which can be very difficult to read. I swear I got a headache every time I read some of this.
That being said I really do love this book. It’s a valuable resource for information about the group. I highly recommend this read.
I read this book because I had heard of the Proud Boys but knew little about them. Did I find them despicable and disgusting. Yes I did. But there are just as many despicable and disgusting extremist groups on the Left. For instance, the Antifas which Mr. Campbell tells us are like the boogeyman to Trump supporters.. You might also include Black Lives Matter in this category as they are a Socialist hate organization. Antifa may not have an actual headquarters or leader but obviously have some type of communication system as they showed up in numerous cities almost as soo as George Floyd"s death was announced. And it was not Proud Boys burning peopl"s businesses or assaulting police officers. Were Proud Boys there. No doubt and I"m sure were violent. Not disputing that.
The author also as many liberals do misrepresented meaning of words or phrases in Trump"s speeches. One example concerned Charlottesville. He called out all the extremists involved in the violence but he never called them "very fine People" He was referring to the citizens of Charlottesville. There are other instances but I will leave that to future readers to figure it out.
I do feel that the author did a good job with his research.. I will be honest though I got the impression that He thinks all Trump supporters are deranged White supremacists. Not true. Most supporters don"t even know who the Proud Boys are and don"t care. I voted for President Trump myself and don"t support violence in any way.
I am sure that all liberal, Trump haters will give this book a 5 star review. I do hope some conservatives will also read this book to be informed.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we get started unpacking this book. Andy Campbell is not an unbiased reporter, giving “just the facts”. This is evident from the beginning, when Campbell repeatedly refers to the Proud Boys as “goons” and other rather elementary names. Campbell is an editor for The Huffington Post, which is not exactly known for it’s unbiased reporting in the first place, so you should know going in that there may be some things that aren’t exactly given to you straight. The thing is, this doesn’t necessarily make him wrong. The Proud Boys are a big group of “goons”. They are, for the most part, violent racists, who want to literally destroy anyone and anything they disagree with politically. These guys are a street gang, plain and simple. They’re the same as the Bloods and the Crips. The difference is that these “goons” have somehow convinced everyday people that they’re the good guys, fighting for freedom wherever there’s trouble, like G.I. Joe. Campbell does a great job explaining the history of the Proud Boys and the awful humans who lead them like Gavin McInnes and Enrique Tarrio. Campbell may not give “just” the facts and let’s his opinions shine through regularly, but he does provide a lot of factual information. There’s enough verifiable evidence here to understand that the Proud Boys are a danger to the American way of life, not it’s saviors. It may be Andy Campbell’s opinion that the Proud Boys are a bunch of dimwitted, drunken buffoons…but he’s not wrong and he backs it up within these pages.
In We Are Proud Boys, Andy Campbell begins with the origins of the Proud Boys hate group and follows them up through the January 6, 2021 insurrection and the immediate fallout. The book spends a lot of time explaining how Donald Trump and his group of sycophants in the GOP assisted in the Proud Boys’ rise and rapid growth over the past several years. From Trump’s “Stand back, Stand by” comment during the 2016 Presidential debates through his encouragement to violently take over the United States government, it’s all here. What is also here is a lot of evidence that the Proud Boys and other right wing extremist groups have gained much popularity with the right-wing populace in the U.S. and given rise to the notion that it’s ok to hurt people as long as you’re hurting people with whom you disagree politically…or if you simply don’t like them.
So, is We Are Proud Boys a good book? It’s well-written and informative and honestly, it’s interesting as hell to read about how a bigoted, semi-intelligent immigrant could start an entire movement based on drinking, hatred and violence. Yet, it’s also terrifying that this many people think the way these people do and more so that it’s only going to get worse, especially if Trump manages to con his way into a second term in the future. I only wish Andy Campbell would have kept his own politics out of things a little more. Not that I necessarily disagree with them, but a book like this is bound to incite rebuttals from the players mentioned and those that support them. They aren’t going to care about the facts presented, they’ll focus on Campbell’s own leanings coming through in these pages and spin it as a hit piece by a disgruntled Leftie. I also wish Campbell would have talked a little about violent left-wing groups just to preemptively counter those counterarguments. The book does make it sound like left-wingers are almost always peaceful, which is not the case either. In other words, it’s worth mentioning that there are two sides to extremism. Still, it’s an important book, whether your politics lean left or right. It’s important that people understand what this group and those like them really are and how their actions are not appropriate in any society. Maybe if more people knew what was really going on, they wouldn’t be so quick to support them. Thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Books for providing me with an ARC of this book.
This is an important and interesting history of the Proud Boys, including author interviews and research with members, review of government information and discussion of Antifa as well.
In We Are Proud Boys by Andy Cambel gives The best description of the groups incarnation in the bloody path to popularity. From Charlottesville to the insurrection on January 6 the author gives very detailed inside to the group. I appreciated him reporting the fax and not his opinion. The proud boys are the Republicans answer to antifa and in my opinion both groups are ridiculous. They have the exact same tactics just differing opinions. I think The proud boys are just grown men frightened of anything different from them. I think the author is right when he says government institutions cannot change fast enough to fit the crime they commit. Just because we haven’t heard from them doesn’t mean they’re not still around as the last chapter in the book explains. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as frightening as it was. I was given this book by Natali and I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any errors I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own. #NETGALLY, #Andy Campbell