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Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity Hardcover – 15 Jan 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 371 pages
  • Publisher: New York University Press (15 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814731244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814731246
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,362,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An enthralling and a deeply disturbing work. It deserves the most serious attention--and a wide readership."
-- Norman Cohn, author of The Pursuit of the Millennium

"Goodrick-Clarke has done pioneering work . . . [he] performs the same invaluable service with regard to the ideological fantasies of post-war neofascism." -- Walter Laqueur, author of Fascism: Past, Present, Future

About the Author

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke is the author of several books on ideology and the Western esoteric tradition, including Hitler’s Priestess and The Occult Roots of Nazism, which has remained in print since its publication in 1985 and has been translated into eight languages. He writes regularly for European and US Journals and has contributed to several films on the Third Reich and World War II.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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AN EXOTIC IMPORT from Europe, American neo-Nazism has always transcended American nationalism. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on 30 May 2015
Format: Hardcover
Meister Eckhart was a German sage who attained enlightenment, 700 years ago, and espoused the same teaching to the German peasants as the gurus taught on the banks of the Ganges.

Meister Eckhart said, "I am unborn"!

In the 20th Century, Nisargadatta Maharaj said, "I am unborn"!

This isn't some sort of searching for parallels. If you study the context behind this confusing statement, both sages mean exactly the same thing.

There are many other parallels that confirm the twin brothers of Meister Eckhart and Hinduism, or Germany and India.

(David Carse's excellent book, 'Perfect Brilliant Stillness' goes into more detail).

So we had a Hindu in Germany then!

So here is the spooky part. Meister Eckhart, the German who saw Brahman everywhere, was the favourite philosopher of all the Nazi's! Martin Heidegger, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Alfred Rosenberg say as much in their writings.

Alfred Rosenberg even quotes the 'I am unborn' statement in his Myth. But Rosenberg couldn't see past his own nose, so he couldnt grock the true message of Meister Eckhart, and neither could Chamberlain. Heidegger did better but stopped at Japanese Zen.

But according to David Carse, Eckhart was teaching Advaita Vedanta.

It is only today that we can see a pattern. The favourate philosopher of the Nazi's realized Hinduism (in fact, advaita vedanta is the cream of the cream of India and Kant, another German, also came to the same advaita conclusion with his neumenon).

Amateurs who can't see anything argue that the Nazi's stole the swastika and reversed the symbol.
Read more ›
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By tony williams ( on 12 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you are as fascinated as I am by political gurus, obscure religious cults and dangerous sounding revolutionary movements, then you will probably enjoy this book.
Few people are probably aware of more than a handful of the many groups, ancient and modern, investigated. Yet these esoteric, often underground, philosophies have contributed to today's waves of pagan revivalism and far right political movements in a way that touches upon current news almost weekly. The research and careful references are far ranging.
A weakness was a lack of personal interviews with those mentioned, or those who might have known them. Consequently each chapter wetted my appetite but left me hungry for more background on the many and various issues and personalities discussed. The Black Sun is therefore useful more as an overview of the many quasi-religious strands which have become woven into the tapestry of Aryan identity. For example, someone interested by the chapter on the development of flying discs (UFOs) by the Nazis would find this scated around the subject, needing perhaps the greater depth of Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point, a book which avoids the heresay of secondary sources.
Many of the leadership of obscure sects are by definition highly individualistic and free thinking and so would not take kindly to being 'lumped together' with some fairly kooky types who, for example, talk about 'light godmen of the planet Sumi-Er'. In a book which brings together such diverse elements as Christian Identity groups with Satanists, and David Icke with Marilyn Manson, the wonder is the way the controversial themes of ethnic and cultural spirituality are somehow constant.
If you are curious as to the inspiration behind SS rites, wish to know what the legend of Agartha is, or perhaps sense a long lost wisdom is indigenous to every race and wish to have your spiritual assumptions challenged, then this book is probably for you.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Garmr on 11 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a well written and scholarly but which covers a wide area but I do find its persistant attempts at forcing Asatru and Heathenism into the NS framework as simplistic, deeply flawed and unhelpful. While there were undoubtably some pagan influences to NS ideology I believe that it was more a case that Nazism exploited a growing interest in people returning to their pre-Christian heritage than that the pagan revival was a deeply motivating factor towards the development of German National Socialism. The German Nazi Party latched onto the popularity of the Wandervogel movement in the same way that the British Communists latched onto the Mass Trepasses of around the same period. Political parties tie themselves onto popular movements for selfish reasons to further their own political interests and make capital out of. German National Socialism was undoubtably a Christian movement- the "Twenty Five Points of the German National Socialist Workers Party" dictated that Germany was a Christian nation and that Christianity was the offical religion regardless of denomination. Hitler himself was committed to Christianity and Mein Kampf reveals hundreds of quotes from the Bible and references to Christianity with almost no mention of Germanic Mythology. The often repeated mantra that the Third Reich was a pagan movement that abandoned civilising Christianity to revert to the German's old heathen gods of war is simply scapegoating as a consequence of Christian guilt for appeasing Nazism and even welcoming it.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Better than most, despite its flaws 10 May 2002
By Jay Kinney - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke has written two outstanding books on Nazism and its links to religious/occult philosophies and figures: "The Occult Roots of Nazism" and "Hitler's Priestess." In both of those previous books (the first based on his doctoral dissertation at Oxford), he engaged in prodigious original source research and showed a bright light on subjects that had previously received either little attention or sloppy sensationalistic treatment.
If "Black Sun" is a trifle disappointing, it is so only by comparision with his own earlier achievements. This latest work is much more journalistic and relies, unfortunately, on others' research more often than not. Moreover, Goodrick-Clarke, in attempting a survey of current aryan/Neo-Nazi/Satanic/far right groups and writings, ends up covering ground already covered in books like Joscelyn Godwin's "Arktos," Kevin Coogan's "Dreamer of the Day," and his own "Hitler's Priestess" (which is about Savitri Devi, who combined Hinduism and Hitlerism).
It is not as if Goodrick-Clarke didn't spend his time in the trenches: it appears that he engaged in extensive correspondence with a number of his subjects and, as always, he has obviously read and digested much of the material that he summarizes in a clear-cut fashion. His chapter on Miguel Serrano breaks new ground in reporting on the extent of that author/diplomat's eccentric Hitler worship. But on other figures of the neo-nazi fringe, such as David Myatt, one is left with the impression that Goodrick-Clarke may have given too much credence to their own self-presentation or, conversely, to the hyperbole of their critics.
Make no mistake, this is as good a summary of present neo-nazi, extreme right ideas and personae as one is likely to find, but in dealing with the current scene - in a book that was written over the course of nearly a decade - "Black Sun" falls prey to the criticism, (voiced in some other reviews here,) that it is not entirely accurate or up to date. Especially in dealing with the knotty and ambiguous area of neo-nazi and Satanic overlaps, Goodrick-Clarke would have benefitted from inside information which was apparently beyond his grasp.
Still, it is never quite cricket to criticize a book for what a critic thinks it should be or might have been. There is much information here that cannot be found anywhere else, and with the caveat that one should double check any facts that may have been superceded by subsequent events, "Black Sun" is a compelling read.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Expected better from this author. 4 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is an obvious attempt at an 'apology' for his most popular book, _The Occult Roots of Nazism_, which became required reading for many of the neo-Nazi groups he speaks of in his latest offering. You would think Goodrick-Clarke would have seen this coming after sensationalising the title from its original (his doctoral thesis), and then plastering the black and red front cover with the swastika and dagger emblem of the Thule Society!
_Black Sun_ is simply an overview of the very marginalized groups that form the extreme neo-Nazi right, and a lot of the material is regurgitated from his book on Savitri Devi.
Nazi/UFO's/Antarctica/The Coming Race etc... is a very fun topic, but trying to ascribe its loony adherents with the terrorist label is sensationalism at best, and completely factually inaccurate at worst.
The nice front cover featuring a 'Black Sun' struck with the Sig rune will sell many copies at Aryan white-power rallies until they figure out what it's really about.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A Disappointing Look At NeoNazism. 30 Mar. 2002
By New Age of Barbarism - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke tries to give an account of the continuation of much of the Nazi philosophy after the demise of the Third Reich. However, after his previous work _The Occult Roots of Nazism_ this book is surely a large disappointment. The book presents chapters on the American NeoNazis (especially Rockwell), British Nazis (including Colin Jordan and "Combat 18"), Julius Evola, Francis Parker Yockey and James Madole, Savitri Devi, a collection of "mysterious" and occult phenomena surrounding the Third Reich, Wilhelm Landig, UFOs and Antarctic underground bases, Miguel Serrano, black metal, Nazi Satanism, Christian Identity, Nordic paganism, and conspiracy beliefs regarding the New World Order. Unfortunately, there is very little holding this book together and it is rather poorly written. Although the book is entertaining, some of the weirdest things you are likely to read about, it fails to achieve any sort of conclusion at all and resorts to gratuitous references to terrorism (the events of September 11, unconnected with Nazism at all).
For a much better account of NeoNazi and far right beliefs read either: _Arktos_ by Joscelyn Godwin or _Dreamer of the Day_ by Kevin Coogan.
38 of 51 people found the following review helpful
A sloppy, poorly researched mess 7 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Savvy fundraisers that they are, it has always been the policy of watchdog groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to pretend that their 'intelligence gathering' is necessary to ferret out sinister neo-Nazi conspirators, tucked away within ultra-secret underground enclaves and communicating through hidden networks only the watchdogs can sniff out. The reality, of course, is that anyone with access to the Internet can get the goods on the secret Aryans. The truly adventurous hate-hunter need only open a P.O. Box, sign a few postcards with a friendly "Sieg Heil," and prepare to be inundated in a sea of third-generation Xeroxed flyers, poorly-written fanzines, homemade stickers and other powerful and dangerous hate propaganda. The secret Aryans love to talk about themselves and their ideas. Despite Goodrick-Clarke's calculated and constant allusions to "terrorism," that's pretty much all they ever do.
Which brings us to the obvious question: Why does one get the impression that Goodrick-Clarke hasn't talked to any of these people? How is it that virtually every "factual" statement in his book is confused or incorrect? And what does George Lincoln Rockwell -- a fairly conventional, old-timey hatemonger in a Nazi Halloween costume -- have to do with "esoteric cults?"

Goodrick-Clarke is at his worst when trying to maneuver his way through the various youth culture phenomena vaguely relevant to his topic. This is a trait I've noticed with other academic writers, who tend to lose their bearings even around more innocuous genres like Punk Rock or Hip-Hop. The charitable explanation is that a tweedy old fogey like Goodrick-Clarke is simply out of his element. The less charitable explanation is that he hasn't bothered to do any research, being well-aware that the people he's writing about will never be in a position to contradict him.
An interesting book could have been written on the esoteric currents within the Far Right, and maybe someday one will be. It's not even important what sort of spin one might put on this (and here's one of many confusing things about Black Sun -- after going on and on about how bad the Aryans are, Goodrick-Clarke concludes his study very nearly expressing sympathy with many of their fundamental grievances). If Black Sun had managed to get the facts straight or provide some type of unique (or even coherent) insight as to "what it all means," it might have been a worthwhile read. But it does neither. A sloppy, poorly researched mess, which might make its author a few quick bucks, but has little to offer the rest of us. Avoid.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Dull, Repetitive, Inaccurate, Mercenary, Dishonest 28 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
BLACK SUN is a lurid attempt to magnify a few dozen neo-Nazis with occult beliefs into an alarming threat to Western Civilization, all in order to sell books. Jumping on the post-9-11 bandwagon, Goodrick-Clarke constantlyplays the terrorism card as if it were neo-Nazis who flew those planes on the fateful day.
All of Goodrick-Clarke's authorial decisions seem guided by sensationalism rather than a committment to sound and scrupulous scholarship. For instance, in his chapter on Nordic Paganism, he devotes a good deal of space to amateurish writings of David Lane, a jailed member of the terroristgang The Order, but he neglects the vast scholarly literature produced by genteel men with Ph.D.s. like Edred Thorsson. In his chapter on music, he devotes a good deal of space to skinhead music. Skinheads do not, of course, have any connection to the "cult" theme of the book, but they have a reputation for violence. But he ignores such bands as Death in June and Current 93, who fit nicely into the cult theme. Maybe they were left out because none of their members are in prison. Or maybe Goodrick-Clarke is such a spotty researcher that he has never heard of them.
The book also reads like it was hastily slapped together. The writing is dull and repetitive. Large chunks of two chapters are lifted almost word-for-word out of Goodrick-Clarke's biography of Savitri Devi. The selection of photographs also seems hasty.
Yes, BLACK SUN contains some interesting information, and it is sometimes amusing in spite of its dull style. I found the chapter on the Nazi UFO theories to be particularly informative. But overall, this book is a waste of time and money, of interest only to the few dozen cranks who are puffed and profiled in its pages. Goodrick-Clarke might even convince them that they are somebody, but he does not convince me.
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