Toxic rhetoric: the language of The Turner Diaries: A Novel

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This article discusses the rhetorical strategies in the neo-Nazi text, The Turner Diaries: A Novel, by William Luther Pierce III (aka Andrew MacDonald), by which everyday reality is overturned in an apocalyptic vision for humanity. Critical discourse analysis is used to show how this dystopian fiction linguistically maps a new world order, 'cleansing' and redefining existing social structures as normal language is revised and appropriated by an explicit discourse of violence, racial bigotry and terrorism. Arguing that the novel constructs a 'community with closure', that will ultimately deter most readers, the article also compares the techniques of The Turner Diaries with the rhetorical strategies of 21st century European right wing parties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoublespeak: The Rhetoric of the Far Right Since 1945
EditorsMatthew Feldman, Paul Jackson
Place of PublicationStuttgart
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783838265544
ISBN (Print)9783838205540
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • The Turner Diaries: A Novel
  • toxic rhetoric
  • William Luther Pierce III
  • critical discourse analysis
  • neo-Nazi ideology


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