When terror hit Norway on the 22nd July 2011, the freelance journalist Øyvind Strømmen had already spent several years studying right-wing extremism on the internet. During the confused days following the explosions of the bomb, his was the voice that could offer some kind of perspective on these incomprehensible events.
In Det mørke nettet (2011) he showed that the attitudes and hatreds manifest in Oslo and on Utøya on 22nd July could be traced back into our own past and to right-wing extremist parties and groups all across Europe. In Den sorte tråden, Strømmen follows radicalism on the right further back in time and gives an overview of this form of extremist ideas, from the fascism of the 1920s, via the late 1960s skinheads – in Norway, the 1990s boot-boys – to the contrajihadism of today.
Strømmen is still a young man, but has already established himself as one of the leading authorities in this field. In 2011, he was voted the “Freelancer of the Year”. In Den sorte
tråden, he is adding to the foundations of what looks certain to become a long and important career as a writer.
‘It is warmly recommended to all who want to understand more about extreme actions and extreme lines of thought. But, better read it in day-light.’ “
Dice points: 5 Fædrelandsvennen
‘A clear account for those who want to grasp what European right-wing extremism is all about ... Today’s politicians must find the courage to confront worlds of thought that are so hostile to mankind. Strømmen is a model of clarity on this topic. He deserves gratitude for this important book.’
‘A well-written, educational and very well-informed book and, besides, exceptionally timely.
‘The strength of this book lies in its detailed presentations of different movements, from the socially acceptable anti-Semitism of the 19th century to today’s marginalised but noisy contra-jihadists. Strømmen delivers solid documentation.’
‘Strømmen has completed a massive task in order to establish a narrative that exposes the continuity of political violence, including in Norway. It follows that Den sorte tråden is a very important contribution, not only to public understanding, but also for those who write about Norway’s history.’
‘… reliable and engaging about political extremism.’
‘And Den sorte tråden meets one’s expectations. Strømmen’s historical overview is at best very thoroughly backed by research into primary sources, full of detail and easy to read. The author has a striking ability to follow up lines of thought and perceive ideological parallels across country boundaries. Few others in Norway combine Strømmen’s insight into the history of right-wing extremism, political mass movements and the radical internet forums with his journalist’s instinct and eagerness to investigate the news of the day.’
‘Øyvind Strømmen has written and interesting and useful book’
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