UPDATE (August 24, 3:45 p.m. EST): After an inquiry from ThinkProgress, Amtrak has requested the merchant remove the Turner Diaries from all stations where they operate by the close of business on Friday. The merchant has been contacted for comment.
A news stand in Baltimore’s Penn Station is selling an infamous neo-Nazi book, which has been linked to over 200 murders and has been described as “arguably the most important single work of white nationalist propaganda in the English language.”
Why is the Turner Diaries being sold at Baltimore’s Penn Station? pic.twitter.com/6PqKF0e6u0
— Gabe :emojis: (@BmoreGabe) August 24, 2018
A ThinkProgress source at Baltimore Penn Station later confirmed that the book was indeed on sale. When the source asked a news stand employee about the book, they replied that they “put on the shelf what the boss tells them to put the shelf.”
The employee told the ThinkProgress source that one would be “surprised” at what sells. The book was also the last one on the shelf, although it is unclear at the time if that was because it had sold well or was the only one stocked. While the Turner Diaries are easy to find online, bulk orders of white nationalist propaganda would likely be problematic.
The Turner Diaries was written in 1978 by avowed white supremacist William Pierce, and documents a white nationalist uprising in the United States which ends in the worldwide genocide of all non-whites.
The book has been repeatedly associated with acts of extreme far-right violence. When Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was arrested, for instance, pages of it were found in his car. Thomas Mair, a right-wing extremist who killed British MP Jo Cox in 2016, bought books from the publishing arm of National Alliance, a white supremacist group run by Turner Diaries author William Pierce. Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 69 people (mostly teenagers) at a summer camp in 2011, was also reportedly influenced by it. In 2016, the Hague’s International Center for Counter-Terrorism said that the Turner Diaries “has inspired more than 200 murders since its publication.”
“People were introduced into the [white nationalist] movement as young men,” Heidi Beirich, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project previously told ThinkProgress. “[The Turner Diaries] is a very simplified and emotional way to get them into the system.”
“The book is arguably the most important single work of white nationalist propaganda in the English language.” the Hague’s report read. “[In this] highly charged social climate… the book is likely to find traction with a new generation of readers, a dynamic further empowered by its wide availability as a free text online.”
ThinkProgress has contacted both Amtrak and Amtrak Police about the book being on sale.