Extremism in America: Willis Carto

December 01, 2001


Willis Carto has been one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists of the past 50 years. Since emerging as a right-wing organizer in San Francisco in the early 1950s, he has been associated with nearly every significant far-right movement in the country, from neo-Nazism to militias, segregationism to Holocaust denial. Known for his reclusiveness, he has founded and overseen from behind the scenes an intricate network of bigotry whose outlets have included Liberty and Property, Western Destiny, the Noontide Press, American Mercury, National Youth Alliance, the Institute for Historical Review, the Populist Party and, most notably, Liberty Lobby. In 2001, both Carto and Liberty Lobby were bankrupted after Carto lost a long court battle with the Institute for Historical Review (which broke with him in 1993). His editorial staff at Liberty Lobby's now-defunct Spotlight, the most widely read publication on the fringe right, resumed publication under the title American Free Press in August 2001, however. And while Carto is in his 70s and financially constrained, his energy for purveying paranoia and hatred appears to be undiminished.

Read the full report, Extremism in America: Willis Carto (PDF).