#Charlottesville: Before and Beyond is the first book published about the August 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Included are essays both previously published on Public Seminar and independently commissioned, which grapple with the divisive implications, the underlying motivations, and the complicated forces at work in the turmoil—and even fatal violence—that occurred.

The perspectives of the book come from both activist and scholarly bases, and approach the problems of white supremacy, alt-right ideology, and partisan politics from sociological, historical, political, religious, and philosophical vantages. Indeed, the arguments presented are not entirely harmonious, but represent the diverse responses such a horrific moment is wont to provoke.

They attempt to answer questions that still plague us almost six months after the event. How much is the new administration to blame for the sudden visibility of white supremacist groups? What are we to do with Americans’ tragic racial history and relics that commemorate the violence of slavery and the Civil War? Where can we turn as political conversation stalls around these important subjects? What are our responsibilities as citizens?

Table of Contents

Preface by Jeffrey C. Goldfarb and Claire Potter

Introduction by Christopher Howard-Woods


The Civil Rights Movement 2.0: A Message from the Vice Mayor of Charlottesville by Wes Bellamy

Charlottesville and Trump: David Duke Explains Neo-Nazi Violence to You by Jeffrey Isaac

Loss Beyond Destruction: Charlottesville Reveals the Failures of Loss by Jared Loggins

On Trump’s Response to Charlottesville: Political Encounters and Ideological Evasions by Leonard A. Williams

Subverting the Symbols of White Supremacy: The Wolf and the Fox by Keval Bhatt

Learning from Charlottesville Before and After “Unite the Right”: Misrepresentation, Misrecognition, and Statue Politics by Michael Weinman

What We Really Learned in Charlottesville: Finding a Way Forward by Andrew Boyer

Jefferson’s Two Bodies: Memory, Protest, and Democracy at the University of Virginia and Beyond by Isaac Ariail Reed

Is it Time for the Kneeling Freedman Statue to Go? Remolding our Political Aesthetics by Gordon Mantler

Aristotle on Charlottesville: ‘Mixed Actions’ and Exercising Judgement on Violence by Michael Weinman

Remembering Romanian Fascism; Worrying About America: Losing Our Moral Compass between Past and Future by Maria Bucur

Thinking After Charlottesville: A Meditation on More of the Same by Marcus McCullough



The False God of Nationalism by Vaughn A. Booker

Russia is Our Friend: The Alt-Right, Trump and the Transformation of the Republican Party by Sanford Schram

Being There, Separate and Unequal: Charlottesville in the Mediated Public Sphere by Jeffrey C. Goldfarb

The False Premises of Alt-Right Ideology: Academics Must Understand How the Alt-Right Sees the World if We Are to Resist It by Rachel McKinney

Prophets of Deceit: Post-Truth Politics and the Future of the Left by Nicholas Baer and Maggie Hennefeld

White Supremacy, Fear and the Crises of Legitimation: Reflections on the Mistrial in the Murder Case of Walter Scott and the Election of Donald Trump by Melvin Rogers

Authoritarianism and Civilization: Du Bois, Davis, and Trump by Neil Roberts

Sitting to Stand: Protest, Patriotism, and the Endurance of White Supremacy by Michael Sasha King

#BlackLivesMatter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements: What Active Citizenship Can Look Like and What it Can Accomplish by Deva Woodly

Escaping the Logic(s) of White Supremacy: The Practice of Oppositional Thought by Mitchell Kosters

The Capital that Made Capitalism by Julia Ott

Punching Nazis in the Face: A Philosopher Makes the Case for Violent Resistance by Eric Anthamatten