Books in Brief

Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center by Tyler O’Neil (Bombardier Books; 240 pp., $16.99). Journalist Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media has been busy. From roughly around the time of the Charlottesville racial conflagration in 2017 to the filling of the inkwells that were used to print this book, O’Neil has covered various aspects of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its self-appointed role as arbiter of “hate” and what passes for “acceptability” in American society. Unfortunately, the book is an obvious clip job that compiles the author’s previously published articles and blog posts, replete with repetitions, non sequiturs, a few typos, and bumpy transitions.

Anthologies of one’s past work could be valuable if one is known for considering eternal verities amidst the fads and fancies of this passing world. Or, at the very least, if one can construct a continual and clear narrative of a given subject that is a culmination and expansion of one’s previous work. Making Hate Pay fails both tests. O’Neil breaks no new ground, largely drawing from the work of others in addition to patching together the last several years of his own articles for PJ Media.

It’s a pity, because the SPLC’s reputation deserves a more rigorous demolition. In wanting to be even-handed and fair to his subject, O’Neil acknowledges some...

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