Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism
The definitive account of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the enduring legacy of Timothy McVeigh, leading to the January 6 insurrection—from acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin.
Timothy McVeigh wanted to start a movement.
Speaking to his lawyers days after the Oklahoma City bombing, the Gulf War veteran expressed no regrets: killing 168 people was his patriotic duty. He cited the Declaration of Independence from memory: “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” He had obsessively followed the siege of Waco and seethed at the imposition of President Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban. A self-proclaimed white separatist, he abhorred immigration and wanted women to return to traditional roles. As he watched the industrial decline of his native Buffalo, McVeigh longed for when America was great.
New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin traces the dramatic history and profound legacy of Timothy McVeigh, who once declared, “I believe there is an army out there, ready to rise up, even though I never found it.” But that doesn’t mean his army wasn’t there. With news-breaking reportage, Toobin details how McVeigh’s principles and tactics have flourished in the decades since his death in 2001, reaching an apotheosis on January 6 when hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol. Based on nearly a million previously unreleased tapes, photographs, and documents, including detailed communications between McVeigh and his lawyers, as well as interviews with such key figures as Bill Clinton, Homegrown reveals how the story of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing is not only a powerful retelling of one of the great outrages of our time, but a warning for our future.
Praise for Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism
"Toobin provides the most authoritative and compelling history of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing to date. But what makes it such a gripping read is how Toobin puts the attack in context of an extremist, anti-government movement that has accelerated in the Internet age and eventually led to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol....His account of the bombing serves as a warning sign as much as it does a history of that legacy."
— The Associated Press
“Homegrown repeatedly draws a 'direct line'.. between the Oklahoma City bombing and the insurrection on Jan. 6... Intriguing."
— The New York Times
— The New Yorker
"The definitive book on McVeigh’s continuing legacy. This book serves as a wake-up call to the ongoing extremist threat...Though McVeigh was executed in 2001, Homegrown shows that his story is very much a story for today....Toobin carefully maps the road that leads from McVeigh to MAGA, January 6, and the right-wing extremism and violence we see today."
— The Texas Observer
"Extraordinary....A terrific reporter with legal expertise and a knack for vivid storytelling....Much of Homegrown reads like a Jack Kerouac novel…"
—The Chicago Sun-Times
"Brilliantly researched and argued....Toobin’s journalistic assessment of McVeigh and his paranoid style of politics generates an inescapable conclusion: The problem is getting worse....The bad news from Toobin’s remarkable work is that as long as the right wing fails to get its way, violence and threats against democracy and the people it is intended to represent will continue at the hand of Timothy McVeigh’s ideological heirs."
"The definitive account of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the enduring legacy of Timothy McVeigh, leading to the January 6 insurrection."
— Next Big Idea Club
"In this gripping and harrowing work of history, Toobin has rendered a searing portrait of Timothy McVeigh. Toobin also illuminates the way extremism continues to infect our present. If you want to understand the threats to our democracy today, read this powerful book."
—David Grann, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Wager
“With groundbreaking reporting and sober analysis, Toobin offers an illuminating exploration of the unfolding story of right-wing extremism in the United States. The threat remains with us; useful and engaging, Toobin's account should brace us for the ongoing struggle against the worst of us.”
— Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author of And There Was Light
"Anyone trying to understand the violent extremism that led to the assault on America's Capitol on January 6th, and anyone who thinks that day marked the end of the story, must read Homegrown. Toobin shows that today's domestic terrorists are neither new, nor an isolated phenomenon. McVeigh's story is a nonfiction thriller, both eye-opening, and an urgently needed warning.
— Jane Mayer, bestselling author of Dark Money
"It’s tempting to believe that the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol took the Far Right to a deadly new level of violent fanaticism. Toobin’s fast-paced, expertly crafted book reminds us that it was all there a quarter of a century earlier, in a horrific mass murder that too many of us dismissed as the work of an unhinged loner.”
— Adam Hochschild, author of eleven books, including American Midnight
"Toobin’s finest work. The writing is propulsive, driven by huge moment-to-moment suspense. As always, Toobin’s research is impeccable. Most important, Toobin draws a straight line from McVeigh, whose crime has been understood sometimes as an isolated act of lunatic savagery, to the right-wing extremists who imperil us today."
— Scott Turow, #1 New York Times author of Presumed Innocent and Suspect
"A riveting account of the man behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the legacy of his actions, which reverberate today....an exhaustive but fascinating chronicle....Toobin delivers an equally gripping account of the prosecution, defense, trial, media coverage, and five years of appeals before his execution....An authoritative, disheartening, depressingly relevant page-turner."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An eye-opening study of Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995....a persuasive case that the bombing was motivated by beliefs that have come to dominate right-wing politics. It’s a tragic and edifying account of the road to domestic terrorism."
— Publishers Weekly
"McVeigh was radicalized by many of the same ideas that radicalize extremists today....Toobin gathered insider facts from a trove of documents donated by the defense lawyers to weave together this hard-hitting narrative. Given the continued threats of violence and other actions against officials and democracy itself, Homegrown is a must read."