My guest is John Temple. His newest book is Up in Arms: How the Bundy Family Hijacked Public Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, and Ignited America’s Patriot Militia Movement. Up in Arms chronicles how an isolated clan of desert-dwelling Mormons became the guiding light—and then the outright leaders—of America’s Patriot movement. The nation was riveted in 2014 when hundreds of Bundy supporters, many of them armed, forced federal agents to abandon a court-ordered cattle roundup. Then in 2016, Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven’s 13 children, led a 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Those events and the subsequent shootings, arrests, and trials captured headlines, but they’re just part of a story that has never been fully told. John Temple, award-winning journalist and author of American Pain, gives readers an unprecedented and objective look at the real people and families at the heart of these highly publicized standoffs. Up in Arms offers a propulsive narrative populated by rifle-toting cowboys, apocalyptic militiamen, undercover infiltrators, and the devout and charismatic Bundys themselves.
Neither mainstream nor conservative media outlets have contextualized the religious, political, environmental, and economic factors that set the stage for these events. Up in Arms provides a framework for understanding this diverse collection of American rebels who believe government overreach justifies the taking up of arms.