The Republic Shall Be Kept Clean

How Settler Colonial Violence Shaped Antileft Repression
Author: Tariq D. Khan
The long relationship between America’s colonizing wars and virulent anticommunism
Cloth – $110
Paper – $30
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 09/05/2023
Cloth: 09/05/2023
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About the Book

The colonizing wars against Native Americans created the template for anticommunist repression in the United States. Tariq D. Khan’s analysis reveals bloodshed and class war as foundational aspects of capitalist domination and vital elements of the nation’s long history of internal repression and social control. Khan shows how the state wielded the tactics, weapons, myths, and ideology refined in America’s colonizing wars to repress anarchists, labor unions, and a host of others labeled as alien, multi-racial, multi-ethnic urban rabble. The ruling classes considered radicals of all stripes to be anticolonial insurgents. As Khan charts the decades of red scares that began in the 1840s, he reveals how capitalists and government used much-practiced counterinsurgency rhetoric and tactics against the movements they perceived and vilified as “anarchist.”

Original and boldly argued, The Republic Shall Be Kept Clean offers an enlightening new history with relevance for our own time.

About the Author

Tariq D. Khan is a lecturer in the history of psychology at Yale University.


"This is an important book. Well-told, diligently researched and splendidly written, Khan maintains his Left and anarchist perspective throughout, yet never does the narrative falter into rhetoric and hyperbole. The history told in The Republic Shall be Kept Clean needs no hyperbole to emphasize the savagery of those who founded, expanded, and rule it." --Counterpunch

"Khan . . . has crafted a bold, well-documented history of the development of ruling-class strategies and tactics to control American society." --Choice


“This provocative account finds that long before overseas military endeavors affected local policing, violence against the Indigenous people of North America shaped the repression of proletarian insurgencies in the United States. It reveals how animosity toward ‘savage reds’ linked colonialism to anticommunism from the nineteenth century onwards.”--Kristin Hoganson, author of The Heartland: An American History