Willis Carto

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Willis Carto

Willis Allison Carto (17 July 1926 – 26 October 2015) was an American patriot and populist activist, known primarily for his work in the alternative media in the United States as a publisher. Some of his best work involved groups and newspapers such as the Liberty Lobby, The Spotlight newspaper, The Institute for Historical Review, The Barnes Review, and American Free Press. Because of his sterling work in the pursuit of truth and freedom, Carto has been one of the most attacked and demonized personalities in American politics during the 20th century. During his career Carto was in both camps of the conservative and nationalist movements, having friends and contacts wirh Republican politicians as well as marginalized racists and antisemites.[1]

Early life

Willis Carto
Willis Carto took over the Northern League when Professor Roger Pearson retired.

Carto's family is of old colonial-stock. The name derives from "Carteaux", a French-Huguenot name. Carto himself was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After graduating from high school in 1944 he served in the U.S. Army for two years in the Philippines and the during the occupation of Japan. He was wounded in battle on Cebu Island, May 5, 1945.

After the war he attended college at Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Cincinnati. In 1950, Carto began his business career working for Proctor & Gamble as a salesman. In San Francisco, he worked for Household Finance as a loan officer.[2]

In November 1958, he married Elisabeth Waltraud Oldemeir from Herford, Germany.[3] By this time he was already several years into nationalist politics.

Alternative media activism

Carto's career as a publisher in the alternative media began in-earnest in 1953. What followed was an unprecedented career of publishing, in which he published hundreds of patriotic and race realist books, dozens of periodicals, and several magazines. He founded or helped found Liberty Lobby, The Spotlight newspaper, The Institute for Historical Review, The Barnes Review, and American Free Press. As of 2010, he continues his work as a publisher of nationalist material through The Barnes Review and American Free Press.

Carto entered the world of patriotic and pro-European American publishing in early 1950s. He was, by this time (his mid-to-late 20s), already successful in business. These were hard times to be a nationalist in the racially-European world, and most nationalists retreated into bland conservatism or simply became apolitical. Carto did not.

In 1953, he founded "Liberty & Property, Inc." (with Aldrich Blake) and published the first edition of seven which followed of the First Nation Directory of “Rightist” Groups, and Organizations in the United States and Some Foreign Countries.

Newspapers and magazines

Carto publisher or helped publish numerous patriotic newspapers and newsletters, giving a voice to, and helping to organize, a section of U.S. political thought that was largely unrepresented between the early 1940s (when it was demonized and suppressed [see 1944 Sedition Trial]), through around 2000, with the rise of the Internet. The more long-format medium of the magazine was also used -- and continues to be used -- by Carto.

In 1955, he began publication of the monthly RIGHT newsletter, the first of many such publications to come. Also around this time Carto was associated with Robert Le Fevre and the Congress of Freedom. Carto published the Liberty Letter from 1960, an organ for the supporters of Liberty Lobby. He published and edited the less-overtly-nationalist Washington Observer Newsletter from Aug 15, 1965 through Sept. 15, 1976. In one of these newsletters he discusses a legal matter he was involved in and reveals through a deposition he identifies himself as a "Pantheist".[4]

In June 1964, he published Western Destiny magazine, writing and editing the publication under the name E. L. Anderson.[5]. Western Destiny merged with The American Mercury (another nationalist publication) in 1966.

In 1975 he began publication of The Spotlight a weekly tabloid newspaper, which continued publication through the 1990s. As a result of a legal dispute, Spotlight was forcibly discontinued by a court. Carto immediately began publication of the American Free Press, a weekly newspaper, to fill the void. The legacy of these newsletters was to inspire many subsequent publications, from the monthly newsletter of Wilmot Robertson, to the newsletter of American Renaissance. In 1994 Carto founded The Barnes Review a bimonthly "magazine of authentic history", after loosing control of The Journal of Historical Review.

Institute for Historical Review

In 1979 he founded the Institute for Historical Review, to investigate from an independent position some of the dubious claims made about World War II, pertaining principally to alleged Jewish casualties. Publication soon began of the scholarly Journal of Historical Review, which dealt with "setting history into accord with the facts", in the oft-cited phrase used by Carto from historian Harry Elmer Barnes.

Carto and associates also organized the first International Revisionist Conference in Los Angeles, which was followed by ten others until 1993. The first issue of the monthly IHR Newsletter was published in January 1981, followed by 90 others until late 1993. In 1994, the Barnes Review was formed as a successor to the Journal of Historical Review. The Institute for Historical Review continues to exist under different leadership.

Forbidden books

Countless books would have been lost to obscurity, or lack of financing would have caused them to never make it to the presses. Most of these were published under the auspices of either The Noontide Press, the The Institute for Historical Review, or more lately Barnes Review Books. All these publishing houses were founded by Carto. All of them still exist and continue to publish.

The most prominent among the books Carto "saved" is probably Imperium by Francis Parker Yockey. Written in the late 1940s, the book was a magnum-opus of European identity politics, but had only a small publication run for lack of funds. When Carto discovered it, he made sure it got a serious publication run. He has continued to publish it intermittently since. Carto's personally-written introduction to Imperium -- recounting his meeting with Francis Parker Yockey shortly after the latter was arrested and shortly before his mysteriously death – has been very popular as well. (It has since been argued that actual author of the introduction was Dr. Revilo P. Oliver, Carto's colleague).

A great number of revisionist titles were published by Carto, including The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. The history of revisionist publishing would be very different were it not for Carto.

National liberation activism

Carto has always primarily been a publisher, but he also formed and helped lead a number of political groups. The most successful of these is probably Liberty Lobby, which he founded on an anti-communist and pro-European American platform in 1960. It rose to become one of the most prominent patriotic groups in postwar U.S. history. It featured a radio call-in program at Carto's suggestion, predicting the rise of talk-radio 30 years beforehand.

In 1970, Carto helped to found the National Youth Alliance (NYA) which grew out of the Youth for Wallace presidential campaign of 1968. The NYA’s ideology and political worldview was based upon Francis Parker Yockey’s work Imperium. The NYA was later reorganized under William Pierce, a bitter rival of Carto. In 1974 the National Youth Alliance became the National Alliance.


Willis Carto died on 26 October 2015 from coronary arrest.


To him the Kingdom of Heaven. Or as the neo-pagans in our movement might say: “Wither takest thou me, Warrior Maiden?” “To the War-Father. To Walhalla.” Willis has been a fixture in our movement since the 1956 Republican Convention where he worked with a small committee opposing Eisenhower’s renomination. His hands were everywhere in our cause. Willis created Western Destiny, a magnificent magazine that functioned for several years. It was of impeccable quality due to the talents of its editor Wilmot Robertson who made his first appearance on the scene in that capacity. He was the moving force behind many, many movement groups and publications: Liberty Lobby, The Committee for American Values that led the fight against passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, The Spotlight, The Institute for Historical Review, Youth for Wallace, The National Youth Alliance (that later became The National Alliance), The Barnes Review, The American Free Press. Willis published the immensely successful Political Biography of LBJ in the 1964 election. Millions of copies of this highly effective tabloid were distributed nationwide in the course of the Goldwater campaign. As a result his organization Liberty Lobby exploded to an unprecedented size. Willis incorporated the flood of new names into the mailing list of Liberty Letter. Liberty Letter had a subscriber list of over 100,000. It would focus each issue on some bill pertaining to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program and mobilize the public to write letters of opposition to their congressman and senators and to the members of the committee handling the proposal. It is difficult for any such program to succeed even under the best of circumstances. Given that the Democrats achieved an over 2 to 1 numerical advantage in the House and the Senate as a result of Johnson’s landslide victory over Goldwater, it was a labor of Hercules to turn the tide around in 1965 and 1966. Nevertheless, the enormous volume of mail that Willis could put on the desk of legislators did have some effect. Willis concentrated on the very issue that Buckley, Birch Society and Conservatism, Inc., wanted to ignore: The repeal of the National Origins Act and the opening of our doors to non-European colonists. It was for making defeat of the Kennedy-Cellar immigration bill the focus of Georgia Young Americans for Freedom that I was reprimanded by the national office of Young Americans for Freedom. They did not want to do anything about that issue…there were more important matters that needed our attention. Such as the Right to Work Law and the minimum wage. Through Willis I met so many people who have been major factors in my life including, for instance, the late Louis Andrews whom I met at a Youth for Wallace meeting in Atlanta in the 1960s. Many, many activists in our cause were drawn together by Willis or the things he set in motion. I have known Willis and his beautiful German-born wife Elisabeth for 50 years who was truly his helpmate and shared his devotion to the European race and its civilization. His death leaves a great void. However, it was apparent to me in the last few meetings I had with him that Willis was becoming physically frail and there were indications that he might be entering into dementia. We can therefore be happy that he did not live on for years in physical agony and senility but has died relatively peacefully in possession of his faculties. I am sure that all members will join me in sending a message to Willis’ widow Elisabeth of our love and sympathy that are rooted in the gratitude of conscious European Christians all over the world for a lifetime of brave and unflinching devotion to our people’s ultimate redemption and triumph. Thanks, Willis, for all you did! Our people at large are unaware of the debt they owe you and of the passing of someone who was their dedicated friend, brother and champion. But we know. I encourage all of you to send a note to Elisabeth Carto at PO Box 99, Amissville, VA 20106. Sam Dickson[6]

Works (excerpt)

  • Profiles in Populism (1982)


See also

External links


  1. The Willis A. Caeto Library
  2. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement..., by Leonard Zeskind, page 3
  3. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement..., by Leonard Zeskind, page 4
  4. Washington Observer Newsletter, "Variety Act", Number 118, Mat 1, 1971
  5. Leonard Zeskind: Blood and Politics – The History of the White Nationalist Movement..., p. 11
  6. Willis Carto: An Obituary