Before he was the world's most prominent Catholic biographer, Joseph Pearce was a leader of the National Front, a British-nationalist, white-supremacist group. Before he published books highlighting and celebrating the great Catholic cultural tradition, he spread literature praising the virtues of the white race, and calling for the banishment of all non-white from Britain.
Pearce and his cohorts were at the center of the racial and nationalist tensions—often violent—that swirled around London in the late-1970s and early 80s. Eventually Pearce became a top member of the National Front, and the editor of its newspaper, The Bulldog. He was a full-time revolutionary.
In 1982 he was imprisoned for six months for hate speech, but he came out with more anger, and more resolve. Several years later, he was imprisoned again, this time for a year and it spurred a sea change in his life.