Anatomy of Fascism

Anatomy of Fascism

5.0 1
by Robert O. Paxton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0141014326

ISBN-13: 9780141014326

Pub. Date: 03/28/2005

Publisher: Viking Penguin

"What is fascism? Many authors have proposed succinct but abstract definitions. Robert O. Paxton prefers to start with concrete historical experience. He focuses more on what fascists did than on what they said. Their first uniformed bands beat up "enemies of the nation," such as communists and foreign immigrants, during the tense days after 1918 when the liberal…  See more details below

Overview

"What is fascism? Many authors have proposed succinct but abstract definitions. Robert O. Paxton prefers to start with concrete historical experience. He focuses more on what fascists did than on what they said. Their first uniformed bands beat up "enemies of the nation," such as communists and foreign immigrants, during the tense days after 1918 when the liberal democracies of Europe were struggling with the aftershocks of World War I. Fascist parties could not approach power, however, without the complicity of conservatives willing to sacrifice the rule of law for security." "Paxton makes clear the sequence of steps by which fascists and conservatives together formed regimes in Italy and Germany, and why fascists remained out of power elsewhere." This book, based on a lifetime of research, will have a lasting impact on our understanding of twentieth-century history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141014326
Publisher:
Viking Penguin
Publication date:
03/28/2005

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1Introduction3
Ch. 2Creating Fascist Movements24
Ch. 3Taking Root55
Ch. 4Getting Power87
Ch. 5Exercising Power119
Ch. 6The Long Term: Radicalization or Entropy?148
Ch. 7Other Times, Other Places172
Ch. 8What Is Fascism?206
Bibliographical Essays221
Notes251
Index309

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Anatomy of Fascism 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I hesitate (based on my lack of credentials in the area) to characterize this relatively short work as 'brilliant', I have overcome my reserve after a second reading. It is informative, insightful and remarkably topical. Unlike the encyclopaedic history on the movement by Stanley Payne, this book attempts (and accomplishes) a lucid synthesis of the 'essence' of this political scheme. While the various fascist analogues are explored and expounded upon in lucid depth (e.g., the Croate Ustacha movement), the author avoids a tedious catalogue of trivial and pedantic data in his synopsis. He devises many quotable aphorisms during his exposition and cleverly defers a definition of the term until the end of the book, while repeatedly noting the difficulties involved in defining a movement that lacked a coherent intellectual foundation from it's beginning. After careful reading of the book, the final definition and necessary points for including a movement under the 'fascist' rubric are ineluctably obvious. The inevitable (and retrospectively sophomoric) tendency to use the term as an epithet was revealed as either a simple rhetorical device or, more likely, a lack of understanding of the concepts. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the book was the extension to more modern phenomena, such as religious terrorist movements and some current governments. The parallels to Islamicist systems were, to me, quite striking, though the analogy to the present Israeli government was less convincing. In summary, this was an outstanding work and should be carefully studied by all students of the subject.