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Posted August 14, 2011
I was unaware of the controversy surrounding Nesta Webster when I began to read her Surrender of an Empire, concerned with, as she saw it, the betrayal of Britain by internal forces seeking to bring the great empire to its knees and surrender its realms and wealth to ignorant Germans and greedy Jews. Not that Germans and Jews are to blame for everything. She has apparently expanded her grand conspiracy theory to include Bolsheviks, Freemasons, and Jesuits.
And God only knows how many other real, perceived, and reincarnated forces of evil she saw in the world around her. (She seems to have viewed herself as the reincarnation of a French countess, brutally guillotined by revolutionaries.) Paranoia has a remarkable capacity for breeding conspiracy theories. She would have made a fine Hollywood screenwriter.
As for Surrender of an Empire, a worse bit of fascist, nationalist, imperialist, pseudo-history I have not encountered for quite some time. This book now holds my personal record for the least bit I have ever read (23 pages out of 350) before angrily tossing a book away. Of course, I never have sought to read anything from Newt Gingrich or Geert Wilders, so there is hope yet that I won't make it through even a single page of a book before trashing it.