The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution

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Overview

When The Birth of Fascist Ideology was first published in 1989 in France and in 1993 in Italy, it aroused a storm of response, both positive and negative. In Sternhell's view, fascism was much more than an episode in the history of Italy. He argues here that it possessed a coherent ideology with deep roots in European civilization. Long before fascism became a political force, he maintains, it was a major cultural phenomenon.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
[This book] deserves to be read and, whatever one's reservations, to be considered seriously...[It] rectifies the stereotyped and narrowly derogatory image of a movement that was as representative and influential as its more acceptable contemporaries, and more original than many.
— Eugen Weber
The New York Review of Books
[This] work obliges us to ground any study of fascism in the particular moment toward the end of the nineteenth century when politics expanded dizzily from a gentleman's hobby to a matter of mass opinion and votes. [Sternhell] shows irrefutably that fascist doctrine had complex cultural origins, drawing not only from conservative efforts to adapt to the novel requirements of mass politics,...but also from dissent within the left against the materialism, positivism, and reformism that mainstream Marxism shared with social democracy in the 1890s.
— Robert O. Paxton
The New York Times Book Review - Eugen Weber
[This book] deserves to be read and, whatever one's reservations, to be considered seriously...[It] rectifies the stereotyped and narrowly derogatory image of a movement that was as representative and influential as its more acceptable contemporaries, and more original than many.
The New York Review of Books - Robert O. Paxton
[This] work obliges us to ground any study of fascism in the particular moment toward the end of the nineteenth century when politics expanded dizzily from a gentleman's hobby to a matter of mass opinion and votes. [Sternhell] shows irrefutably that fascist doctrine had complex cultural origins, drawing not only from conservative efforts to adapt to the novel requirements of mass politics,...but also from dissent within the left against the materialism, positivism, and reformism that mainstream Marxism shared with social democracy in the 1890s.
From the Publisher
"[This book] deserves to be read and, whatever one's reservations, to be considered seriously...[It] rectifies the stereotyped and narrowly derogatory image of a movement that was as representative and influential as its more acceptable contemporaries, and more original than many."—Eugen Weber, The New York Times Book Review

"[This] work obliges us to ground any study of fascism in the particular moment toward the end of the nineteenth century when politics expanded dizzily from a gentleman's hobby to a matter of mass opinion and votes. [Sternhell] shows irrefutably that fascist doctrine had complex cultural origins, drawing not only from conservative efforts to adapt to the novel requirements of mass politics,...but also from dissent within the left against the materialism, positivism, and reformism that mainstream Marxism shared with social democracy in the 1890s."—Robert O. Paxton, The New York Review of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691044866
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/3/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Fascism as an Alternative Political Culture 3
Ch. 1 Georges Sorel and the Antimaterialist Revision of Marxism 36
Ch. 2 Revolutionary Revisionism in France 92
Ch. 3 Revolutionary Syndicalism in Italy 131
Ch. 4 The Socialist-National Synthesis 160
Ch. 5 The Mussolini Crossroads: From the Critique of Marxism to National Socialism and Fascism 195
Epilogue: From a Cultural Rebellion to a Political Revolution 233
Notes 259
Bibliography 315
Index 327
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