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Fascists Paperback – May 24, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0521538558 ISBN-10: 0521538556 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (May 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521538556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521538558
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #934,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


" eminently satisfying and absorbing account by a powerful and erudite mind, with Mann's exceptional analytical and theoretical skills on full display." Foreign Affairs

"Michael Mann is the outstanding historical sociologist of his generation. He invariably asks penetrating questions and his rigorous comparative method enables him to reach novel and striking conclusions. He has now produced one of the most original studies of Fascism ever written, a brilliant and disturbing analysis which constitutes a seminal work on the most destructive political phenomenon of the modern era." Sir Ian Kershaw, Professor of Modern History, University of Sheffield

"This incisively written and boldly argued book is full of insights and offers many challenges to the specialists. Mann breathes fresh life into this complex topic, and this study is bound to stimulate renewed discussion across the disciplines." Prof. Robert Gellately, Earl Ray Beck Professor of History, Florida State University

"Michael Mann here applies his legendary combination of historical sweep, synthetic verve, and common sense to a major unsolved problem: what and why was European fascism? We leave his company much the wiser." Charles Tilly, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University

"Mann's newest book provides fascinating insights into the sources of European fascism. Erudite and theoretical, yet plain-speaking, Mann analyzes the beliefs and actions of fascists themselves, coming to the conclusion that youth culture and society across class played a critical part in this ultimately self-destructive movement." Norman Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of History, Stanford University

"Michael Mann, one of the great sociological thinkers of our day published two impressive books this year (both from Cambridge University Press) "Fascists" he analyzes the development of right-wing authoritarianism in several European countrieso [and] unlike most sociologists, Mann does not write in jargon. Though certainly dense, these books will reward the effort of any non-scholar willing to tackle them." Newsday

"This is by far the best comparative study in recent years of interwar fascisms, an analytical tour de force." American Historical Review, Robert J. Soucy

"This is a thoughtful, clearly written, convincing study. Highly recommended." CHOICE May 2005

"Fascistsis extremely useful for anyone interested in a synthesis of the latest work on the social history of fascism. The author does not try to force everything into a rigid framwork. When a case is exceptional, he recognizes it." - Alexander De Grand, North Carolina State University

"As mentioned, Mann's ambition is to offer a synthesis of the materialist and the ideological interpretations of fascism. The overall result, as we have seen, is that he uses the methodology of the materialist school and ends up with an interpretation of fascism that largely resembles the ideological ones already formulated. In other words, in his conquest of historiographical terrain, he reaches territory that has already been captured. Nonetheless, the route he takes to get there is novel, and the traveler reaches the destination having accumulated a great deal of useful baggage. And that is a laudable achievement. " - Per Biensø, Department of History, Aalborg University, Denmark, H-NET

Book Description

Anew study of fascism in Europe, focusing on the six countries in which it became most dominant: Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Spain. Focusing on the beliefs and actions of people who became fascists, it attempts to see fascism through its own eyes. This leads to an original view of fascism as "violent, transcendent nation-statism", a perspective which is superior to all previous theories of fascism.

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28 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Crane on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If asked to define Fascism, I could say "It is a vague epithet used by people who have no bloody clue what they are talking about, and who could not give a coherent definition of it if they tried." And this would cover nearly all uses of the term in the mainstream media and the internet.

But there are people who care about defining their terms. If you are one of them, Michael Mann will give you a definition of fascism that is among the best. Not definitive, because there is no definitive definition, but thoughtfully derived and well-supported.

Mann defines fascism as "the pursuit of a transcendent and cleansing nation-statism through paramilitarism." And he is nice enough to give you the definition on page 13, though you have to read the entire book to understand how it was derived. This definition will be clearer if I explain the terms.

Transcendence: Belief that the state can transcend social conflict and blend all social classes into a harmonious whole. Belief in the power of political ideology to transcend human nature and produce a better world. Cleansing (ethnic): Favoring one or more ethnic or racial groups over others, either by granting special privileges or imposing disabilities; deportation of ethnic minorities, or worse. Cleansing (political): Silencing the political opposition so that the transcendent aims of fascism can be realized. Restricting the freedom of speech, outlawing opposition parties, imprisoning political opponents (or worse) and indoctrinating youth in fascist principles. Statism: Promoting a high degree of state intervention in personal, social, or economic matters. Belief that the state can accomplish anything.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Han Yu Huang on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Mann's Fascists offers a thorough exploration of Fascism as a movement and ideology with a view to historical, geographical, social, national, and conceptual differences. Readers inside and outside of academies, concerning about Holocaust or other contemporary extremist disruptions in human history, will acquire their own lessons from the book.
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