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Origins and Doctrine of Fascism: With Selections from Other Works Paperback – February 4, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0765805775 ISBN-10: 0765805774 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; New edition edition (February 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765805774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765805775
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. James Gregor is professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley and an adjunct professor at Command and Staff College, U.S. Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia. He has also been awarded the Order of Merit by the President of the Italian Republic for his contribution to Italy as a nation through his published works. He is the author of Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher of Fascism, Interpretations of Fascism, Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time, and Marxism, China, and Development, all published by Transaction.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Theil on June 14, 2008
This book really misses the mark in what it aims to do. I think A. James Gregor has done much better to uncover the philosophical underpinnings of Fascism as a legitimate political philosophy than this (for example: Mussolini's intellectuals). In fact, I dare say this work of quotations from Giovanni Gentile is counterproductive to understanding Fascism as a systemic political idea and helps re-enforce the stereotype of it being a mindless thug-police state. Understood within the context of other philosophies and theories in other works, Gentile's quotes fit, but out of such context, as these feel to be, they sound like dogmatic empty propaganda. Those who are looking for a deeper view of Fascism as a true Italian philosophy with a social ideal all it's own, are likely to come away from this book with nothing more than the stereotypes they began with. A modern work on Fascism by the likes of Emilio Gentile would be a better starting point than this, or even an alternate work by A. James Gregor. One that expounds on what corporative syndicalism is, or how the concept of totalitarianism is understood within the context of G. Gentile's 'actual idealism' and not made out to be just a police state or a whole lot of rhetoric just saying it isn't a police state but not truly explaining why that is, like this book does.

A note of caution, it appears the current picture of the cover for "Origin & Doctrine of Fascism" given here on Amazon looks not like it does here with the new copy I received, rather it looks like the picture of "Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher of Fascism", and one may get them confused for that reason.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Brown on April 6, 2007
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This book contains Giovanni Gentile's programmatic essay "Origins and Doctrine of Fascism" as well as excerpts from other works and a short introduction by the editor, A.J. Gregor. Entitled by Mussolini himself as "the Philosopher of Fascism", Gentile is highly important to the study of Fascism, especially if you are interested in Fascist ideological theory rather than political practice (though Gentile served also as the Italian minister of education). Although the "Origins and Doctrine" is meant to be a popular essay, it is reflects the thought of a philosopher.

The literature on Fascism today is mostly very judgmental - against Fascism. This, of course, is legitimate, but if you want to truly understand it, you have no other choice but turn to the original writings of the fascist thinkers themselves. In this respect, the very publication of their writings in English is a great contribution to such an understanding, especially for people (like myself) who do not read Italian.

Fascist philosophy was based on two different sources: On the one hand there is the conservative 19th century Hegelian philosophy, and on the other hand there are the post-romantic challenges of the late 19th century philosophies, that challenged the moral conventions of the European civilization. The latter were influenced by thinkers like Nietzsche, Sorel and maybe Bergson. (I know that today they try to present Nietzsche as a proto-existentialist, but if you read him literally you see that to a great extent he also was a proto-fascist). While it is the second trend that makes Fascism an intriguing challenge even to our day, Gentile is clearly a representative of the first one.
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