- Paperback: 348 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 3, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691044864
- ISBN-13: 978-0691044866
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Birth of Fascist Ideology
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"[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
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Misconceptions are dispelled--and Mr Sternhell should be thanked for his willingness to not only clearly and concisely separate Fascist principle from Nazi ideology but to also relate the surprising Italian Jewish contribution and memberships from before Fascism's move to government in 1922.
Names of philosphers and political scientists normally left out of other books on Fascism are given healthy coverage and should also be studied to fully understand why this non reactionary movement swept into popularity.
Finally I'd like to say that Mr Sternhell will convince you that parallel to Socialism and Liberalism, Fascism offered a original direction and answer to the development of European society and the problems that that development caused. It is as much the failures of Socialism and Liberalism to address and cure the problems that nineteen and twentieth century modernity created that successfully enacted the Birth of Fascist Ideology.
The general theme is the rejection of Enlightenment rationalism and liberal political values around the turn of the 19th century. This was a pan-European process and knowledgeable readers will already be familiar with elements of this process in Germany and Austria from the work of George Mosse, Fritz Stern, and Carl Schorske. Those scholars dealt mainly with radical right wing attacks on rationalism and liberal values. Sternhell argues well that, at least in the case of the ideological changes underpinning Fascism, this was a general cultural phenomenon resulting in a more or less complete intellectual foundation for Fascism accepted by important intellectuals in France and Italy before WWI, and then realized by Mussolini and his followers after the war.
Sternhell shows how a major element of the flight from rationalism, liberal values, and towards authoritarianism came from the radical left. Sternhell locates a key source of the revolt against reason in the "crisis of Marxism" that occurred in the socialist movement at the end of the 19th century. The failure of Marx's predictions of capitalist collapse and the outmoded nature of his conceptions of economics led to varying attempts to "revise" Marx.Read more ›