Neither Right Nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France First Edition
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"Few books on European history in recent memory have caused such controversy and commotion. . . . Sternhell has reconstructed and documented as no one before him the emergence and organizational development of a revolutionary right during the years before 1914. . . . Muscular in its arguments, courageous in its opinions, meticulous in its documentation, [this book] lays down an interpretative challenge that no future study of French culture and politics in the 1930s will be able to ignore."---Robert Wohl, Journal of Modern History
"In Neither Right Nor Left Sternhell seeks to show that France, instead of remaining impermeable to the political culture of fascism, was its seedbed. . . . He has refined a highly controversial, though far from implausible, interpretation of the roots of European fascism."---Richard Wolin, Dissent
From the Back Cover
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If you ar a student of Vichy or of general Fascism, This book is a good book to buy. gives a lot of background thought into boths development.
Sternhell shows this phenomenon to be a recurrent feature of French intellectual life from at least the 1890s onward. Successive waves of converging radical right and radical left figures, often strongly influenced by their predecessors in prior generations, would often come to the same fascist or quasi-fascist positions. Sternhell shows well that the hard core of these explicitly radical or fascist thinkers was surrounded by a considerable penumbra of other and arguably more mainstream figures who shared at least some of the radicals' ideas. As in The Birth of Fascist Ideology, Sternhell argues well that the way for the Vichy National Revolution was prepared by a durable cultural-intellectual dissent of considerable power and influence in French life.
This is a very thorough book as Sternhell works systematically through generation after generation of French (and some other) intellectuals to establish the existence of an important French fascist-protofascist tradition. Given the recurrent similarity of these movements, its a bit repetitive and lacks the excitement of The Birth of Fascist Ideology. Sternhell is a good writer and this book is worthwhile reading, particularly for those with a strong interest in modern European history.