The Anatomy of Fascism, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Fascism was the major political invention of the twentieth century and the source of much of its pain.

How can we try to comprehend its allure and its horror?

Is it a philosophy, a movement, an aesthetic experience?

What makes states and nations become fascist? Acclaimed historian Robert O. Paxton shows that in order to understand fascism we must look at it in action - at what it did, as much as what it said it was about.

He explores its falsehoods and common threads; the social and political base that allowed it to prosper; its leaders and internal struggles; how it manifested itself differently in each country - France, Britain, the low countries, Eastern Europe, even Latin America as well as Italy and Germany; how fascists viewed the Holocaust; and, finally, whether fascism is still possible in today's world.

Offering a bold new interpretation of the fascist phenomenon, this groundbreaking book will overturn our understanding of twentieth-century history.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fascism & Nazism
  • ISBN: 9780141014326



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the best introduction to the subject; at the same time, an excellent scholarly synthesis. It contains the most cogent available definition of fascism, approached not as an ideology, but rather as «a form of political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood, and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion». This point however -that fascism is not really an ideology- is something that certain posters here seem to have missed.