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Fascist Scotland [Kindle Edition]

Gavin Bowd
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

On 10 May 1941, Rudolf Hess, Deputy Fuhrer of the Third Reich, entered Scottish airspace in an ill-fated attempt to discuss peace with the Duke of Hamilton. For the Nazis, Hess was the victim of 'tragic hallucinations'. But how far had Hess really flown from reality? Although Fascism in Britain is normally associated with England, and especially the East End of London, and even then dismissed as a marginal political phenomenon, Fascism did find support in Scottish society. Scotland has provided its own cohort of idealists, fanatics and traitors for extreme racist, nationalist and authoritarian politics. From Dumfries to Alness, one of the main ideologies of the first half of the twentieth century found its standard-bearers. But when Fascism crossed the Cheviots, it found itself in a restless part of a multi-nation state, riven by sectarian hatreds. Rudolf Hess felt the natives looked at him 'in a compassionate way', but Scottish Fascism had to carve out a niche in a crowded market for bigotry. In this book Gavin Bowd relates a fascinating and little-known part of our history which reveals some uncomfortable truths which are bound to stimulate debate even now.

Product Description


'[A] well-written and provocative book' --Morning Star

About the Author

Gavin Bowd teaches French at St Andrews University. He has published widely on Scottish, French and Romanian culture and politics. He is also a poet, fiction writer, journalist and translator.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1118 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn (4 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C4GU6NO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #236,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting study 14 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well researched look into a topic often forgotten by historians. The author took a little time to get going, maybe because he required to include as much detail as he could in order not to lose the thread of the subject.

I imagine Gavin Bowd has unearthed quite a few skeletons in a few family cupboards, but without causing any great deal of controversy due to the passage of time; the dead can`t sue!

As in the case of studies into social history, the reader is left wondering what remains to be unearthed by future researchers, or even what might appears in a revised edition using information flushed out by this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scary 20 Mar. 2014
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This is a fantastic history of fascist ideology in scotland and will prove to be an uncomfortable read for many who bury their heads in the sands as if these things never happen in the UK....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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This is a good exploration of a familiar topic - British fascism - but from a different and refreshing angle: the rise and nature of interwar fascism in Scotland, something that has not really been covered before in much detail in the available historiography. The information on the flirtation between some Scottish nationalists and fascism is particularly interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascist Scotland by Gavin Bowd 25 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book for historians interested in the politics of the thirties; it's not for the general reader. This is a somewhat obscure subject but Gavin Bowd has researched his subject thoroughly and drawn his conclusions with objectivity.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I find the other 2 reviews on here quite interesting given that they were both posted before the book had even been released. Bizarre to say the least.

Bowd's book is a brilliant analysis of the fascist movement in Scotland during WW2 and while only one chapter addresses the SNP's fascist roots in the shape of their former leader Arthur Donaldson, many seem to have jumped to some quite ridiculous conclusions.

This is not an anti SNP book in any way shape or form. It merely highlights the inconvenient truth for many separatists up here that their party was formed and founded by those who saw a victory for Nazi Germany as an opportunity to promote Scottish independence.

It's a long and detailed read but the conclusions that Bowd draws are both clear and concise. It could be that those who disagree with this just don't like hearing what the truth is.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editing fail 3 Aug. 2013
Since previous reviewers have praised this book, I'll begin with its major failing. It is surprising that Cormack's Protestant Action - and in Bowd's own words, PA "was the closest Scotland got to a mass fascistic movement" - is mentioned only in the passing. Now it is true that PA is well-covered in other books, but those are rather more dry, academic works (take that Tom Gallagher!) while this book appears to have been intended as a general survey for a mass readership. There is plenty of material could have been cut to make room, particularly the sections on Hess and Ramsay. I would also like to have seen more coverage of post-war fascism.

So if you want a book about fascism in Scotland, this is the place to start. But it'll leave you wanting more, and unless Bowd is working on a sequel that is a serious failing. I think that what we have here is not a bad book - I wouldn't have rated it three stars if it were - but one which could have been very much more than just "not a bad book". Should we blame the editor, or rather the non-editor, or the author? Probably the editor I think. Maybe the second edition will be better?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, factual study of the history of fascism in Scotland
Gavin Bowd teaches French at St Andrews University. This very illuminating book, which should really be titled fascism in Scotland, gives us many facts about the Scottish National... Read more
Published on 20 May 2013 by William Podmore
5.0 out of 5 stars scotlands dark history
This well written and researched book should be read by all persons of voting age so they can understand the violent and threating activities of traitors,spies,Fascists and... Read more
Published on 13 May 2013 by G.I.Forbes
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Balanced and Erudite
It is clear that this book has created a "stooshie" as we say in Scotland. It was the basis of an article in "Scotland an Sunday" which highlighted the parts of the book describing... Read more
Published on 2 May 2013 by A reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book
I agree wholeheartedly with M. Smith's four paragraphs on this book.

Let me say that I know the author, but that my view of the book in no way influences what I am... Read more
Published on 16 April 2013 by Mr. J. Ian Press
1.0 out of 5 stars Low rent unionist propaganda
This pamphlet is no better than a bunch of copy pasted wikipedia entries culminating in a preposterous and insulting conclusion. Read more
Published on 7 April 2013 by J. B. Hunter
1.0 out of 5 stars Better Together subsidised nonsense
The book was funded by the Better Together, NO Scotland! campaign (the anti-independence wretches in Scotland) in order to equate the Saltire with the swastika and Scots with... Read more
Published on 7 April 2013 by Mr. M. D. Bell
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