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Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars [Paperback]

Martin Pugh
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Mar 2006

Britain is celebrated for having avoided the extremism, political violence and instability that blighted many European countries between the two world wars. But her success was a closer thing than has been realized. Disillusionment with parliamentary democracy, outbreaks of fascist violence and fears of communist subversion in industry and the Empire ran through the entire period.

Fascist organizations may have failed to attract the support they achieved elsewhere but fascist ideas were adopted from top to bottom of society and by men and women in all parts of the country. This book will demonstrate for the first time the true spread and depth of fascist beliefs - and the extent to which they were distinctly British.

Rich in anecdotes and extraordinary characters, Hurrah for the Blackshirts! shows us an inter-war Britain on the high-road to fascism but never quite arriving at its destination.


Frequently Bought Together

Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars + Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism + British Fascism, 1918-39: Parties, Ideology and Culture (Manchester Studies in Modern History)
Price For All Three: 40.40

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (30 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844130878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844130870
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This scholarly book shows how widespread fascism was before and in tandem with Mosley's New Party, the British Union of Fascists, half the Conservative Party and many royals" (Philip Howard The Times)

"Pugh is one of the most well-respected, diligent and honest scholars working in British history today. This book deserves to be read" (Gerard DeGroot Scotland on Sunday)

"The link between a distinct wing of Conservatism and the Italian form of fascism is substantiated in this outstandingly revelatory book" (Herald)

"Fascism did not just come from the East-End toughs. It also came from women, the countryside and from parts of the industrial North. Pugh explores these various strands with a keen eye for detail and a lively sense of the absurd" (Independent)

"Superb" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Timely and original, this remarkable book reveals for the first time how close Britain came to being a Fascist state in the inter-war years.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Putting the movement in the wider context 8 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book starts with Prussian troops circling Paris in 1870. The author then painstakingly covers the development of British politics up to 1939, putting the blackshirts, and other movements, in historical context. It is therefore somewhat thin on detail of the blackshirt movement, but is innovative in doing what the author sets out to do: show that the BUF was a logical progression of the political trends of the time, not, as many other supposedly authoritative books often present it, a baffling fluke of political history. In that objective it is successful. For detailed information about the movements themselves, this is perhaps not the book to read. It's not badly written, just badly promoted (like the title, for example).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah for the Blackshirts 30 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book as it looks as the Fascists in an impartial manner, a considerable change from the standard demonising of Mosley and the whole movement
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Generally, this is a readable and informative piece of social and political history, with the author succeeding in placing the disinct phenomenon of British fascism within its wider context. Thus, we are always made aware of the more general party political, economic and international climate, giving us an appreciation of how the British strain of fascism

was rooted within a set of distinct historical circumstances. Sometimes, the book relies on lists to overwhelm us with information: which members of the great and the great supported (overtly or covertly) Moseley's causes at various points in time are often inserted in the text and interrupt the narrative flow. Overall, an interesting read and would be read profitably alongside the authoritative biographies of Moseley (i.e. those by Robert Skidelsky or Stephen Dorril). Also will appeal to those with a general interest in Britain's turbulent post-war years.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Fascism made sense to some 13 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback
It is perhaps hard to credit that in the late 19th century supposedly at the height of Britain's imperial might, there was such anxiety about decline and the state of the nation, the industrial challenge from Germany and the USA, the naval building programme that Tirpitz had initiated and the poor performance in the Boer War that Churchill made a comment to Asquith that 'Germany is prepared for war and prepared for peace, Britain is only prepared for party politics.'

The tragedy and human cost of WW1, together with the political corruption of Lloyd George; seeming betrayal of the soldiers returning from the war; fear of the Bolshevik threat transferring itself and continual industrial unrest, some 86 million days were lost to strikes in 1921 alone meant that for some an alternative to the decaying and debased parliamentary system had to be found. Italian Fascism seemed to offer one option. A combination of patriotism, corporatism and socialism. It offered to some people in the Conservative party a panacea. At this period of course large elements within the party viewed industrial capitalism as a ruination of traditional conservative values that were primarily attached to the land and a hierarchical/monarchical structure.

At first Martin Pugh's book reads like a collection of semi-imperialist oddballs, female cross-dressers trying to hang on to the independence they found in the first world war and odd groups and journals that had a similar readership to those ultra-nationalist elements in late 19th century Germany, who did so much to push the country on a path to confrontation with Britain. It is when Oswald Mosley appears that you get some sense of direction and purpose.

Mosley is an interesting character.
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