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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting study
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...
Published 21 months ago by Jim Bradley

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editing fail
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...
Published 21 months ago by Anonymous


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting study, 14 July 2013
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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 review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good exploration of a familiar topic - British fascism - ..., 7 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editing fail, 3 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent analysis of an often ignored area of Scottish history., 12 April 2013
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M. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, factual study of the history of fascism in Scotland, 20 May 2013
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William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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 Party's past which make uncomfortable reading for its members.

Many of its early leaders were fascist landowners, who backed Hitler and Mussolini. In the 1930s, it allowed the Scottish Union of Fascists to join en bloc.

In January 1939, Douglas Young, who led the SNP from 1942 to 1945, wrote, "If Hitler could neatly remove our imperial breeks somehow and thus dissipate the mirage of Imperial partnership with England etc he would do a great service to Scottish Nationalism." In August 1940, Young wrote, "The Germans will look around for aborigines to run Scotland and it is to be wished that the eventual administration consist of people who have in the past shown themselves to care for the interests of Scotland."

Bowd comments, "Young thus showed the ambivalent, to say the least, attitude of Scottish Nationalists towards Fascism. Hatred of the English led to the downplaying of the Fascist threat to freedom and peace, while more radical Nationalists could be attracted to the authoritarian and xenophobic solutions offered by the Führer and the Duce." Bowd details the treacherous activities of leading Scottish separatists during World War Two.

Similarly, the SNP policy of `independence in Europe' has rotten roots. After World War Two, Oswald Mosley's new slogan was `Europe a nation'. Mosley's British Union of Fascists was the first party in Britain to call for European union. Mosley's most loyal lieutenant, the Scot Raven Thomson, the BUF's Director of Policy, pursued a policy of `Scotland in Europe'.

The pro-separatist, anti-communist Scottish League for European Freedom championed former SS men from the Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States. MI6 sent some of these war criminals back into their homelands to commit terrorist attacks, but the Soviet Union swiftly rounded them up and executed them.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scotlands dark history, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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 Nationalists in our not so distant past some of which activities exist to the present day.
Following on a chapter on Deputy Fuhrer Hess arriving in Scotland in 1941 to meet the Duke of Hamilton a history of the development of Moselys blackshirt thugs in Scotland in the 1920s and 30s with consequent riots in all Scottish cities is given.
The main part of the book is devoted to Scottish traitors and Nazis in particular Nazi associations with Scottish Nationalists.It is surprising how many Scots were traitors, Fascists or Nazis and the majority are exposed in the bookbut what is most disturbing is the Nazi association with Scottish Nationalists who were driven by theor dislike of the English.
Some of this hatred exists to the present day by death threats being given by Scottish Nationalist supporters to the author and a young girl and anyone they take a dislike to.
The author has done a considerable service by exposing the dark past and how some of it exists to the present day.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Balanced and Erudite, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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 the links between the nationalist groups in Scotland at the time and the far-right dictatorships in Europe. The third chapter is entitled "The Nats and the Nazis" and discusses the flirtation of some extreme nationalists such as Wendy Wood with fascism and also Nazi interest in Scottish Nationalism. One of the two Amazon reviews on the website at the time of adding this one clearly reflects the views of some nationalists towards the content and timing of publication.

However the book is even handed; the first chapter discusses Scotland's role within the British fascist movement, chiefly Mosley's New Party and its successor the Union of Fascists. Here the Labour Party feature strongly; Bowd discusses the role of one of the main defectors to the New Party, the Labour MP for West Renfrewshire Robert Forgan. The second chapter looks at the level of Scottish support for the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War; much of it is a case study of the Duchess of Atholl, a Conservative MP, who left the party over appeasement and the policy of Non-Intervention in the Civil War, and the bitter by-election campaign in her constituency. Bowd here describes how many Tory supporters and MPs, often drawn from the ranks of the nobility, sided with Franco.

The subsequent embarrassment of supporting fascism is thus fairly evenly shared within the Scottish political groupings of the time.

Bowd clearly shows how the Scottish context of religious bigotry, attitudes to empire and relations with England resulted in support for fascism growing up in odd places, and was perhaps a contributory factor to the relative inability of fascism to gain root in Scotland. One rather hysterical review of the book points out that Bowd is not a historian - but he is an academic, a lecturer of French at St. Andrews University. I have given the book four stars, not five as the first and longest chapter in the book is a bit repetitive and could have been pruned. I nearly laid it aside at this point, but it did liven up.

As a final point, I remember watching Wendy Wood on Jackanory as "Auntie Gwen", the very personification of a kindly old Scottish granny, reading couthie wee Scottish stories. Little did I suspect her colourful, in fact slightly sinister, past as revealed in this book
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book, 16 April 2013
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Mr. J. Ian Press (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
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 writing.

This is a subject on which I know very little; after reading it from beginning to end (and it is indeed a 'long and detailed read'), I feel so much better informed. I simply do not see in it what the negative reactions see. Scotland, where I lived for thirteen years and which I visit regularly, comes out of it very well. Buying the book, on Amazon, was money well spent.
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