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Swastika Night Paperback – 1 Nov 1985

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Nov 1985
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Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: THE FEMINIST PRESS; 1st Feminist Press Ed edition (1 Nov. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935312560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935312560
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A powerful, haunting vision of the inner and outer worlds of male violence." Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of "Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 1, 1884-1933"
""Swastika Night" goes beyond the specifics of Nazi ideology to a nightmare world in which men are valued for their brutality and violence and women are regarded only as degraded breeders. The real nightmare is how closely these underlying views conform to conventional contemporary notions of masculinity and femininity. Thanks to the Feminist Press for bringing us this brilliant, chilling dystopia, written under a male pseudonym and demonstrating once more that Anonymous was a woman." Ann J. Lane, author of "To Herland and Beyond""

Book Description

A classic of feminist predictive fiction finally returns to the light. 700 years after Hitler personally won the war, one man discovers the truth about his god. This remarkably prescient novel of the future under Nazism was published in 1937. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Swastika Night" was published in 1937, although the fact that "Murray Constantine" was a pseudonym for Katharine Burdekin was not revealed until the early 1980s (Burdekin died in 1963). The chief interest in this dystopian novel was that Burdekin was telling the story of a feudal Europe that existed seven centuries into a world in which Hitler and the Nazi achieved total victory. The novel begins with a "knight" entering "the Holy Hitler chapel," where the faithful all sing the praise of "God the Thunderer" and: "His Son our Holy Adolf Hitler, the Only Man. Who was, not begotten, not born of a woman, but Exploded!" With such a beginning it is hard not to look at "Swastika Night" as a nightmarish version of the Germany and England that would result from a Nazi victory. Given the time in which she was writing, two years before Hitler's forces invaded Poland and officially began the Second World War, it is equally obvious that Burdekin is simultaneously an indictment of Hitler's political and militaristic policies and a warning of the logical consequences of the Nazi ideology.
Burdekin depicts a world that has been divided into the Nazi Empire (Europe and Africa) and the equally militaristic Japanese Empire (Asia, Australia, and the Americas), a demarcation that raises some interesting issues all by itself. Obviously in the Nazi Empire Hitler is venerated as a god and all books and documents from the past have been destroyed so that the Nazi version of history is all that remains (the similarity is more to the efforts of the ancient Egytpian pharoahs than Orwell's idea of the continuous revision of the public record).
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Format: Paperback
I am grateful to have discovered this extraordinary book. I am not usually a reader of science fiction/fantasy and the name Katharine Burdekin (or Murray Constantine) meant nothing to me. 'Swastika Night' is a tour de force of imaginary power and rational extrapolation. Every detail of this nightmarish vision is worked out with implacable logic and passionate conviction. I look forward to discovering more of this author's works and am astonished that she is not more widely known.
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Format: Paperback
Chillingly conceivable, this novel offers a grim picture of our future world. Written from a feminist perspective with ideas mirrored in Virginia Woolf's literature of the same period, Burdekin uses her considerable writing skills to depict a world in which women have been fully subjectivated; Nazism has now conquered almost half of the world and it is masculine aggression which is the driving force behind every action.
This novel is a must for anyone interested in dystopian/utopian fiction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have long felt that Katharine Burdekin's 'Swastika Night' surpasses the other dystopian science fiction of its time, in what was perhaps the most fertile era for the genre. It is a great book and deserves to stand among the classics. How tragic that this author is not popularly known! I think the final insult for this author, as if to rub salt into an already painful wound, is that it is incredibly difficult to get hold of her more obscure works, either at an affordable price or at all.

'Swastika Night' presents a harsh social world some seven centuries into the future. It is a world dominated not so much by men but by maleness, but the men have superior status and the women are - for the most part - submissive and penned in the most horrendous conditions. The only criticisms I have of this novel are, first, that Burdekin's extrapolation seems a little esoteric and not fully-believable - though her perception is undeniable - and second, I also think that perhaps too much time is spent in static dialogue between two of the leading characters. Nevertheless, the story is well-written and once the central issues are resolved, it moves along at a pace. I really cannot add any more without exhausting the superlatives available (which would be well-deserved). The rest of this review is a more detailed summary of my thoughts on the meaning and messages in the story, and in particular how I think this novel transcends a strictly gender and class critique. I will try not to reveal too much here, but be warned there are some clues as to the plot so don't read the rest of this if you could do without spoilers.
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By A Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
"Swastika Night" was published in 1937, although the fact that "Murray Constantine" was a pseudonym for Katharine Burdekin was not revealed until the early 1980s (Burdekin died in 1963). The chief interest in this dystopian novel was that Burdekin was telling the story of a feudal Europe that existed seven centuries into a world in which Hitler and the Nazi achieved total victory. The novel begins with a "knight" entering "the Holy Hitler chapel," where the faithful all sing the praise of "God the Thunderer" and: "His Son our Holy Adolf Hitler, the Only Man. Who was, not begotten, not born of a woman, but Exploded!" With such a beginning it is hard not to look at "Swastika Night" as a nightmarish version of the Germany and England that would result from a Nazi victory. Given the time in which she was writing, two years before Hitler's forces invaded Poland and officially began the Second World War, it is equally obvious that Burdekin is simultaneously an indictment of Hitler's political and militaristic policies and a warning of the logical consequences of the Nazi ideology.
Burdekin depicts a world that has been divided into the Nazi Empire (Europe and Africa) and the equally militaristic Japanese Empire (Asia, Australia, and the Americas), a demarcation that raises some interesting issues all by itself. Obviously in the Nazi Empire Hitler is venerated as a god and all books and documents from the past have been destroyed so that the Nazi version of history is all that remains (the similarity is more to the efforts of the ancient Egytpian pharoahs than Orwell's idea of the continuous revision of the public record).
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