As with all the other books of the series I've read, it's a great little gem.
The author presents the various and very complicated facets of fascism in a very orderly manner, with a certain degree of distance from the subject itself, but obviously without it being totally objective (if such a thing can ever be written).
It covers a lot of aspects of fascism that don't immediately come to mind when thinking about it, and it makes various ambiguities about the nature of fascism very transparent, and gives some good insight on how the context under fascism arose, its brief history, and the aftermath: what impacts fascism has had (and still has) in our societies.
Great book for anyone who wants to be introduced to what proves to be a very complicated and fragile issue in our modern history.
I've read quite a few of the very short introductions now and I have to say this one was my favourite. Some of the others spend too long discussing people who discuss the subject, which might be fair enough as it gives you a decent reading list to investigate the subject further, but I preferred the engaging and comprehensive writing style of this book. I didn't read much that particularly surprised me but yet I feel much better informed now and have actually learnt a fair amount about other political ideologies too. I certainly couldn't previously have described the key differences between fascism and, say, authoritarian conservatism. I found there to be a healthy balance of history, critical analysis, and future (somewhat terrifying) prospects.
This book deals primarily with how fascism emerged and how it competed in the fledgling democracies of inter war Europe (1918-39). The chapters are divided up neatly, one analysing the appeal of fascism to women, the other looking at how fascism appealed to social class. There are also frequent mentions of how on the one hand conservatives can neuter fascism with tough policies, but sometimes instead legitimise fascism with these same policies. There is also an analysis of neo-fascism in Europe, with a focus on individual nations like France, Russia and Italy which have experienced far-right revivals. One feature is the author's academic rigour and discipline. He continuously reminds us of the fluidity of defining fascism, and urges readers to analyse fascism through an academic rather than a moral lens in order to best appreciate it. One weakness of the book is its emphasis on fascisms "day-to-day" running in preparing the population for a total war, but we don't read much about how it operated when that total war finally came. The book also is clearly aimed at a reader with a fairly good, broad knowledge of European history and contemporary politics, and therefore may not be well suited to a general reader. All in all, a good introduction to the history of fascism in inter-war Europe, but not much on the war itself. Still, a good introduction nonetheless.
This little book has certainly challenged any preconceptions of mine as to what constitutes fascism. A very worthwhile guide to the subject for anyone interested in a broader understanding of this (almost) taboo ideology.
Thought this would be a good way to lay a foundation for studying the subject. After opening the package I was quite disappointed at just how small this book is. It is pocket size. That being said however, after reading it (which doesn't take long), it is clear that this little book has a lot of information packed in to it. It has provided me with a reasonable basis from which I can plunge even deeper. In summation I would say thst this is a good book to ease your way in to Facism, but it is a little over priced for the size and style.
......and I think it is carrying a bundle of rods with an axe in the middle.
Oh, this guy is good. Now he has some weird quirks in his writing. He contradicts himself, has some flawed statements and weirdly connects the feminine and racial issues on an elementary level. Some jargon in this book is also incomprehensible. And, I bet $100 this guys a romanticist (far above his other personality levelers of realist and classicist creativity stabilizers - the three are balanced out in one way or another) - like for example Jean-Jacque Rousseau.
All right, all the above does not matter. ALL the time that I see crap like this, I automatically throw it out. Nevertheless, this guy comes up with some incredible insights and very original outlook and reasoning beyond even the above average humanities writer (he is a history lecturer at Cardiff - with some good horse sense of politics and philosophy). He also injects parts of history that other authors have not made of certain unique connections. He has totally analyzed this subject - Fascism - and gives you different and in-depth angles to look at. He takes you across "paths" that have never been crossed before.
Read this with tongue-in-check mentality. You can easily see and discard some (but very little) nonsense. There is highly valuable information here. This person has made a (small) book of only 158 pages, but he jams it full of Great information on Fascism. I would have sworn, after reading this, that I had just finished a large book. There is no real filler here (except for the quirks mentioned above).
Oxford Press does it again - but the other "very short introductions" series are not as high of caliber as this is.
These three books will give you THE best insight on Fascism. No others come close to the brilliance of the material.
1) Fascism by Roger Griffin (edited by Roger Griffin) This is the best general book on Fascism. There is no better way to truly understand something unless to go to the SOURCE(S).
2) Fascism A Very Short Introduction by Kevin Passmore
3) The Nature of Fascism edited by S.J. Woolf (NOT the book by R. Griffin on the same title)
In conclusion, Oxford University Press (UK) and the University of Chicago (USA) crank out some great books on political philosophy etc. Although, some of them are out of print. Alibris will get them for ya!