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The Fascism Reader

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The Fascism Reader
Edited by Aristotle A. Kallis. (Routledge, London and New York: 2003. Pg. xxiv, 513. ) ISBN: 0-415-24359-9.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 8, 2003

The Fascism Reader, edited by Aristotle A. Kallis, is a compilation of 48 excerpts from the vast body of scholarly works on the subject of European Fascism. The excerpts in this book are organized into eight thematic sections, namely: Browsing through the titles of these sections provides a glimpse at the broad range of topics covered in this important collection. The excerpts contained in The Fascism Reader covers the period roughly from the start of World War I through shortly after the end of World War II, a period that saw the rise and fall of fascism as a viable political movement. While this book does cover the earliest manifestations of fascism, the main body of the work concentrates on the period from October 1922 (when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy) to the fall of Germany in 1945. By extension the main focus of this collection is on the Italian and German forms of fascism. However, fascist movements in Britain (British Union of Fascists), Romania (Iron Guard), Portugal (Antonio Salazar's regime), and Spain (Francisco Franco's regime) are also touched upon, in addition to some lesser known movements.

The excerpts in this collection not only explore fascist ideology and methodology, but they also explore current historiographic methods used to study this complex subject. They also examine how the viewpoint of the academic community has changed over time, regarding methodologies used to study fascism, and how these attitudes are affected by geopolitical influences.

The Fascism Reader is an invaluable research tool that will serve to acquaint students with a wide range of works on the study of fascism, which will also help to guide them toward more detailed studies on the subject. One thing you should be aware of, however, is that this book is not a history of fascism. Rather it is an overview of current, and classical, historiographic approaches to the study of fascism in Europe. This is an excellent book for use in upper-level undergraduate history courses, as well as in graduate courses. Each excerpt is accompanied by a short introduction and endnotes. Additionally, the text concludes with bibliographical references for the works mentioned in the text, as well as a section called 'Further Reading'. Combined these two sections offer the serious student with a wealth of works with which to explore the subject of fascism in more detail.

Related Reviews:

The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: An Anthology of Texts, by Roderick Stackelberg and Sally A. Winkle
This anthology contains 148 primary texts that offer readers a general overview of the origins and consequences of Nazism.

The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda, by David Welch
This work offers an in-depth analysis of the role that propaganda played in Nazi Germany.

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