The Anatomy of Fascism

By Robert O. Paxton
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400033911, 321pp.)

Publication Date: March 8, 2005

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Description
What "is "fascism? Many authors have proposed definitions, but most fail to move beyond the abstract. The esteemed historian Robert O. Paxton answers this question for the first time by focusing on the concrete: what the fascists did, rather than what they said. From the first violent uniformed bands beating up "enemies of the state," through Mussolini's rise to power, to Germany's fascist radicalization in World War II, Paxton shows clearly why fascists came to power in some countries and not others, and explores whether fascism could exist outside the early-twentieth-century European setting in which it emerged.
The Anatomy of Fascism will have a lasting impact on our understanding of modern European history, just as Paxton's classic Vichy France redefined our vision of World War II. Based on a lifetime of research, this compelling and important book transforms our knowledge of fascism-"the major political innovation of the twentieth century, and the source of much of its pain."
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About the Author
Robert O. Paxton is professor of history emeritus at Columbia University. A specialist in the history of western Europe in the era of the two world wars, he has written extensively on France under Nazi occupation, including VICHY FRANCE: OLD GUARD AND NEW ORDER (Columbia University Press, 2001) and VICHY FRANCE AND THE JEWS (Stanford University Press, 1995). His most recent work is THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM (Alfred Knopf, 2004).
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