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A History of Fascism, 1914-1945

Narrated by: Michael Kramer
Length: 20 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: History, World
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Focusing mostly on Italy and Germany but also considering Spain, Romania, Japan, and movements in other countries, Payne (history, University of Wisconsin) describes fascism as revolutionary ultranationalism based on national rebirth, extreme elitism, mass mobilization, and the promotion of violence and military virtues. He also suggests that the early Russian communists borrowed many techniques from fascism, and that though we are fairly well-inoculated against fascism itself, the values it represents could still emerge in new forms.

©1996 Stanley G. Payne (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Keith
  • 24-11-19

Dated lit review, ill-suited for audiobook

Some scholarly books make a smooth transition to an audio format, but this is not one of them. Its fragmented structure may work for a researcher using the book as source material, but it lacks the narrative elements needed for an engaging audio experience. Payne sets out to catalogue and critique previous definitions of fascism. These are useful goals, but cause the book to become repetitive. The historical overviews of each nation are brief and condensed in order to allow for comprehensiveness, resulting in a book that reads as an elementary historical primer. The analysis he provides is strong, but too often it gets minimized or displaced. Published in 1995, the book reads as a curious time capsule of political thought. In the epilogue, Payne dismisses the probability of radical right movements gaining traction in U.S. or Europe. It would be fascinating to know how he'd address his conclusions today. Alas, it's left to the reader (or listener) to fill in these gaps because the book is now 25 years old.

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  • Tomas Diaz
  • 08-05-19

Fantastic Overview of Fascist Complexity

Most uses of the term "fascism" fail to mean more than "people who are hateful". Stanley G. Payne's thorough overview of fascist, semi-fascist, and fascist adjacent movements, with special emphasis on the two fully fascist regimes of Italy and Germany, help to give some meat to the term. Michael Kramer's reading is great, having the best qualities of an academic lecture without becoming a droning bore.

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