This book provides a clear and accessible guide to the essential features of interwar British fascism. It focuses on the various fascist parties, fascist personalities and fascist ideologies. The book also looks at British culture and develops the knowledge of undergraduate students by providing a solid source of background material on this important area of interwar British history. The focus on fascist culture throws new light on the character of native fascism and suggests a potentially rich vein of new enquiry for scholars of British fascism. The book considers the membership strength of Britain's interwar fascist parties. The ideas of racial Social-Darwinism influenced British fascism in a number of ways. To begin with, hereditarian ideas and biological determinist models contributed to the emergence of racial theories of anti-semitism. The anti-semitism of the Imperial Fascist League was of a very different order from that of the British fascism. Moreover, to Britain's fascists, artistic modernism, with its creative use of distortion, disintegrative images and general disdain for the traditional discipline of the art form, made a virtue of deformity. The search to uncover the anti-liberal and anti-capitalist pre-fascist lineage would become a highly subjective exercise in invention and take the fascists on an imaginative journey deep into the British past.
flowed from a profound sense of loss and regret at the passing of an earlier way of life, which was genuinely felt. The BUF tapped into this rich vein of traditional rural nostalgia. Consistent with its fascistideology, however, its views on the countryside were of an even more extreme kind.
In fascistideology, particularly that of the ‘mature’ Mosleyite variety, ‘true’ culture was indelibly bound up with the countryside and the soil. 35 The land or countryside, as a timeless place expressing something eternal and enduring, was perceived to be a vital repository
respects, though, the ‘anti-’ model of fascism, with its overemphasis on fascism’s reactionary and negative dimension, has analytical drawbacks. 18 It does not give due account to the ‘positive’, even revolutionary, content of much of fascism’s ideology and programme. We are grateful to the observations of A. James Gregor and Eugen Weber, amongst others, for uncovering this aspect of fascistideology. 19 Nonetheless, the ‘anti-’ model of fascism at least serves as a useful analytical device to probe the reactionary, negative and imprecisely formulated pronouncements
characterised Futurist aesthetics and reflected the (real or hoped for) mechanisation of contemporary society.46 Yet, the exaggerated scale of the figure, a
modern-day warrior-Pantocrator, standing pillar-like to the west of Europe
and emerging from the Atlantic Ocean, whilst striving to convey ideas of
resolve, restless energy and irrepressible force, which formed the underlying rhetorical structure of so many images of the Duce, results in an empty
The syncretism which characterised Fascistideology is mirrored in the different faces
Reflections on institutional culture, working conditions and welfare
tasks, career treatment and professional quality of personnel.84
Although often imbued with fascistideology, his and other articles in
the journal quietly indicted fascism for failing to create better working
conditions. While, as illustrated in Chapter 2, several of Saracini’s
articles pointed to the alleged lack of a fascist conscience among
policemen, many focused more specifically on professional hardships
and poor career prospects. Hence, an article of July 1932 argued
that if not all officials had opted to pay insurance contributions, this
was an indication of
was accused of failing to respect the rules of harmony in art. Again, it is tempting to detect a sub-text of fascistideology here and interpret this as a yearning for an ordered and harmonious social structure purged of the alleged discord created by class conflict. The modernists’ apparently calculated disdain of form and harmony, as with their radical attempts to create a new aesthetic for art outside the classical Renaissance tradition, appalled the fascists. Oscar Boulton was convinced that a ‘clique’ of ‘moderns’ was definitely in the business of cultivating
Chapter 4 focuses on the months when the British and Irish governments each campaigned fiercely for America’s friendship and for the Roosevelt administration’s aid and sympathetic understanding of their nations’ competing wartime imperatives, as Winston Churchill and Eamon de Valera each defined them. Roosevelt, whose November 1940 re-election had boosted his political confidence, increased his administration’s moral and material support for Britain, although still not at the levels Churchill requested. Roosevelt proposed a program of “Lend-Lease” military aid to any nation that was defined as “vital to the defense of the United States” to the U.S. Congress, and, after much debate, Congress approved the Lend-Lease bill in March 1941. Roosevelt also sent a succession of personal emissaries to meet with Churchill and report back to him on Britain’s chances of surviving, if not destroying, the formidable German Wehrmacht and annihilating the Axis Powers’ fascist ideologies and imperial visions. With positive reports from Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, and Colonel William Donovan, his new ambassador to Great Britain John Winant, and from David Gray, Roosevelt’s pro-British predispositions were strengthened and his willingness to put critical pressure on neutral Ireland increased. During this period, de Valera, Walshe, and especially Aiken, who was sent to the United States to meet with Roosevelt in April 1941, all engaged in propaganda campaigns in league with Irish Minister in Washington Robert Brennan. They tried to mobilize Irish American public opinion in support of Eire’s neutrality, but they only succeeded in alienating Roosevelt and David Gray.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
This work demonstrates that resistance to occupation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Second World War has to be seen through a transnational, not a national, lens. It explores how people often resisted outside their country of origin because they were migrants, refugees or exiles who were already on the move. It traces their trajectories and encounters with other resisters and explores their experiences, including changes of beliefs, practices and identities. The book is a powerful, subtle and thought-provoking alternative to works on the Second World War that focus on single countries or on grand strategy. It is a ‘bottom up’ story of extraordinary individuals and groups who resisted oppression from Spain to the Soviet Union and the Balkans. It challenges the standard chronology of the war, beginning with the formation of the International Brigades in Spain and following through to the onset of the Cold War and the foundation of the state of Israel. This is a collective project by a team of international historians led by Robert Gildea, author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber, 2015). These have explored archives across Europe, the USA, Russia and Israel in order to unearth scores of fascinating individual stories which are woven together into themed chapters and a powerful new interpretation. The book is aimed at undergraduates and graduates working on twentieth-century Europe and the Second World War or interested in the possibilities of transnational history.
have noted that he took heart from Ireland’s history, the full
impact of Ireland as an influence on his thinking has, to date, been
severely underestimated. While Bose was seen to vacillate between
supporting communist and fascistideology whenever it best suited his
basic political goal of Indian independence from Britain, the one
consistent inspiration for him throughout his political life was the