Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Aug 22, 2002 - History - 176 pages
25 Reviews
What is fascism? Is it revolutionary? Or is it reactionary? This book argues that it is both: fascism unleashes violence against the left and ethnic minorities, but also condemns the bourgeoisie for its 'softness'. Kevin Passmore opens his book with a series of 'scenes from fascist life' - a secret meeting of the Romanian Iron Guard; Mussolini meeting the king of Italy; a rally of Hungarian doctors calling for restrictions on the number of Jews entering the profession; the shooting of 1800 Jews by Reserve Police Battalion 101 at Jozefow in Poland in July 1942. He then looks at the paradoxes of fascism through its origins in the political and social crisis of the late nineteenth century, the history of fascist movements and regimes in Italy and Germany, and the fortunes of 'failed' fascist movements in Romania, Hungary and Spain. He shows how fascism used and uses propaganda and popular culture to propagate itself and how it exported its ideas outside Europe, through Nazi and Spanish post-war escape routes to Latin America, for instance. The book concludes with a discussion of the recent revival of the extreme right in Austria, Italy, France, and Russia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Fascism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #77)

User Review  - Goodreads

I'm amazed at what a lucid introduction to fascism this book is! Most amazing is that author and historian Kevin Passmore defines fascism as narrowly as he can, while seeking to incorporate all the ... Read full review

Review: Fascism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #77)

User Review  - Matt Hunt - Goodreads

I read the first edition (2002) it has since been updated (2014). very interesting and informative. noticeably lacking developments in the 21st century, as expected, though it suffered for this. If the update is as well written I guess I would give it 4 stars. Read full review


List of illustrations
List of maps
Chapter 1Scenes from the history of fascism
what is fascism?
Chapter 3Fascism before fascism?
making history with the fist
the racial state
Chapter 7Phoenix from the ashes?
Chapter 8Fascism nation and race
Chapter 9Fascism and gender
Chapter 10Fascism and class
Chapter 11Fascism and us

Chapter 6Fascisms and conservatisms in the early 20th century

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Kevin Passmore is Lecturer in History at the University of Wales, Cardiff. His books include From Liberalism to Fascism: The Right in a French Province (CUP, 1997), Writing National Histories: Western Europe Since 1800 (Routledge, 1999), The French Right: A History (Routledge), and Women, Gender and the Extreme Right in Europe, 1919-1945 (Macmillan).

Bibliographic information