The Ideological Origins of the Dirty War: Fascism, Populism, and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Argentina

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Oxford University Press, 2014 - History - 214 pages
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Argentina is famous for its ties with fascism as well as its welcoming of Nazi war criminals after World War II. At mid-century, it was the home of Peronism. It was also the birthplace of the Dirty War and one of Latin America's most criminal dictatorships in the 1970s and early 1980s. How and why did all of these regimes emerge in a country that was "born liberal"? Why did these authoritarian traits first emerge in Argentina under the shadow of fascism?

In this book, Federico Finchelstein tells the history of modern Argentina as seen from the perspective of political violence and ideology. He focuses on the theory and practice of the fascist idea in Argentine political culture throughout the twentieth century, analyzing the connections between fascist theory and the Holocaust, antisemitism, and the military junta's practices of torture and state violence, with its networks of concentration camps and extermination. The book demonstrates how the state's war against its citizens was rooted in fascist ideology, explaining the Argentine variant of fascism, formed by nacionalistas, and its links with European fascism and Catholicism. It particularly emphasizes the genocidal dimensions of the persecution of Argentine Jewish victims. The destruction of the rule of law and military state terror during the Dirty War, Finchelstein shows, was the product of many political and ideological reformulations and personifications of fascism.

The Ideological Origins of the Dirty War provides a genealogy of state-sanctioned terror, revealing fascism as central to Argentina's political culture and its violent twentieth century.

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1 The Ideological Origins of Fascist Argentina
2 Catholic Fascist Ideology in Argentina
3 AntiSemitism Sex and Christianity
4 Peronist Populism and Fascism
5 Bombs Death and Ideology
6 State Terrorism

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About the author (2014)

Federico Finchelstein is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Janey Program in Latin American Studies at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College. He is the author of several books on fascism, the Holocaust, and Jewish history in Latin America and Europe, including Transatlantic Fascism: Ideology, Violence, and the Sacred in Argentina and Italy, 1919-1945. He contributes to major American, European, and Latin American newspapers, including the New York Times, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Mediapart, Clarin, and Folha de S.Paulo.

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