Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning Hardcover – Jan 8 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this provocative and well-researched book, Goldberg probes modern liberalism's spooky origins in early 20th-century fascist politics. With chapter titles such as Adolf Hitler: Man of the Left and Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism—Goldberg argues that fascism has always been a phenomenon of the left. This is Goldberg's first book, and he wisely curbs his wry National Review style. Goldberg's study of the conceptual overlap between fascism and ideas emanating from the environmental movement, Hollywood, the Democratic Party and what he calls other left-wing organs is shocking and hilarious. He lays low such lights of liberal history as Margaret Sanger, apparently a radical eugenicist, and JFK, whose cult of personality, according to Goldberg, reeks of fascist political theater. Much of this will be music to conservatives' ears, but other readers may be stopped cold by the parallels Goldberg draws between Nazi Germany and the New Deal. The book's tone suffers as it oscillates between revisionist historical analyses and the application of fascist themes to American popular culture; nonetheless, the controversial arc Goldberg draws from Mussolini to The Matrix is well-researched, seriously argued—and funny. (Jan. 8)
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“Brilliant, insightful, and important.” —New York Sun
“Well-researched, seriously argued, and funny.” —Publishers Weekly“Bold and witty… [Goldberg] makes a persuasive case that fascism was from the beginning a movement of the left.” —New York Post“Jonah Goldberg is the first historian to detail the havoc this spin of all spins has played upon Western thought for the past seventy-five years, very much including the present moment.” —Tom Wolfe--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There are some problems as Goldberg appears to work out his thoughts in the book rather than in his notepad, and while amusing to read for conservatives, I seriously doubt that Hillary Clinton justifes a whole chapter to her political views and background ... this just came across as political posturing and not very well thought out.
In the end, if Goldberg's work helps readers to view the political spectrum on a collectivist-individualist spectrum rather than a "left-right" or "socialist-fascist" spectrum, then we'll all be better for it.
First, he examines Mussolini, a favorite of the New York Times, New Republic, Hollywood and many intellectuals until his invasion of Ethiopia in 1934. This chapter includes sections on Jacobin Fascism with observations on the French Revolution, JJ Rousseau, Georges Sorel and Napoleon, and War, which deals with populism and pragmatism as forms of relativism. National Socialism predated Hitler, it competed with communism for the same support base, used identity politics and was not identical with Italian Fascism as Goldberg points out in the 2nd chapter. Further information on the similarities, differences and the danse macabre of shifting alliances in 1930s Europe is available in Sinisterism by Bruce Walker.
There's selective amnesia as regards Woodrow Wilson during whose presidency censorship, economic regulation, militarism, propaganda & corporatism dominated the USA. There were unimaginable crackdowns on the media, restrictions of civil liberties & many features of a police state.Read more ›
Upon reading this thesis I instinctively found it disturbing as if it seemed to go against the natural order of things. Of course the Nazi's and the Italian Fascists were on the far right. Are they not our society's very definition of the far right?
Yet why, asks Goldberg, if the Nazis were so far right on the political spectrum, did they brand themselves as socialists? Indeed, the very word Nazi comes from a shortening of the party's official name, die Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, - German for the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Similarly, why did Mussolini, whose parents read Das Kapital to him as a child, consider himself a 'socialist' right up until the moment of his execution at which his acolyte shouted, "Long live Mussolini, long live socialism!"
Goldberg argues, with considerable backing, that fascism began very much as a left-wing movement, with the added embrace of nationalism. In fact, Goldberg suggests that the first categorizing of fascists as right-wing only occurred after Stalin put out the directive that all opponents of the his rule of the Soviet Union, including Trotsky, were to be labeled as such in a bid for control of Germany.
Fascism, says Goldberg, was born of a "fascist moment" in Western civilization, when a coalition of intellectuals under various labels - progressive, communist, socialist - believed the era of liberal democracy was drawing to a close. Leaving little doubt with him that fascism was a project of the left.
Consider Cuba, prods Goldberg.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Ever politician should read this book. Maybe they will learn something, instead of publicly announcing their ignorance. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Enrico Tarondo
This is one of the best political books I have ever read. For many years conservatives and/or Christians have been told that they are the ones who are endangering freedom in... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Quo Primum
Passionate, well-written, well-researched. The perfect antidote for those who don't know their history and are therefore condemned to repeat it...Published 20 months ago by Max Layton
"Liberal Fascism" speaks of the relationship between the Fascist intellectual tradition and practice and the Liberal-Progressive movement in Twentieth Century America. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2010 by James Gallen
Essentially, the thesis of this noble book is that the American Liberalism has more in common with Fascism than the right does. It's all good. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2009 by Winston
I suspect that the ivory tower elites will despise this book. University acadamia and the media always equate conservative governments such as the USA under Dubya and Canada under... Read morePublished on March 20 2008 by GRH "Ex WHA Jet"
I suspect the two intensely negative reviews (just how many books of this type are truly one-star awful? Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2008 by Neil Ronan C.
Written as if it were a high school term paper, this tome yields no new ground. It is simply another Rovian attempt to identify what is worst about a movement (authoritarian... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2008 by James R. Parrett