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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

1999, Vol. 2 No. 1 .


Fascism's Return
Edited by Richard J. Golsan

(London: University of Nebraska Press, 1998)
330pp. Index. Bibl. 52.00; ISBN 0-8032-2159-2. Pb.: 23.95; ISBN 0-8032-7071-2.



Fascism's Return is a selection of essays which address the fascist movement predominantly in Europe. The book attempts to look at this phenomenon not only from a political stand point but from an intellectual and cultural perspective as well. Scandals involving the fascist ideology are addressed such as the Barbie and Paul Touvier trials along with the revision and development of a new fascism.

What the book sets out to tell its' reader is that fascism is alive and well and living in Europe. All hope is not lost however, as in a more optimistic turn some of the essays argue that the sheer acknowledgement of fascism is the starting point to stopping its spread.

To those of us most interested in ethnic conflict the book has something to offer by way of an ideological perspective. Fascism's need for scapegoats and exaltation of nation and race clearly mark its importance to researchers of ethnic conflict. Many of the authors make a point of including cultural and intellectual areas of the ideology along with the political angle which I found especially useful in my own studies. I found the book a pleasure to read and one that would be useful when trying to begin research into the study of ethnic conflict.

Having said all of that I must just add that I found some of the essays a bit redundant and would have appreciated a wider spectrum of countries being discussed. The cover makes reference to Europe, however the majority of the work is on France and Germany. The last essay in the book looks at U.S. involvement in Central America, mainly El Salvador. The author puts forward the question of whether the U.S. involvement in El Salvador could be considered fascist and whether or not Reagan and Bush could be accused of running fascist regimes.

All in all I would have to say the book is a good tool when trying to understand the ideologies involved in ethnic conflict but if the reader is looking for a comprehensive study of fascism in Europe I think they would be disappointed with the narrowness of this book.


Kathleen Korosec Holmes, University of Missouri in Kansas City



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