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Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  25 reviews
We can no longer ignore the fact that fascism is on the rise in the United States. What was once a fringe movement has been gaining cultural acceptance and political power for years. Rebranding itself as "alt-right" and riding the waves of both Donald Trump's hate-fueled populism and the anxiety of an abandoned working class, they have created a social force that has the a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by AK Press
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Everett Trechter
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really worthwhile read and a fantastic overview of a lot of the different fascist movements and strains of thought active today. Burley goes most in depth into the white nationalist, religious, and militant groupings within what could broadly be described as the fascist movement, and in that he excels. He also goes into what historical tactics have been used against similar movements, and offers some amount of perspective on how those tactics can be employed today, though that is not a ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gonna be honest, this was sitting on my shelf for a month. And then in my bag for another month. I've been meaning to start down the research rabbit hole of current politics, especially as I'm an organizer and there's a lot more to know besides my limited experience. For some reason, though, I was afraid to pick it up and go.

I realize in retrospect that the fear was simply that it'd strike too close to home. And it did! I live in Portland, and the author lives in Portland, and he was talking ab
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It has been a hot minute since I read a book on anti-fascism, and so, rather than wait until I could convince my book club to do it, I decided to just get around myself to reading Shane Burley's Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It, which I had picked up at the Lucy Parsons Center over the summer and which has been sitting around my apartment since August.

First things first: This book was published in late 2017, and aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha good god will it never not be hilarious to read
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book on fascism that I have read recently, and so far it is the best. (Is it best because it is third and some details are becoming familiar? Maybe.)

What I liked about this one is the detail on the ideas behind fascism, the analysis of how various fascist groups think, especially on race and gender. I also appreciated detailed explanations of how fascist groups overlap with liberal groups, at least superficially. This was followed by ideas to look for to separate them out (hier

The election is now only a few days away, and organizers and activists around the country are working to get out the vote and preparing to defend the electoral process itself. The Trump administration has been fairly transparent about its plans to invalidate millions of votes and to prevent any transition of power from taking place. We know Trump has the support of people like attorney general, William Barr and Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who c
Dorothy Kim
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. If you want to know what is going on in N. America and Europe now, read this. Essential reading to understand late-fascism.
Charlie Boling
Due to hearing the term fascism coming up in the news so often the past year I've read several books on the topic to deepen my understanding. None that I have read have done a better job of defining fascism and how it has evolved in the 21st century than Burley's latest work. There probably isn't a better resource for demystifying the "alt-right", due primarily to the fact that Shane was researching the associated groups long before they became a household word. This is also one of the best reso ...more
Tommy Anansi
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book while writing my Master’s dissertation on the alt-right’s emergence from the depths of the online sphere into a neo-fascist insurrection movement. Burley’s detailed and comprehensive history of modern fascism is incredibly important in understanding the modern day Neo-Nazism that is poisoning society and after the events that happened in the Capitol last night, hugely important for as many people to understand just how deeply rooted this all is in the most heinous of ideologies.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This offered a more in-depth look at the current state of American fascist and fascist-adjacent groups than Mark Bray's "Antifa," and seemed more focused as well. I picked it up on a whim and was very satisfied with it. ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Well written, well researched. Essential reading.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Un libro sobre el ascenso de grupos fascistas y neo-nazis en USA desde la campana de Trump. Se hace bastante lento de leer ya que se detiene demasiado en ejemplos muy locales, tanto de grupos fascistas como de sus contrapartes antifascistas, en distintos estados de USA.

De todas maneras contiene un sinnúmero de ideas interesantes, especialmente sobre la capacidad camaleónica del fascismo para infiltrarse hacia una población que en principio considerariamos proclive a la izquierda, por el hecho de
Kathleen Kernan
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this book. The author brings a great deal of detail and nuance to his exploration of the alt-right and other fascist organizations. He avoids generalizations and considers each group separately. His exploration of the pseudo-science and the highly mythologized utopias that these groups use is fascinating.

The only criticism I have is that, in the second portion of the book where he discusses remedies, his lack of generalization sometimes loses the narrative thread. This defi
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I actually picked up an ARC of this book from my old department's take-one-leave-one shelf when I went back to visit a professor, so I've had it sitting around for a while without much incentive to read it except freaking out about how everything is bad and ideologically on fire in this country now and forever, etc etc. Anyway, the only reason why I didn't give this book a bunch of stars is that it was pretty dry and hard to get through - I put it down several times for a few weeks-months (maybe ...more
Sugarpunksattack Mick
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shane Burley's book 'Fascism Today' is an excellent addition to the recent literature produced in the fight against fascism. Burley's strength are three fold: they provide an illuminating glossary of key terms/groups, a substantial history and context to old and emerging fascist movements, and crucial section on resisting and destroying fascist threats. The glossary and readability of the book alone makes this one of the best available books on the subject especially for those new to the subject ...more
Jo Quenell
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Writing about fascism in this time is a daunting task. The playing field has shifted somewhat in the scant two years since its release—the TWP has disbanded, Richard Spencer is more a laughing stock than anything, Proud Boy presence has strengthened, and the amount of ‘lone wolf’ fascist violence has horrifically increased. Yet this still remains the most in-depth contemporary analysis on the modern fascist movement I’ve read. The amount of research on both right wing and anti-fascist counter gr ...more
This is one of the books I happened to have check out of the public library before it closed down for the pandemic. Apologies to everyone waitlisted for it because it is an excellent and informative read. As a personalist/Catholic Worker who has slowly slid left from right/center through progressively progressive churches, I found this book, (especially that parts on religion and third position groups) to be productively challenging. Will reread. Highly recommended - especially for others on a t ...more
Hope Erin Phillips
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
While reading this I realised that prior, despite how much we talk about facism and antifa, I would not have been able to explain exactly what makes facism exactly facism, and now I can which feels very empowering. Extremely well written -- not too jargony as to be hard to follow and super clear in its x to y to z of how alt right figures develop. I found it especially enlightening wrt why things like paganism, occultism, and folk are so appealing to and rife with fascists. Very good ground work ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the title suggests, the book weaves together an analysis of contemporary fascism with suggestions for opposition organizing. The discussion of anti-fascist resistance may be the strongest and most original contribution of the book, as it discusses a wide variety of organizing responses to fascist groups in the US, from militant black bloc style, to legal strategies, investigative work,and mass protest organizations.
Rob Seimetz
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The far right and fascist movements have consumed me for the past few months. I have been reading articles and books about it eager to understand more of the context behind what is happening now and how did we get here.

This book connected all the dots for me. It’s clear concise and organized in such a way it’s easy to understand. Shane does a great job of making this a story and not a textbook. He’s a brilliant journalist and now I can say he’s also a brilliant author. Pick up this book.
K.G. Delmar
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Burley creates a writeup that is articulate but also straight to the point and accessible. It manages to avoid a pitfall of academic reads where jargon and endless referential theory makes the whole thing a slog. There's a lot of ground covered in this standard-sized book and it conveys much of that concisely without feeling overwhelming. ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm so glad I finally read this. Given the situation we're in, I can't recommend it enough. It's more important than ever to understand what fascism actually is, how fascists try to gain power, and how fascist ideas can creep into our organizing spaces. And it's super important to learn about effective strategies to stop it. Very relevant and helpful. ...more
Dale Johnson
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shane Burley does a wonderful job discussing the current state of Fascism, specifically within the culture and politics of the US today. He discusses multiple factions, and philosophies within the US fascist community as a whole, how they're connected, and most interestingly, how antifascist groups combat different groups, with different tactics. ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Filled with ideas and information that we need to understand our country in these dark times. I real eye-opener which challenged many of my assumptions about fascism and those fighting it. A must-read.
Tyson Adams
Aug 01, 2019 marked it as to-read

Shane and Mark talking fascism and resistance:
Dylan Vorass
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand today's neo-facist movements and how to counter them ...more
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