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A History of Fascism, 1914-1945

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  23 reviews
This is the first full history of fascism - as a force and as a phenomenon - in Europe and elsewhere between the world wars. This history encompasses all the major fascist movements, as well as other forms of authoritarian nationalism, and provides in-depth analyses of these movements, the interpretative problems they pose, and previous interpretations of them. Stanley G. ...more
Paperback, 632 pages
Published July 15th 1996 by University of Wisconsin Press (first published January 1st 1995)
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3.95  · 
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 ·  169 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fascism
Not as good as Paxton, imo. But a very solid, thorough review of a large mass of material. Payne occasionally does give way to some social science jargon --, which Paxton really never does. Still, it is really the best single-volume 'history' of the topic (whereas Paxton is more topical and analytical).
Peter Bradley
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A History of Fascism: 1914-1945 by Stanley Payne

Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote:

The last several years have seen a "Brown Scare" of sorts, where college students and sophisticated city dwellers have started seeing "Fascists" everywhere, although, in fact, fascism was eliminated in 1945 in a decisive war, after which it has retreated to the margins. In contrast, Communism was one of the victors in that war and came out of the war with enhanced
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
I had to read this book for my comprehensive exams (aka prelims). While the introductions to fascism in various countries were useful, what I really appreciated was the attempt to link various movements together into one group. What is 'fascism' if you try to define it beyond Italy? Can one speak of a generic version of fascism? What is fascism? The later chapters of this book go a long way to answering these questions, and thus contribute to an expansive scholarly debate about the nature of one ...more
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book provides a great overview to all the fascist movements going during the time period. My only criticism is that I had the author as a professor, and reading his writing is sort of like listening to him lecture. But, if you are looking for an excellent resource book on fascism, and I know you are, this is your book!
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very detailed, but very dry in parts. And I'm saying this as someone who doesn't mind dry history books. You have to be really into this subject to enjoy this book. The author does know his stuff and I did learn quite a lot about the minor right-wing ultra-nationalist movements in Europe in the late 19th century.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A grand historical introduction, encompassing not just fascism, but all manner of authoritarian right-wing movements in not only Europe but abroad across a thirty-year span.

Payne recognizes that it is fruitless to search for a single 'cause' of fascism, nor can there be an exact model or set of entirely common characteristics. This is 'retrodictive' and comparative approach is, I think, much more realistic.

There are multiple contingent factors which catalyzed the development of fascism - the d
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stanley Payne provides one of the most thorough and accurate overviews of Fascism in this book. The biggest problem with much of the fascist literature is that it combines fascism and Nazism into one category when in fact they are quite different. Payne grasps these nuances quite well and shows the nature and development of each. He tracks not only the rise of fascism in Italy but across Europe and the world. It looks at the failed movements in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and the budding move ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thorough, readable, and fair. Payne is most strongly opinionated in his periodic anticommunist asides, but if their almost total irrelevance to the subject matter means they detract from the quality of the work a little, it also means that they can't detract from its quality to any great degree. Although he comes to no particularly interesting opinions himself, he represents those of others fairly well; and his is also the best comparative narrative history of fascist movements that I am aware o ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
a bit dated now but quite enjoyable and it seems well researched. shows the variety of the national approaches to fascism rather well, each in their own historical and national context. The book does also a good job of explaining the diverse interpretations and approaches to understanding and explaining the emergence and the nature of fascism, making this a good historical entry-level read on the subject.

plus it's always fun to see how similar are the blood brothers of communism and fascism, an
Peter Mcloughlin
Very detailed but rather bloodless. It covers the Nazis and Fascists in a detached way one might consider some remote historical movement. Sometimes distance is good but when covering Fascism a truly scary ideology I don't think it is best to approach it with too much equanimity. I like Paxton's treatment of Fascism I read a few days ago. It covers it in depth but doesn't let you forget tho horror and destructiveness of fascism. I recommend going there first.
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book did a good job of attempting to tackle a vast subject, but the author has absolutely no flow to his writing, and even the interesting parts of this book were unreadable. As I told people this semester: "Payne" didn't just describe the author, it was also an apt adjective for the book.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a university history major this book definitely became one of my go too books during my time of thesis writing. Payne has the the wonderful ability to offer an in-depth history of fascism in such a manner that even those with little to no knowledge of what fascism is can understand what the author is writing about.
David R.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Payne provides an exhaustive review of the fascist phenomenon, largely in Europe, in the early years of the 20th Century. He not only chronicles the rise and fall of fascist movements but comprehensively analyzes what made a fascist movement and what did not. It can at times be rather dry reading but it's a valuable use of time.
George Ouwendijk
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Perhaps a little dated now (2014), but still a very detailed and perceptive analysis of historical fascism. Part II, dealing with interpretations of fascism, is still quite good for revealing the conceptual problems that exist in understanding this terrible political movement.
Jim Swike
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
A History of Fascism, gives a good timeline but not else. You may fell differently. Enjoy!
Mark H
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very invaluable work.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An impressive synthesis and analysis, meticulously researched. Outstanding bibliography, and extremely well written.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A little dated but hey it covers every single fascist movement in the 20th century. The work for this book must have been enormous.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I had not known how influential Futurism was on fascist movements until I read this comprehensive history. The glory of the machine...speed at all costs...sound familiar?
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 500-plus-pgs
He was my professor for the European History between the World Wars class I took as an undergrad. Dr. Payne knows his stuff (and was a very interesting professor in the classroom)!
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Payne's "History of Fascism" is the standard text on the subject and holds up well years after it was first published. If you want to learn about the rise of Fascism in Europe start here.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
penetrating analysis of intellectual foundations and practice of fascism.
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Stanley G. Payne is a historian of modern Spain and European Fascism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He retired from full time teaching in 2004 and is currently Professor Emeritus at its Department of History.