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Fascism: A Warning

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  15,106 ratings  ·  2,277 reviews
A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state

A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Harper
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Sharon According to Politifact: Albright's communications staff agreed with our finding that "drain the swamp" or its Italian-language equivalent was not a m…moreAccording to Politifact: Albright's communications staff agreed with our finding that "drain the swamp" or its Italian-language equivalent was not a major slogan for Mussolini's government. They said her point was to draw attention to his actions of purging the bureaucracy.

"The reference in Dr. Albright’s book is not to a specific statement by Mussolini, but rather to the Italian dictator’s policy of purging the bureaucracy," Albright's office said in a statement." So her comment was "half true" and more as a metaphor than a direct quote. Don't let this one misunderstanding block her basic message, that Fascists are found everywhere in every generation. (less)
Mary Hope that we (every democratic country's citizens) will remain diligent to calling out those in power positions when wrongs are done. Yes, it's tiring…moreHope that we (every democratic country's citizens) will remain diligent to calling out those in power positions when wrongs are done. Yes, it's tiring and hard to hear, see, observe, etc. but it's work that cannot go unnoticed.(less)

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Will Byrnes
Consider the testimony of a well-educated but not politically minded German who experienced the rise of the Third Reich:

To live in this process is absolutely not
to be able to notice it—please try to
believe me. . . . Each step was so small,
so inconsequential, so well explained
or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless
one were detached from the whole
process from the beginning, unless one
understood what . . . all these “little
measures” that no “patriotic German”
could resent must som
Jennifer Masterson
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audio
4.5 ⭐️! I felt like I was taking a history class on Fascism throughout the world. There is a lot of information to digest. A very timely book especially since she ties in Trump and Putin. High school teachers should make this required reading in my opinion.

I listened to the audio. I think hearing the book read by the author, Madeleine Albright, made my experience with this book even more powerful.

I will definitely read more books written by her in the future.

Highly recommended!
Bill Kerwin
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, memoir, politics

Have you ever looked at President Trump when he juts out his jaw in a pursed-lip scowl, and said to yourself: my God, look at him, he's a dead ringer for Mussolini? Have you then listened to what he says, and come to realize that he sounds a lot like Mussolini too?

In this focused and disciplined book, Madeleine Albright draws upon her experience. In foreign affairs (as National Secirity Council member, United Nations ambassador, and first woman Secretary of State), as well as her memories as a c
Madeleine Albright is an extremely clever, balanced and well-informed person. There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book, but the core question is the one you'd expect from the title: is Donald Trump a fascist? Albright, as noted, is clever and balanced, and she gives a clever and balanced answer: no, of course he isn't, but. It's the "but" that constitutes the warning.

Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, sets the bar high when it comes to using the word "fascist". She's seen w
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, politics
"It is easier to remove tyrants and destroy concentration camps than to kill the ideas that gave them birth."
Harry S. Truman

Madeleine Albright knows a bit about Fascism. Her family was forced to flee Czechoslovakia twice, before finally emigrating to the U.S. in 1949. Her maternal grandmother was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. She has studied international relations, taught history, and served as Secretary of State. When she issues a warning, it should be heeded.

This book, she claims, w
Donna Backshall
In Fascism: A Warning, Albright weaves her personal history with the history of the rise of fascism in Italy with Benito Mussolini and in Germany with Adolf Hitler in the early 20th century, then moves to more contemporary foreign affairs and dictators. She speaks from her own experience, while relating facts surrounding each fascist's rise to power, and later drawing from her time as Secretary of State.

As she progresses through 20th century history, it is impossible not to draw comparisons betw
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What makes a movement Fascist is not ideology but the willingness to do whatever is necessary - including the use of force and trampling on the rights of others - to achieve victory and command obedience."

Facism: A Warning is a sobering and chilling look at the state of the world today, written by a woman who knows all too well the dangers inherent in Facism. Ms. Albright opens the book with a discussion of just what Fascism is and of its beginnings in 1920s Italy with Mussolini and then 19
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #4 in my 2020 US Election Preparation
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: us-policy
I was disappointed. The book gives neither a clear description of fascism nor a solid warning. Fascism is presented through discussions with her students and sketches of authoritarian leaders. The warning is couched in words like I’m an optimist but I “don’t like what I see”.

The book is still worth reading since the students have some good insights and (while most people who read this book will know how Hitler, Mussolini and other despots came to power) there are some interesting details and ane
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read, politics, usa
Full disclosure: Since reading Albright's memoir "Madam Secretary", I highly respect her for her determination and the sacrifices she made to stand up for her beliefs. Born 1937 in Prague, she and her family have experienced the Third Reich and the rise of the UdSSR, and as a European, I have always appreciated that she - both with her mind and her heart - understands that we are a continent living with a myriad of consequences stemming from a 2,000-year-history of war.

I applaud Albright for poi
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Received this ARC from Westwinds Bookshop, Duxbury, MA
A timely read. Easy to understand.
Recommend it to a High School student- our future voters should be aware of fascism and its followers.
Gary Moreau
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I wanted to rate this book a 6.

This is a timely book by a brilliant person who had a front row seat to the tragedy that was Europe in the Mid-20th Century. There is little doubt that the world is starting to look fearfully like it did at the beginning of those dark hours, starting with the tyranny of Hitler and Mussolini and culminating in the Cold War and the gulags of the Soviet Union.

Figuratively speaking, this is really three books. The first will be the most divisive and may, in fac
Lubinka Dimitrova
It's funny how the same person can give us such a clear-sighted analysis of the various faces of fascism throughout the world, and still remain blind to the shortcomings and injustices perpetrated by their own "regime". And be THAT blunt about it:

"I tell my students that the fundamental purpose of foreign policy is elementary: to convince other countries to do what we would like them to do. To that end, there are various tools at our disposal, which range from making polite requests to sending i
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words, I can sense, are very deceptive. Their soft exterior is a facade. Words can break apart even the strongest structures. Words, in the ocean of jeopardy, can be rain. Words, after all this, can end life and begin life anew. Words, I have found, are coarse, and incinerating, and civil, and threatening. Fascism, for me, is one such word. What is your story, Reader, what are the words that pin you by their sharp edges? Like I said, fascism. F-A-S-C-I-S-M. An ism that frightens me the most. It ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is a good warning about the dangers of Fascism and how easy it is to fall for. I have no problem whatsoever fitting the current US administration into that category as Albright does. This is not the best book about that however. It's boring and sort of shallow. She talks about fascists abroad and good people in the US without recognizing how awful our past as been as well. John Meacham's history is more nuanced. It's probably hard for someone like Albright to understand the root problem ...more
Titus Hjelm
Tyranny: A Warning? Anti-Democracy: A Warning? I didn’t really know what to expect from this book, but it is not (only) about fascism. In fact, Nationalism: A Warning, would have been an accurate description as well, but either the author or the publisher was too timid to call it that. Granted, there are bits of popular history about fascism in here, but soon the gallery descends into ‘Whoever has opposed the US in the past’: A Warning. Albright completely lost me at ‘Soviet-style fascism’—somet ...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have. — Madeleine K. Albright, Fascism: A Warning
I’m not sure what I was expecting nor whether I was going to enjoy it (although that sounds inappropriate) when I started reading madam Albright’s “Fascism: A Warning,” given the seriousness o
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book that is written in a conversational tone; reading it feels like sitting at the feet of a favorite teacher. Each chapter profiles a Fascist or autocratic leader from history and the conditions that led to the rise of his power - Mussolini, Hitler, Chavez, Erdogan, Putin, etc. What was striking to me were the comparisons to Trump - not stated but obvious nonetheless. For example, it was Mussolini that first used the phrase, “drain the swamp” and Hitler who bragged about telling ou ...more
Will We Stop Trump
Before It’s Too Late?
Fascism poses a more serious threat now than
at any time since the end of World War II.


Check here:
"So next time you hear someone label Trump a fascist, educate them."

and here:

and here:

Pam Gary
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Drain the Swamp" was an expression used by Mussolini, not an original from Trump. Actually Mussolini said "drenare la palude". (Drain the Swamp). I'm gravely concerned (it makes me cringe) when I hear the President of the United States adapting an expression used by a Fascist leader.

Madeleine Albright's Fascism: A Warning, should be taken seriously. It is an overview of the history of Fascism throughout the world, individual profiles of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Chavez, Putin, Kim Jong-un, an
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Listening to Albright narrate her book was like visiting with her over a cup of tea. She described her families fleeing the Nazis and later the Soviets. Her personal story of her encounter with fascism made the book more relevant than just an academic textbook would have been.

The book is well written and researched. I learned a lot from the book. To me it seemed Albright had trouble fitting in some of the current leaders as true fascists and was attempting to mode
Karen Witzler
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Former Secretary of State Albright gives a good overview of 20th century European fascism and relates it to our present crisis. Better than I expected.
Donald Powell
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. I cannot remember a more balanced, thoughtful, insightful and objective discussion of governance than this work. It is impossible to paraphrase the discussion in a review, it should be read. Education generally and regarding particular issues is an essential lesson. Being involved and speaking out is another. There are so many lessons in this short book I will be mulling the ideas, hopefully, forever. This is a history book but with some analysis that is smart, balance ...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by the author

From the book jacket: The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions of innocent people dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. Albright draws on her own experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her career as a diplomat to q
Paul Szydlowski
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This would have received a two-star rating were it not for the last few chapters. Until then, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's book spent far too much time on the "what" of fascism, detailing the already well-known horrors and threats of demagogues past and present, including Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Erdogan and Duterte. That space would have been much better spent on the "how" and "why" of their rise to power - how did a Hitler or Stalin persuade followers to carry out the unspea ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hope that I can think as clear and express myself as forcefully as she can when (if) I reach my 80th birthday. This is a marvelous book.

Madeleine Albright is a former UN ambassador and US Secretary of State and is how pursuing an active career as a “former somebody” - her words. She has written a book warning of the threat from a reborn fascism that is apparent in political movements all around the world in the last decade. While Albright is a Professor at Georgetown, she is not a traditional
Colleen Browne
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
" I will tell you what has carried me to the position I have reached. Our political problems appeared complicated. The German people could make nothing of them....I, on the other hand..... reduced them to the simplest terms. The masses realized this and followed me."

A quote from Hitler but without the reference to Germans, could be the words of Trump. In its simplest terms, this seems to be the attraction of fascism. Madeleine Albright's book is a reasoned, well-layed out account of the rise of
James  Love
This should be good for many laughs to come. The same Secretary of State under Bill Clinton (unlike Monica Lewinsky and others that straddled Bill face first) who portrayed Pontius Pilate so elegantly by washing her hands of the Elian Gonzalez fiasco has come out from under her rock to reprise her role as Pontius "Pompous" Pilate refusing to abide by the majority and standing by her "SISTER" demanding that every American admit their sexist attitudes and weak-willed envy and/or jealousy of THE RI ...more
Chris Wolak
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A history of fascism highlighting how it often creeps in with men who’ve been legally elected. A warning that Albright had planned on writing regardless of who was president. A warning to help heat up people’s love of democracy. A warning that it could happen here. I’m not willing to bet it can’t happen here. Are you?
Apr 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is the most I have been disappointed in a book in a long time.

I want to start by saying that if you don't know much about recent world events and world history, and particularly about authoritarian regimes, you might find some of this book interesting.

This book should really be called "Authoritarianism: My Thoughts." Albright provides her own brief definition of fascism, and then most of the chapters involve a brief description of an authoritarian leader and his regime. Many of these are
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Madeleine Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) was the first woman to become United States Secretary of State. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate 99-0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997.

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74 likes · 77 comments
“Hitler lied shamelessly about himself and about his enemies. He convinced millions of men and women that he cared for them deeply when, in fact, he would have willingly sacrificed them all. His murderous ambition, avowed racism, and utter immorality were given the thinnest mask, and yet millions of Germans were drawn to Hitler precisely because he seemed authentic. They screamed, “Sieg Heil” with happiness in their hearts, because they thought they were creating a better world.” 47 likes
“We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear.

Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect?

Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge?

Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process?

Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary?

Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another?

If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won?

Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire?

Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away?

Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”?

Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow.

The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves.

For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.”
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