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Historical Context > Political Turmoil Between 1900 - 1945

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message 1: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
The years 1900 - 1945 were marked by political turmoil...tell us your favourite books about the politics of the time.


message 2: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Black Shirt Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Fascism by Stephen Dorril Black Shirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Fascism by Stephen Dorril

Hated and adored, trusted and feared, respected and scorned – public opinion has never been indifferent to Sir Oswald Mosley. A brilliant politician, Mosley turned his back on conventional party politics to found, in 1932, the British Union of Fascists.Over the intervening years until now, many have worked hard to guard Mosley’s reputation but Blackshirt casts new light on the man. The author reveals the true nature of Mosley's relationship with the Nazis, and challenges the prevailing view of Mosley’s descent into anti-Semitism. With ground-breaking research and extensive use of archive material Dorril uncovers a bizarre set of characters and behind-the-scenes friends and colleagues who supported Mosley – the crooks, swindlers, political and royal figures, secret agents, Nazi spies, lovers and ‘crackpots’. Blackshirt is an important and controversial new biography that overturns many of the accepted ideas about Oswald Mosley and British Fascism.


message 3: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
The Anatomy of Fascism. Robert O. Paxton by Robert O. Paxton The Anatomy of Fascism. Robert O. Paxton by Robert O. Paxton

Fascism was the major political invention of the twentieth century and the source of much of its pain. How can we try to comprehend its allure and its horror? Is it a philosophy, a movement, an aesthetic experience? What makes states and nations become fascist?


Acclaimed historian Robert O. Paxton shows that in order to understand fascism we must look at it in action - at what it did, as much as what it said it was about. He explores its falsehoods and common threads; the social and political base that allowed it to prosper; its leaders and internal struggles; how it manifested itself differently in each country - France, Britain, the low countries, Eastern Europe, even Latin America as well as Italy and Germany; how fascists viewed the Holocaust; and, finally, whether fascism is still possible in today's world.


Offering a bold new interpretation of the fascist phenomenon, this groundbreaking book will overturn our understanding of twentieth-century history.


message 4: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
The Spanish Holocaust Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain by Paul Preston The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain by Paul Preston

In a work of meticulous scholarship and research, Paul Preston, the world’s foremost historian of 20th-century Spain, charts how and why Franco and his supporters set out to eliminate all ‘those who do not think as we do’ – some 200,000 innocent men, women and children across Spain.

The remains of General Franco lie in an immense mausoleum near Madrid, built with the blood and sweat of 20,000 slave labourers. His enemies, however, met less exalted fates. In addition to those killed on the battlefield, tens of thousands of Spaniards were officially executed between 1936 and 1945, and as many again became ‘non-persons’, their fates as obscure as the nation’s collective memory of this terrible period.

As the country slowly reclaims its historical memory after a long period of wilful amnesia, for the first time a full picture can be given of the escalation and aftermath of the Spanish Holocaust in all its dimensions – ranging from systematic killings and judicial murders to the abuse of women and children, imprisonment, torture and the grisly fate of Spaniards in the hands of the Gestapo.

The story of the victims of Franco’s reign of terror is framed by the activities of four key men whose dogma of eugenics, terrorisation, domination and mind control horrifyingly mirror the fascism of 1930s Italy and Germany. General Mola organised the military coup of 1936 and dictated its ferocity in the north of Spain; Queipo de Llano, the deranged ‘radio general’, ran a virtually independent fiefdom in the south; Major Vallejo Najera was a military psychiatrist who provided ‘scientific’ justifications for the annihilation of thousands; and Captain Aguilera, the Nationalist press officer, blamed the war on do-gooders’ interference with the divine process of decimating the working classes.

Reflecting more than a decade of research, and telling many stories of individuals from both sides, The Spanish Holocaust seeks to reflect the intense horrors visited upon Spain by the arrogance and brutality of the officers who rose up on 17 July 1936, provoking a civil war that was unnecessary and whose consequences still reverberate bitterly in Spain today.


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles Badenheim 1939 by Aharon Applefeld -- one of those books which evokes fear and dread by seeming to overlook it.


message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Last Dance by Denys Blakeway

I loved this book! It covers the pivotal year of 1936 when the world was poised on the brink of WWII and Britain was facing some difficult decisions. The book cover the major incidents which were affecting the country: the Jarrow march, the abdication of Edward VIII, Churchill's political position, Hitler's rise to power, unemployment, appeasement, and the Spanish Civil War. The author uses diaries and personal reminiscences of those who lived through this time and the research is impeccable. Although this was a troubled year, some of the author's observations are witty and always entertaining.


message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments I'm reading a book by Lillian Hellman of seven reminiscence stories titled Pentimento.
I have just found another book by Lillian Hellman which I am keen to read, Scoundrel Time, about her experience with the trials in 1952 (just outside this BYT period) where artists and intellectuals were called to testify before Congress.


message 8: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Greg wrote: "I'm reading a book by Lillian Hellman of seven reminiscence stories titled Pentimento.
I have just found another book by Lillian Hellman which I am keen to read, [book..."


I've read her three "memoirs". The level of her veracity has come into question since her passing. It may have occurred before her passing but her friends would have been too afraid to speak up while she was still alive. Reading two books on this [book:A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman|12159300] by Alice Kessler-Harris and Hammett and Hellman by Joan Mellen.


message 9: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Thanks Jan, because politics in the U.S. has become ever more so polarised in recent times, I can't help suspecting that there would be an agenda to discredit those on the political left in the 20th century.

All very interesting. The Alice Kessler-Harris biography looks very interesting.


message 10: by Miss M (last edited Jan 11, 2014 04:46PM) (new)

Miss M | 118 comments I...would be hesitant to ascribe political motives, at least from the right...definitely second Jan in cautioning re Hellman's veracity in her memoirs. Don't think Mary McCarthy was coming from the right when she made her controversial statement re Hellman that 'every word she writes is a lie, including and and the'.

That being said, I still remember seeing Julia as a schoolgirl, and falling under the spell of Pentimento...


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