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Fascism Comes to America

A Century of Obsession in Politics and Culture

A deeply relevant look at what fascism means to Americans.

From the time Mussolini took power in Italy in 1922, Americans have been obsessed with and brooded over the meaning of fascism and how it might migrate to the United States. Fascism Comes to America examines how we have viewed fascism overseas and its implications for our own country. Bruce Kuklick explores the rhetoric of politicians, who have used the language of fascism to smear opponents, and he looks at the discussions of pundits, the analyses of academics, and the displays of fascism in popular culture, including fiction, radio, TV, theater, and film. Kuklick argues that fascism has little informational meaning in the United States, but instead, it is used to denigrate or insult. For example, every political position has been besmirched as fascist. As a result, the term does not describe a phenomenon so much as it denounces what one does not like. Finally, in displaying fascism for most Americans, entertainment—and most importantly film—has been crucial in conveying to citizens what fascism is about. Fascism Comes to America has been enhanced by many illustrations that exhibit how fascism was absorbed into the US public consciousness.  

264 pages | 22 halftones, 1 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2022

Culture Studies

History: American History

Political Science: American Government and Politics

Table of Contents

Introduction: Expressing Fascism
Part I: 1909–49
   Why Fascism?
1 Fascism before Fascism, 1909–35
2 Franklin Roosevelt and Political Culture, 1932–36
3 Perplexity at Home and Abroad, 1934–38
4 Foreign and Domestic Contradictions, 1938–40
5 The Coming of the War, 1939–42
6 Fascism Penetrates Popular Life, 1936–49
Part II: 1942–2020
   Performing Words
7 Fascism on the Right, 1942–70
8 Europeans Bring Fascism to the States
9 Fascism Triumphs over Communism
10 Scholars Approach Fascism
11 Fascism Everywhere, 1970–2020
12 Democracy and Fascism
Conclusion: Fascism without Fascism
Acknowledgments
Notes, Sources, and Methods
Notes
Index

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