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From Nonsense to Understanding

From Nonsense to Understanding

Who Were The Fascists: Social Roots of European Fascism; Edited by Stein Ugelvik Larsen, Bernt Hagtvet, and Jan Petter Myklebust; Distributed by Columbia University Press; New York.

Richard F. Hamilton: Who Voted for Hitler?; Princeton University Press; Princeton, NJ.

 Who Were The Fascists consists of more than 800 pages of papers (replete with notes) which formed the basis of a conference held in Bergen, Norway in June 1974. The papers appear to cover an impressively broad area of observation: observations on mass societies, spiritual breakdown, societal conditions, varieties of fascism in Austria, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, southern and western Europe, and Scandinavia. But reading them is like dining in a restaurant in which the various dishes listed on the menu all turn out to be spaghetti. The spaghetti in this instance is served with a Marxist sauce, in which the rise of fascism and nazism and its cousins is traced to a lower-middle-class revolt. This unanimity of assumption reduces what at first ap­pears to be an impressively broad academic conference into the academic equivalent...

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