We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

A History of Fascism, 1914–1945

Stanley G. Payne

Publication Year: 1996

A History of Fascism is an invaluable sourcebook, offering a rare combination of detailed information and thoughtful analysis. It is a masterpiece of comparative history, for the comparisons enhance our understanding of each part of the whole. The term ‘fascist,’ used so freely these days as a pejorative epithet that has nearly lost its meaning, is precisely defined, carefully applied and skillfully explained. The analysis effectively restores the dimension of evil.”—Susan Zuccotti, The Nation

“A magisterial, wholly accessible, engaging study. . . . Payne defines fascism as a form of ultranationalism espousing a myth of national rebirth and marked by extreme elitism, mobilization of the masses, exaltation of hierarchy and subordination, oppression of women and an embrace of violence and war as virtues.”—Publishers Weekly

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.9 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (35.8 KB)
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF (63.3 KB)
pp. ix-x


pdf iconDownload PDF (24.1 KB)
pp. xi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (86.8 KB)
pp. xiii-xiv

In 1980 I published a brief book, Fascism: Comparison and Definition, which sought to establish a working definition and a comparative taxonomy of historic European fascism. The work was well received, and I hope that it added some clarity and precision...

read more

Introduction: Fascism: A Working Definition

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 3-19

At the end of the twentieth century fascism remains probably the vaguest of the major political terms. This may stem from the fact that the word itself contains no explicit political reference, however abstract, as do democracy, liberalism, socialism...

Part I: History

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.1 KB)
pp. 21-437

read more

1. The Cultural Transformation of the Fin de siècle

pdf iconDownload PDF (891.2 KB)
pp. 23-34

The era of world wars from 1914 to 1945 constituted the most intense period of international strife and also of domestic social and political conflict in modem history. Many of the forces that helped to generate such conflict had undergone long gestation during...

read more

2. Radical and Authoritarian Nationalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Europe

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.7 MB)
pp. 35-70

Though the nineteenth century was the time of the greatest expansion of civic and personal freedom in world history to that point, individualist liberalism was increasingly contested by two new forms of political collectivism-nationalism and socialism...

read more

3. The Impact of World War I

pdf iconDownload PDF (659.6 KB)
pp. 71-79

The continuity of government, culture, and institutions in much of Europe was shattered by the impact of World War I, which ended the century-long peace that, with a few exceptions, had existed since the close of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. Its destructiveness...

read more

4. The Rise of Italian Fascism, 1919–1929

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.7 MB)
pp. 80-128

Italy, like the other new nations of the 1860s-Germany, Japan, Hungary, and Romania-was a latecomer to international competition and, like all the other new nations save Germany, faced daunting problems of internal development and modernization...

read more

5. The Growth of Nonfascist Authoritarianism in Southern and Eastern Europe, 1919–1929

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 129-146

Though liberal and democratic principles largely prevailed in the peacemaking of 1919 and in the formation of the new regimes of central and eastern Europe, this triumph was temporary. During the generation that followed, liberal democracy survived primarily...

read more

6. German National Socialism

pdf iconDownload PDF (4.9 MB)
pp. 147-211

Many who use the term fascism are referring not to the Italian movement led by Mussolini but to German National Socialism, or the "Nazis" (as their foes soon termed them, from the pronunciation of the first two syllables of national in German). Most theories...

read more

7. The Transformation of Italian Fascism, 1929–1939

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.5 MB)
pp. 212-244

The Fascist regime passed through several relatively distinct phases during its history of more than two decades. The first phase of Mussolini's government, from the March on Rome to the beginning of 1925, had been a nominal continuation of the parliamentary regime...

read more

8. Four Major Variants of Fascism

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.5 MB)
pp. 245-289

Before World War II, only two fascist-type movements were able to come to power, and these two were the only ones to create historically significant fascist regimes. Though the radicalizing impact of the depression, combined with the influence of Nazi Germany...

read more

9. The Minor Movements

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.9 MB)
pp. 290-327

The movement toward nationalist authoritarianism was steady in interwar Europe, from the March on Rome in 1922. Chronologically, the breakdown of parliamentary government moved as follows: 1922-25, Italy; 1923/1936, Spain; 1926, Poland...

read more

10. Fascism Outside Europe?

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.1 MB)
pp. 328-354

Whether or not political forces with the primary characteristics of European fascism have emerged elsewhere has been a problematic question for some analysts, though it has posed no problem for the observer who assumes that any form...

read more

11. World War II: Climax and Destruction of Fascism

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.5 MB)
pp. 355-437

Fascism was the most overtly militarist of all the modern revolutionary ideologies in its style, rhetoric, and goals. In practice it was no more violent than Marxism-Leninism and in fact did not promote so high a degree of structural militarism as contemporary...

Part II: Interpretation

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.9 KB)
pp. 439-495

read more

12. Interpretations of Fascism

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 441-461

Ever since the March on Rome, analysts and other writers have sought to formulate an interpretation or theory capable of explaining fascism. As the only genuinely novel form of radicalism emerging from World War I, and one that seemed to involve multiple...

read more

13. Generic Fascism?

pdf iconDownload PDF (617.3 KB)
pp. 462-470

Not merely has the interpretation or search for causes of fascism generated immense controversy and widely discordant theories, but there is a persistent tendency among historians to conclude that no such unified genus of political movements...

read more

14. Fascism and Modernization

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 471-486

In chapter 12 we saw that one of the principal controversies in the interpretation of fascism has concerned its relationship to modernization. As the only uniquely new political phenomenon of the early twentieth century, fascism has been thought...

read more

15. Elements of a Retrodictive Theory of Fascism

pdf iconDownload PDF (683.5 KB)
pp. 487-495

The search for an adequate theory or interpretation of fascism has generally ended in failure, so that over the years the residue left by such discussions has come to resemble, in MacGregor Knox's phrase, the remains of a desert battlefield littered with abandoned...

read more

Epilogue: Neofascism: A Fascism in Our Future?

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 496-520

Fascism failed to achieve world significance as a driving force of the twentieth century, but, as Ernst Nolte earlier concluded, it did acquire an epochal significance in Europe during the era of World War II. Even in Europe, however, it failed to develop...


pdf iconDownload PDF (3.6 MB)
pp. 523-577


pdf iconDownload PDF (2.5 MB)
pp. 579-613

E-ISBN-13: 9780299148737
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299148744

Publication Year: 1996