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Preface 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 to the "fascism debate" of the two preceding decades. It remains in print in English and Spanish. That book, however, did not narrate the history of fascism, and it often proved dense and baffling to undergraduates, unless it was extensively supplemented with basic descriptive literature. The present volume, therefore, does not constitute a revision of the earlier book but is a completely new study designed to provide a narrative of generic European fascism and to extend the framework of analysis and interpretation. The result is a book as long as the first was short, but one that is, I hope, more complete. Any inquiry into fascism has to grapple with the fundamental problem which George L. Mosse once described as attempting to analyze the irrational through rational study. The goal is not to rationalize the irrational but to elucidate the historical problems and contradictions involved. The bibliography pertaining to the history of fascism is now enormous. I make no claim to having read everything, for that would require several decades in itself. The citations and bibliography here are not intended to be comprehensive, but only to include those works which I found most useful. For the main body of literature, the reader should consult Philip Rees's Fascism and Pre-Fascism in Europe, 1890-1945: A Bibliography of the Extreme Right (1984). Once more I wish to acknowledge and thank my chief mentors in fascist studies, first of all Juan J. Linz and George L. Mosse (to whom the book is dedicated), and in the key area of Italian fascism, Renzo De Felice, Emilio Gentile, and A. James Gregor. Gregory Kasza shared his own research prior to publication and provided invaluable help with the Japanese case. Special xiii xiv Preface thanks are also due to Luca De Caprariis for his assistance in obtaining Italian materials, and to Daniel Kowalsky, who prepared the Bibliography. Angela Ray edited the manuscript with unusual care and skill, and Raphael Kadushin and Carol Olsen supervised production of the manuscript at the University of Wisconsin Press. Additional photos were provided by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Editori Laterza, Editorial Planeta, and the Siiddeutscher Verlag. To all ofthem-and very many more unnamed-I offer my thanks and gratitude. STANLEY G. PAYNE A History of Fascism, 1914-1945 ...


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