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War Veterans and Fascism in Interwar Europe


Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316648186

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About the Authors
  • This book explores, from a transnational viewpoint, the historical relationship between war veterans and fascism in interwar Europe. Until now, historians have been roughly divided between those who assume that 'brutalization' (George L. Mosse) led veterans to join fascist movements and those who stress that most ex-soldiers of the Great War became committed pacifists and internationalists. Transcending the debates of the brutalization thesis and drawing upon a wide range of archival and published sources, this work focuses on the interrelated processes of transnationalization and the fascist permeation of veterans' politics in interwar Europe to offer a wider perspective on the history of both fascism and veterans' movements. A combination of mythical constructs, transfers, political communication, encounters and networks within a transnational space explain the relationship between veterans and fascism. Thus, this book offers new insights into the essential ties between fascism and war, and contributes to the theorization of transnational fascism.

    • Offers a Europe-wide transnational perspective on the complex phenomenon of fascism
    • Analyzes the cultural, sociological and political origins of fascism and its proliferations across Europe
    • Transcends the traditional paradigm of the 'brutalization' thesis and challenges conventional views of war veterans' identities and history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An excellent work that advances the field of study about the rise of fascism and its relationship with veterans. Alcalde presents an easy to follow narrative filled with intriguing new scholarship.' Kevin Braam, H-Net

    'Contemporaries and many historians have assumed, generally on the basis of numerous actual examples, that veterans of WWI, individually or as a group or an organization, were ready recruits to fascism, especially in Italy and Germany. Their violent experience of the war at the side of so many who had fallen and their sense that their sacrifice had been betrayed made veterans natural enthusiasts for redemption through extreme nationalism and authoritarianism. Alcalde, a historian of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime, firmly explores these assumptions. Recommended.' N. Greene, Choice

    'The book succeeds in demonstrating the transnational understandings of, and appropriations from, Italian Fascism. … an excellent book.' Chris Millington, European History Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316648186
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Fascism and Veterans after the Great War:
    1. The Great War veterans and the origins of fascism, 1914–1919
    2. War veterans and the rise of Italian Fascism, 1920–2
    Part II. Fascism and Veterans during the 1920s:
    3. Veterans under fascist rule, 1923–5
    4. Veterans and fascism: consolidation and European expansion, 1925–9
    Part III. Fascism and Veterans during the 1930s:
    5. Transnational fascism and veterans, 1929–35
    6. Veterans between fascism and anti-fascism, war and peace, 1936–40

  • Author

    Ángel Alcalde, University of Melbourne
    Ángel Alcalde is currently a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen. He earned his Ph.D. in history and civilization from the European University Institute, Florence. He is a specialist on the social and cultural history of war, transnational history and the history of fascism. He has published numerous works on the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship, including two books, Los excombatientes franquistas (2014) and Lazos de Sangre (2010).

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