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Hardcover Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning Book

ISBN: 0385511841

ISBN13: 9780385511841

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Fierce, funny, and controversial, Jonah Goldberg's #1 New York Times bestseller traces fascism back to its surprising roots--in liberalism. "Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers"--such... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Veers away from the truth on page one.

Author has a point to make and cherry-picks history to make it. He makes gigantic leaps in logic to "verify" his conclusions. "Hitler drank water and used a clean glass each time. Anyone else who drinks out of a clean glass must be a fascist!!!" Choosing things that are stereotypical of your enemy, then looking for those specific things in the Fascist movement, isn't valid research. That would be like saying "Nazi fascists ate food and breathed air, so if you eat food and breathe air, then you are a Nazi Fascist!" This is the logic that Goldberg uses throughout the book. Thought it would be a good read--to see another author sock it to the libtards. But the more pages I read, the more disappointed I became that a publisher actually printed this drivel. I did read the whole thing to see if anything truths would be revealed. I would have been better off to drop it in the trash can after the first chapter.

Washington Post Editorial Review on this site/book is "Telling"

The fact that a "Washington Post" writer provides a very lengthy rebuttal...not commentary, that poorly masquerades as an offical Editorial Review in this listing, is quite telling. The many truths and rational connections Mr. Goldberg has provided in this expose have rubbed more than a few nerves. Many of extreme left vs. right, right vs. left books on the market represent nothing more than self-indulgent "tirads on parchment." This book is different. It is relatively well researched. You will not be able it down. Highly recommended.

Not at all what I'd expected

I have to admit that I had not planned to read this book; the title and cover, as well as some of the reviews in the major media, led me to believ that this was a screed of the Ann Coulter sort, long on invective and short on fact and reason. But I received a copy as a gift a few days ago, and I was surprised to learn that it is anything but. Goldberg goes to great pains to say that this book is not an attack on liberalism, nor is he saying that liberals are fascists. What he is doing, rather, is uncovering the hidden intellectual antecedents of the modern liberal movement in the Progressive anbd Fascist movements of the past. Now before you jump to conclusions claiming (as some reviews have) that Goldberg is equating liberalism with Nazism, consider that Fascism as a movment long preceeded Nazism by a good 15 years, and that in the 1920 Mussolini was greatly admired by progressives for his social programs. Western intellectuals looked at Fascism as a model for modern progressive government, with its emphasis on social services and cradle-to-grave goverment care. Nazism took these ideas, along with the Fascists' rejection of the Internationalism of the Communists, but added to that his own veneer of antisemitism. Not that the American Progressives were any less guilty of racism and nationalistic fervor; during the Wilson era, which modern liberals point to as a time of great social progress, this country saw newspapers and magazines shut down for printing dissent, people imprisoned for expressing opinions contrary to government policy in their own homes, and the infamous Palmer Raids, in which suspected radicals- foreigners- were rounded up and imprisoned and expelled. Those who still think of the McCarthy era- a brief period of history in which a group of Hollywood party members became martyrs for lying to congress- was the time when fascism came to America should really read about the Wilson era- or, for that matter, FDR, who, despite being a great wartime leader, imprisoned and confiscated the property of thousands of native born Americans because of their race, and attempted to stack the Supreme Court in violation of the Constitution. The legacy of the Progressives is no mere historical artifact. Today's liberal offspring of the progressives often complain of government abuse of power, and yet too often they endorse sweeping government powers in support of their political aims. Consider the great "urban renewal" experiments in social engineering of the 1960s, in which neighborhoods were destroyed, property seized, and populations rounded up into housing projects. Or the famous "HillaryCare" initiative, in which a complete nationalization of health care was dreamed up not in the public forum, or even in Congress, where it could be debated, but behind closed doors. Liberals are forever accusing Conservatives of being the intellectual heirs to Mussolini and Hitler, but the historical record tells a very different story. I've touched on ju

"I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made" - Franklin D. Roosevelt

And boy, does Jonah Goldberg have himself some enemies. It was inevitable that the review section for Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" would degenerate into the Mother of all Flame Wars. The advance dislike for this book simmered for months, and now the floodgates for negative reviews are open. I'd advise all potential readers of this book to bear in mind how few of the negative reviews appear to reflect a reading of the book. For those willing to give Goldberg the chance, he offers the following thesis: that the label fascist has its roots in the governing philosophies of Italy's National Fascist Party and Germany's National Socialist (Nazi) Party. He argues that there has been a false duality created between the Soviet Socialists of the USSR and the socialists united under the fascists in Italy and Germany. He argues that the totalitarian impulse, the philosophy of state control of decisions taking priority over individual freedoms, is the core uniting principle behind these movements, and he argues that the ongoing home of such statism is in what has come to be known as the "liberal" politics of the modern progressive movement. As you can imagine, that doesn't sit very well with the targets of his argument (hence the rain of 1-star reviews). I'd encourage open minded readers of all backgrounds to read Goldberg's book and address his arguments. I find his conversational and somewhat informal style to be witty and readable. That said, longtime Goldberg fans should know that this is not a book-length "G-File" (the hip and irreverent column he wrote for National Review Online). This is a serious scholarly work, and it deserves to be read and judged as such. Goldberg is attempting to right a historical injustice. This book is not attempting, as many seem to think, to say that all liberals are closet Nazis, but rather that, contrary to popular misconception, it is not conservatism, but liberalism, that traces its roots to the fascists. In some ways it is a book-length extension of the question conservatives sometimes pose to liberals: "If you leave out the parts about killing all the Jews and invading Poland, what specifically about the Nazi political platform do you disagree with?" (That platform is handily provided in the appendix.) After Goldberg's book, this question is much harder to simply shrug off. Still, one doesn't need nearly 600 citations just to allow conservatives to say "I'm rubber, you're glue" the next time they are called a fascist. Goldberg argues that our focus on the atrocities committed by fascists in Germany obscures the fact that the fascist drive is, to a degree, universal in modern politics. The heritage and institutions of America lead it to manifest itself in a different form here. Whether it is the smothering embrace of the "It Takes a Village" mommy state or, to a lesser degree, the big-government, "compassionate conservatism" of Bush, fascism in the U.S. is well-intention, "smiley face" fascism, but i
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