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Rethinking Antifascism

Rethinking Antifascism

Hugo García | Mercedes Yusta | Xavier Tabet | Cristina Clímaco


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Bringing together leading scholars from a range of nations, Rethinking Antifascism provides a fascinating exploration of one of the most vibrant sub-disciplines within recent historiography. Through case studies that exemplify the field’s breadth and sophistication, it examines antifascism in two distinct realms: after surveying the movement’s remarkable diversity across nations and political cultures up to 1945, the volume assesses its postwar political and ideological salience, from its incorporation into Soviet state doctrine to its radical questioning by historians and politicians. Avoiding both heroic narratives and reflexive revisionism, these contributions offer nuanced perspectives on a movement that helped to shape the postwar world.

Xavier Tabet is Professor of Italian Studies at the Université Paris VIII. His research deals with Italian political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including studies on Fascist political myths and literature. His latest book is La vie intellectuelle entre Fascisme et République: Italie 1940-1948 (2012). 

Cristina Clímaco is Associate Professor of Portuguese Modern History at the Université Paris VIII. Her research focuses on the opposition to the Estado Novo, specifically Portuguese political exiles of the 1930s. She has published numerous articles and the forthcoming book Republicanos, Anarquistas e Comunistas no exilio, 1927-1936.

Hugo García is Associate Professor of Modern World History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. His publications include The Truth about Spain: Mobilizing British Public Opinion, 1936-1939 (2010), and he edited the Contemporary European History special issue on Transnational Anti-Fascism: Agents, Networks, Circulations in November 2016.

Mercedes Yusta is Professor of Spanish History at the Université Paris VIII and a member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She has published numerous books on antifascist political culture, most recently Madres coraje contra Franco: La Unión de Mujeres Españolas en Francia, del antifascismo a la Guerra Fría (2009).

“This rich and comprehensive book opens up around the historiographical question of antifascism a series of passionate debates of which the last word has not been said.” • Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'histoire

“…the volume makes a significant contribution to the international research field as it introduces the very latest studies on antifascism by Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French researchers to scholars in the English-speaking world…[It] makes a strong stand against revisionism and a significant contribution to the analysis of the limits and possibilities of antifascism, while refusing to reduce it to a form of totalitarianism.” • The International Newsletter of Communist Studies

“Comprised of seventeen eruditely informed and informative articles of impeccable academic scholarship, Rethinking Antifascism: History, Memory and Politics, 1922 to the Present, is a seminal body of studies that is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Political Science references collections in general, and Fascism/Antifascism supplemental studies reading lists in particular.” • Midwest Book Review

“This is an important book. Examining antifascism from the twin perspectives of historical experience and historical memory, it offers an invaluable contribution to the newly developing field of antifascist studies. An impressive work of international scholarship, its expansive range gives readers access to a succession of fascinating events and debates from the 1920s to the present.  This book makes a statement: it succeeds in ‘internationalising’ the study of anti-fascism and deserves the widest possible readership.” • Nigel Copsey, Teesside University 

Rethinking Antifascism does a commendable job of offering, for the first time in English, a panoramic view of the antifascist experience that resists the temptation to elaborate an ‘antifascist minimum,’ and instead embraces its multitude of individual and international varieties.” • David Ward, Wellesley College

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Rethinking Antifascism i
Rethinking Antifascism - History, Memory and Politics, 1922 to the Present - Edited by Hugo García, Mercedes Yusta, Xavier Tabet and Cristina Clímaco iii
Contents v
Acknowledgements vii
Introduction - Beyond Revisionism - Rethinking Antifascism in the Twenty-First Century - Hugo García, Mercedes Yusta, Xavier Tabet and Cristina Clímaco 1
Part One - Historical Antifascism, 1922–45 21
1 - Freedom for Thälmann! - The Comintern and the Orchestration of the Campaign to Free Ernst Thälmann, 1933–39 - Anson Rabinbach 23
2 - Was the French Popular Front Antifascist? - Michael Seidman 43
3 - ‘Beyond Cable Street’ - New Approaches to the Historiography of Antifascism in Britain in the 1930s - Tom Buchanan 61
4 - Searching for Antifascism - Historiography, the Crisis of the Liberal State and the Birth of Fascism and Antifascism in Italy, Spain and Portugal - Giulia Albanese 76
5 - Was there an Antifascist Culture in Spain during the 1930s? - Hugo García 92
6 - Portugal within the European Antifascist Movement, 1922–39 - Cristina Clímaco 114
7 - The Argentine Antifascist Movement and the Building of a Tempting Domestic Appeal, 1922–46 - Andrés Bisso 133
8 - Women and Antifascism - Historiographical and Methodological Approaches - Isabelle Richet 152
9 - The Strained Courtship between Antifascism and Feminism - From the Women’s World Committee (1934) to the Women’s International Democratic Federation (1945) - Mercedes Yusta 167
Part Two - Political Uses, Memory Wars and Revisionism from 1945 to the Present 185
10 - From Antifascistas to PAF - Lexical and Political Interpretations of American International Brigaders in Spain during the Second World War - Robert S. Coale 187
11 - An Antifascist Political Identity? - On the Cult of Antifascism in the Soviet Union and post-Socialist Russia - José María Faraldo 202
12 - The Burden of the Rear-View Mirror - Myth and Historiography of Republican Antifascism in France - Gilles Vergnon 228
13 - Did Revisionism Win? - Italy between Loss of Historical Consciousness and Nostalgia for the Past - Stéfanie Prezioso 241
14 - Antifascism and the Resistance - Public Debate and Politics of Memory in Italy from the 1990s to the Present - Filippo Focardi 258
15 - In Search of the Lost Narrative - Antifascism and Democracy in Present-Day Spain - Javier Muñoz Soro 276
16 - Dictatorship and Revolution - Disputes over Collective Memory in Post-Authoritarian Portugal - Manuel Loff and Luciana Soutelo 300
17 - Antifascism between Collective Memory and Historical Revisions - Enzo Traverso 321
Index 339