Hurrah for the Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars

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Pimlico, 2006 - History - 387 pages
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Britain is celebrated for having avoided the extremism, political violence and instability that blighted many European countries between the two world wars. But her success was a closer thing than has been realized. Disillusionment with parliamentary democracy, outbreaks of fascist violence and fears of communist subversion in industry and the Empire ran through the entire period. Fascist organizations may have failed to attract the support they achieved elsewhere but fascist ideas were adopted from top to bottom of society and by men and women in all parts of the country. This book will demonstrate for the first time the true spread and depth of fascist beliefs - and the extent to which they were distinctly British. Like the Continental movements, fascism in the UK encompassed the corporate state, charismatic leadership and youthful rejection of the decadent rule of the older generation. But was it less anti-Semitic? Was it readier to adopt a feminist agenda? And was the fact that Britain finally repudiated fascism more a matter of timing and chance than of fundamental obstacles in British society and politics? HURRAH FOR THE BLACKSHIRTS!, rich in anecdotes and extraordinary characters, shows us an inter-war Britain on the high-road to fascism but never quite arriving at its destination.

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About the author (2006)

Martin Pugh was Professor of Modern British History at Newcastle University until 1999, and Research Professor in History at Liverpool John Moores University from 1999 to 2002. He has written ten books on aspects of nineteenth and twentieth century history and is on the board of BBC History Magazine. He is currently writing a social history of Britain between the wars for Cape and Pimlico.

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