In this masterful work of historical scholarship, Zeev Sternhell, an internationally renowned Israeli political scientist and historian, presents a controversial new view of the fall of democracy and the rise of radical nationalism in the twentieth century. Sternhell locates their origins in the eighteenth century with the advent of the Anti-Enlightenment, far earlier than most historians. The thinkers belonging to the Anti-Enlightenment (a movement originally identified by Friederich Nietzsche) represent a perspective that is antirational and that rejects the principles of natural law and the rights of man. Sternhell asserts that the Anti-Enlightenment was a development separate from the Enlightenment and sees the two traditions as evolving parallel to one another over time. He contends that J. G. Herder and Edmund Burke are among the real founders of the Anti-Enlightenment and shows how that school undermined the very foundations of modern liberalism, finally contributing to the development of fascism that culminated in the European catastrophes of the twentieth century.
Ni droite ni gauche
Author: Zeev Sternhell
Publisher: Editions Gallimard
Rarement livre aura à ce point été au cour de tous les grands débats historiographiques, intellectuels et politiques depuis sa première parution en 1983. Il n'empêche : malgré la virulence du front du refus opposé dès l'origine par certains historiens, il s'est imposé comme une des références majeures pour l'histoire du fascisme et de la catastrophe européenne du XXe siècle. De quoi s'agit-il ? Enfermés dans le schéma des trois droites (légitimiste, orléaniste, bonapartiste), nombre d'historiens soutenaient que la France avait été, par sa culture républicaine, rationaliste, universaliste et humaniste, immunisée contre le fascisme ; en sorte que le régime de Pétain, appuyé sur l'Action française, était un ultime sursaut de la droite légitimiste. Zeev Sternhell fait exploser littéralement ce mur de l'oubli. D'abord, en révélant l'existence en France dès le XIXe siècle d'une droite révolutionnaire, organiciste, particulariste, irrationaliste, antidémocratique et antihumaniste (La Droite révolutionnaire 1885-1914. Les origines françaises du fascisme, Folio histoire n° 85). Puis, avec cet ouvrage, en mesurant l'ampleur, dans l'entre-deux-guerres, de la contamination des intellectuels - quand bien même l'occupation nazie en fera basculer plus d'un dans la Résistance - par cette droite révolutionnaire et sa révolte contre la République et la démocratie. Vichy, régime à beaucoup d'égards plus brutal et sanguinaire que le fascisme italien, est un pur produit de l'histoire nationale ; son essence se trouve dans cette droite révolutionnaire qui réussit à légitimer chez les meilleurs esprits l'idée qu'il fallait inventer une autre forme de communauté nationale autour du Chef et des chevaleries d'experts. La guerre froide et l'enrôlement des intellectuels dans les deux camps effaceront chez les uns le souvenir des ces textes, voire blanchiront d'authentiques collaborateurs en penseurs libéraux.
Neither Right Nor Left
Author: Zeev Sternhell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
"Few books on European history in recent memory have caused such controversy and commotion, " wrote Robert Wohl in 1991 in a major review of Neither Right nor Left. Listed by Le Monde as one of the forty most important books published in France during the 1980s, this explosive work asserts that fascism was an important part of the mainstream of European history, not just a temporary development in Germany and Italy but a significant aspect of French culture as well. Neither right nor left, fascism united antibourgeois, antiliberal nationalism, and revolutionary syndicalist thought, each of which joined in reflecting the political culture inherited from eighteenth-century France. From the first, Sternhell's argument generated strong feelings among people who wished to forget the Vichy years, and his themes drew enormous public attention in 1994, as Paul Touvier was condemned for crimes against humanity and a new biography probed President Mitterand's Vichy connections. The author's new preface speaks to the debates of 1994 and reinforces the necessity of acknowledging the past, as President Chirac has recently done on France's behalf."Few books on European history in recent memory have caused such controversy and commotion, " wrote Robert Wohl in 1991 in a major review of Neither Right nor Left. Listed by Le Monde as one of the forty most important books published in France during the 1980s, this explosive work asserts that fascism was an important part of the mainstream of European history, not just a temporary development in Germany and Italy but a significant aspect of French culture as well. Neither right nor left, fascism united antibourgeois, antiliberal nationalism, andrevolutionary syndicalist thought, each of which joined in reflecting the political culture inherited from eighteenth-century France. From the first, Sternhell's argument generated strong feelings among people who wished to forget the Vichy years, and his themes drew enormous public attention in 1994, as Paul Touvier was condemned for crimes against humanity and a new biography probed President Mitterand's Vichy connections. The author's new preface speaks to the debates of 1994 and reinforces the necessity of acknowledging the past, as President Chirac has recently done on France's behalf.
France's response to the rise of European fascism during the 1930s, and subsequently to the Nazi occupation 1940-44, has been a difficult subject for the nation's historians. The consensus amongst leading French authorities on the period has been the claim that France was largely 'immune' to fascism in the 1930s, and that the Vichy regime was an aberration produced by defeat and occupation. Over the last 30 years, this position has gradually been undermined, mainly through the work of foreign scholars, but it nonetheless remains intact. This volume brings together for the first time the leading critics of the standard French interpretation, who have used these essays to refine and update their positions, or to move the debate onto new terrain.
The creators of the Vichy regime did not intend merely to shield France from the worst effects of military defeat and occupation; rather the leaders of Vichy were inspired by a will to regenerate France, to establish an authoritarian new order that would repair the degenerative effects of parliamentary democracy and liberal society. Their plan to effect this change took the form of a far-reaching programme they called the National Revolution. This is the first study of the National Revolution as the expression of Vichy's ideology and aims. It reveals the variety and complexity of both right wing and other strands of French thought in the context of the turbulent years of the 1930s - when Vichy's history really begins - and under the Occupation, when internal rivalries and divisions, as well as the pressures of war, doomed Vichy's programme of national regeneration. The book is structured around a consideration of the rhetoric of right-wing ideology and such key catchwords as 'decadence', 'action', 'order', 'realism' and 'new man', and shows how these phrases only served to mask the political and ideological incoherence of the Vichy government.
France and Fascism
Author: Brian Jenkins, Chris Millington
France and Fascism: February 1934 and the Dynamics of Political Crisis is the first English-language book to examine the most significant political event in interwar France: the Paris riots of February 1934. On 6 February 1934, thousands of fascist rioters almost succeeded in bringing down the French democratic regime. The violence prompted the polarisation of French politics as hundreds of thousands of French citizens joined extreme right-wing paramilitary leagues or the left-wing Popular Front coalition. This ‘French civil war’, the first shots of which were fired in February 1934, would come to an end only at the Liberation of France ten years later. The book challenges the assumption that the riots did not pose a serious threat to French democracy by providing a more balanced historical contextualisation of the events. Each chapter follows a distinctive analytical framework, incorporating the latest research in the field on French interwar politics as well as important new investigations into political violence and the dynamics of political crisis. With a direct focus on the actual processes of the unfolding political crisis and the dynamics of the riots themselves, France and Fascism offers a comprehensive analysis which will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as scholars, in the areas of French history and politics, and fascism and the far right.
Author: Paul Mazgaj
Publisher: University of Delaware Press
The role and influence of intellectuals is one of the flashpoints in the recurring debate on the nature and dimensions of French fascism. At the forefront of this debate are a group of emerging writers, collectively known as the Young Right. Though thoroughly schooled in the reactionary nationalism of Charles Maurras' Action francaise, whose orbit they entered in the early 1930s, they were soon seduced by the mobilizing force of neighboring fascist movements and regimes. Led by two precocious literary talents, Robert Brasillach and Thierry Maulnier, the Young Right set themselves to rejuvenating French nationalism and winning a place for France in an emerging new Europe. Their project - an attempt to graft lessons from foreign sources onto a native language of French generational and cultural politics - was one of several efforts to create a distinctive French fascism.
Robert Brasillach's memoirs of the inter-war era in France, particularly in Paris, constitute a rich and varied social panorama of the French capital, featuring many well-known, and some lesser-known personalities. They trace the major events of the time and show how they affected ordinary people as well as Brasillach's more colorful and extraordinary acquaintances, particularly writers. Also covers travels outside France, the Nuremberg rally, and the Spanish Civil War. This first edition in English is annotated, accompanied by a historical introduction by Professor Douglas Johnson, a comprehensive glossary of principal names, and a full index. With photographs.
The well-known historian and political scientist Zeev Sternhell here advances a radically new interpretation of the founding of modern Israel. The founders claimed that they intended to create both a landed state for the Jewish people and a socialist society. However, according to Sternhell, socialism served the leaders of the influential labor movement more as a rhetorical resource for the legitimation of the national project of establishing a Jewish state than as a blueprint for a just society. In this thought-provoking book, Sternhell demonstrates how socialist principles were consistently subverted in practice by the nationalist goals to which socialist Zionism was committed. Sternhell explains how the avowedly socialist leaders of the dominant labor party, Mapai, especially David Ben Gurion and Berl Katznelson, never really believed in the prospects of realizing the "dream" of a new society, even though many of their working-class supporters were self-identified socialists. The founders of the state understood, from the very beginning, that not only socialism but also other universalistic ideologies like liberalism, were incompatible with cultural, historical, and territorial nationalism. Because nationalism took precedence over universal values, argues Sternhell, Israel has not evolved a constitution or a Bill of Rights, has not moved to separate state and religion, has failed to develop a liberal concept of citizenship, and, until the Oslo accords of 1993, did not recognize the rights of the Palestinians to independence. This is a controversial and timely book, which not only provides useful historical background to Israel's ongoing struggle to mobilize its citizenry to support a shared vision of nationhood, but also raises a question of general significance: is a national movement whose aim is a political and cultural revolution capable of coexisting with the universal values of secularism, individualism, and social justice? This bold critical reevaluation will unsettle long-standing myths as it contributes to a fresh new historiography of Zionism and Israel. At the same time, while it examines the past, The Founding Myths of Israel reflects profoundly on the future of the Jewish State.
Here is the first scholarly study of the life and thought of Benoît Malon (1841-1893), the most persuasive and visible spokesman for reformist socialism during the early years of the French Third Republic. Active in the generation of the French Left that came of age under the Second Empire, Malon was a prominent member of the First International in Paris and later joined the Paris Commune. As a result, he was forced into exile in Switzerland and Italy during the 1870s, where he became entangled in the struggles within the International. Malon attempted to steer a course between Marxist authoritarianism and anarchist utopianism, which he continued on his return to France in 1880. Vincent analyzes Malon's role as activist, editor, and author, arguing that Malon drew on a strong tradition of left-wing French republicanism. In his mature works, Malon articulated a socialism that emphasized broad moral and socioeconomic reform and advocated parliamentary rule as the appropriate source of national sovereignty. In helping the republican socialist Left shed its revolutionary associations, he pointed the way for later reformist socialists from Jean Jaurès to François Mitterrand.
Author: Thomas R. Nevin
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Over fifty years after her death, Simone Weil (1909-1943) remains one of the most searching religious inquirers and political thinkers of the twentieth century. Albert Camus said she had a "madness for truth." She rejected her Jewishness and developed a strong interest in Catholicism, although she never joined the Catholic church. Both an activist and a scholar, she constantly spoke out against injustice and aligned herself with workers, with the colonial poor in France, and with the opressed everywhere. She came to believe that suffering itself could be a way to unity with God, and her death at thirty-four has been recorded as suicide by starvation. This extraordinary study is primarily a topography of Weil's mind, but Thomas Nevin is persuaded that her thought is inextricably bound to her life and dramatic times. Thus, he not only addresses her thoughts and her prejudices but examines her reasons for entertaining them and gives them a historical focus. He claims that to Weil's generation the Spanish War, the Popular Front, the ascendance of Hitlerism, and the Vichy years were not mere backdrops but definitive events. Nevin explores in detail not only matters of continuing interest, such as Weil's leftist politics and her attempt to embrace Christianity, but also hitherto unexamined aspects of her life and work which permit a deeper understanding of her: her writings on science, her work as a poet and dramatist, and her selective friendships. The thread uniting these topics is her struggle to maintain her independence as a free thinker while resisting community such as Judaism could have offered her. Her intellectual struggles eloquently reveal the desperate isolation of Jews torn between the lure of assimilation and the tormented dignity of their communal history. Nevin's massive research draws on the full range of essays, notebooks, and fragments from the Simone Weil archives in Paris, many of which have never been translated or published. Originally published in 1991. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
The Intellectual as Stranger explores the historical association between images of the intellectual and those of the stranger, or the outsider to society. Using detailed case-studies, Pels examines the ambiguous strangerhood of political intellectuals such as Marx, Durkheim, Sorel, Freyer and Hendrik de Man.
The French Review
Author: James Frederick Mason
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