“The rise of extremists and the polarisation of politics has triggered a tsunami of books about the crisis in liberal democracies. Madeleine Albright, a child refugee from Nazism who dealt with many flavours of dictator as America’s chief diplomat, offers a timely caution not to take freedom for granted with Fascism: A Warning.”
Featured in The Guardian’s Best Books of 2018.
“Madeleine Albright, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and secretary of state, brings her personal experience growing up in Europe during the days of Mussolini and Hitler as well as her academic and diplomatic study of dictators to parse which modern political leaders are boldly adopting fascist tactics – and which ones are skirting the edges.”
Featured in NPR’s Best Books of 2018.
Fascism is back as the latest dernier cri. This is the again, the message that is being conveyed by Madeleine Albright, secretary of state, through her new book, “Fascism: A Warning.” In most of the places, she notes that we see dictators on the rise, and this imperious resuscitation is accompanied by a kenspeckle billow of ideas from the far right. Xenophobes and racists are popping up in places where we never expect to see them. This includes high political offices, university campuses, etc.
The first chapters of her book follow the career of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during the 1920s and ’30s. Her account gains further force from her own memoir: As a little girl, she had to flee her native Czechoslovakia, along with her family after the invasion of the Nazis in 1939.
Albright keenly notes the expansive discombobulation surrounding the word “fascist,” that was being desirously exercised by both left and right to tar their adversaries. Yet in the end, she refrains from adding a great deal more to our understanding of what accredits someone as a contemporary fascist or how fascism might have fluctuated to fit current conditions.
Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times, which is in fact, pertinent to all the timeframes. Written by someone who not only possesses an immense knowledge of history but has also contributed largely to shape it, this book helps us indoctrinate the lessons we must extrapolate and the questions we must answer if we intend to save ourselves from reiterating the deplorable errors of the past.