Cover image for Fascism : a warning
Title:
Fascism : a warning
Author:
Albright, Madeleine Korbel, author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]

©2018
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
The former U.S. secretary of state presents a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace.

"A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today's world, written by one of America's most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state. A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, 'is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.' The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions of innocent people dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that very assumption. Fascism, as Albright shows, not only endured through the course of the twentieth century, but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the end of World War II. The momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse. The United States, which has historically championed the free world, is led by a president who exacerbates popular divisions and heaps scorn on democratic institutions. In many countries, economic, technological, and cultural factors are weakening the political center and empowering the extremes of right and left. Contemporary leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are employing many of the same tactics used by Fascists in the 1920s and 30s. Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written with wisdom by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past."--Dust jacket.
Language:
English
Contents:
A doctrine of anger and fear -- The greatest show on earth -- "We want to be barbarians" -- "Close your hearts to pity" -- Victory of the Caesars -- The fall -- Dictatorship of democracy -- "There are a lot of bodies up there" -- A difficult art -- President for life -- Erdoğan the magnificent -- Man from the KGB -- "We are who we were" -- "The leader will always be with us" -- President of the United States -- Bad dreams -- The right questions.
ISBN:
9780062802187
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Best Books of 2018 --The Economist

A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today's world, written by one of America's most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state

A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, "is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have."

The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that assumption.

Fascism, as she shows, not only endured through the twentieth century but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the end of World War II. The momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse. The United States, which historically championed the free world, is led by a president who exacerbates division and heaps scorn on democratic institutions. In many countries, economic, technological, and cultural factors are weakening the political center and empowering the extremes of right and left. Contemporary leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are employing many of the tactics used by Fascists in the 1920s and 30s.

Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.


Author Notes

Madeleine Korbelová Albright was born May 15, 1937 in the Smíchov district of Prague, Czechoslovakia. She attended Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on a full scholarship, majoring in political science and graduated in 1959. Her senior thesis was written on Czech Communist Zdenek Fierlinger Her PhD is from Columbia University. She holds honorary degrees from Brandeis University; the University of Washington; Smith College; University of Winnipeg; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , and Knox College. Albright worked as an intern for The Denver Post and as a picture editor for Encyclopædia Britannica. She was invited to organize a fund-raising dinner for the 1972 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ed Muskie of Maine.This association with Muskie led to a position as his chief legislative assistant in 1976. However, after the 1976 U.S. presidential election of Jimmy Carter, Albright's former professor Brzezinski was named National Security Advisor, and recruited Albright from Muskie in 1978 to work in the West Wing as the National Security Council's congressional liaison. Albright joined the academic staff at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1982, specializing in Eastern European studies. In 1992, Bill Clinton returned the White House to the Democratic Party, and Albright was employed to handle the transition to a new administration at the National Security Council. In January 1993, Clinton nominated her to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Albright soon took office as the 64th U.S. Secretary of State on January 23, 1997 and she became the first female U.S. Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Albright now serves as a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her title Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 made The New York Times Best Seller list for 2012. Her most recent book is Fascism: A Warning.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The founders of fascism Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin and fascism's current practitioners Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Erdogan are profiled in former secretary of state and author Albright's (Prague Winter, 2012) cautionary primer on what democracy's antithesis looks like. Fascism is a term that is not easily nor universally defined, filtered, as it is, through the lens of personal biases and animosities. How, then, does one recognize fascism, and why is it important to do so now? Albright is forthright in stating that one reason is Donald Trump, and although her regime-by-regime analysis of fascism's genesis and evolution is not a de facto indictment of the current administration, it is a call to pay attention to the changes in America's national discourse and global standing under the Trump administration. Having fled both Hitler's Germany and Czechoslovakia's Communist uprising as a child, Albright's acquaintance with fascism is practically a part of her DNA. With America's global standing now downgraded from full democracy to flawed democracy by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this is no time for complacency. Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America's values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Yes, it can happen here-and in other countries-according to Albright's far-ranging exploration of the history and latter-day prospects of fascism. The Georgetown professor and former Clinton secretary of state identifies various characteristics of fascism, including hypernationalism and populism mixed with authoritarian-leaning rule, militarism, contempt for democratic customs, persecution of minority populations, a dread of disorder and decadence, charismatic leaders, and public spectacles. After probing accounts of the fascist models of Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, she finds that toxic brew in present-day Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Russia, North Korea, and right-wing parties generally. And then, she writes, there's Donald Trump, "the first anti-democratic president in modern U.S. history," whose bluster, "paranoid bigotry" against Muslims and immigrants, America-firstism, and rhetorical attacks on the press and judiciary set a fascistic example for world leaders and abdicate America's role as global protector of democracy. Albright's incisive analyses are enriched by her experiences as a refugee from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia-her Jewish grandmother died in a concentration camp-and as America's diplomat-in-chief; her vivid sketch of a surprisingly rational Kim Jong-Il anchors a sharp critique of Trump's erratic approach to North Korea. Albright sometimes paints with too broad a brush in conceptualizing fascism, but she offers cogent insights on worrisome political trends. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Former U.S. secretary of state Albright began work on this book before the 2016 election as a response to assaults on democratic values in other countries but asserts its relevance only increased during and since the election. In discussions during Albright's classes at Georgetown University, she and her students concluded that fascism should be viewed more as a means of seizing and holding power than as a political ideology. They defined it as an extreme form of authoritarian rule linked to a doctrine of rabid nationalism. Through her perspective as a victim of Hitler's takeover of her native Czechoslovakia in 1938, Albright summarizes the history of fascism from its origins in Italy during the 1920s and rise in Germany in the 1930s. The author further documents modern experiences in countries such as Venezuela, Turkey, and Hungary that have replaced democratic systems with more authoritarian governments and relates meeting former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, explaining why government may best represent fascism today. Albright hopes that citizens are aware of the challenges to democratic values; for freedom to survive, she believes, it must be defended. Verdict Readers interested in political systems and international relations will appreciate Albright's outlook. [See Prepub Alert, 10/9/17.]-Jill Ortner, SUNY Buffalo Libs. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

1 A Doctrine of Anger and Fearp. 1
2 The Greatest Show on Earthp. 15
3 "We Want to be Barbarians"p. 29
4 "Close Your Hearts to Pity"p. 43
5 Victory of the Caesarsp. 55
6 The Fallp. 65
7 Dictatorship of Democracyp. 79
8 "There are a Lot of Bodies up There"p. 95
9 A Difficult Artp. 109
10 President for Lifep. 121
11 Erdogan the Magnificentp. 137
12 Man from the KGBp. 155
13 "We are Who We Were"p. 169
14 "The Leader will Always be With Us"p. 189
15 President of the United Statesp. 207
16 Bad Dreamsp. 225
17 The Right Questionsp. 241
Acknowledgmentsp. 255
Notesp. 259
Indexp. 271