Movies and documentaries can provide great insight into historic events and tell important stories, but there is also a lot of worth in the written word.
As part of our #FromHateToHope campaign, we have collected some recommendations for books. This first collection focuses on fascism and the holocaust.
Keep following us for book recommendations on human rights, coming up soon.
- How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them – Jason Stanley (2018) – In How Fascism Works, Jason Stanley identifies the defining characteristics of fascist politics. In language that is approachable and does not require knowledge of a special vocabulary, Stanley points to situations in our current politics that are fascist. Whether it is the division of the population by fanning hatred against immigrants, people of color, or gay people; or attacking the free press as the “enemy of the people,” fascism seeks to delegitimate any potential source of resistance by characterizing it as an other or an out group.
- The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe – Dylan Riley (2010) – Dylan Riley reconceptualizes the nature and origins of interwar fascism in this remarkable investigation of the connection between civil society and authoritarianism. From the late nineteenth century to World War I, voluntary associations exploded across Europe, especially among rural non-elites. But the development of this “civil society” did not produce liberal democracy in Italy, Spain, and Romania. Instead, Riley finds that it undermined the nascent liberal regimes in these countries and was a central cause of the rise of fascism
- The New Faces of Fascism – Enzo Traverso (2017) – What does fascism mean at the beginning of the twenty-first century? When we say the word, our memory goes back to the years right between the two world wars and envisions a dark landscape of violence, dictatorships, and genocide. These images spontaneously surface in the face of the rise of the radical right, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and terrorism, the last of which is often depicted as a form of “Islamic fascism’. Beyond some superficial analogies, however, all these contemporary tendencies reveal many differences from historical fascism, probably greater than their affinities.
- Europe’s Fault Lines – Liz Fekete (2018) – It is clear that the right is on the rise, but after Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the spike in popularity of extreme-right parties across Europe, the question on everyone’s minds is: how did this happen? An expansive investigation of the ways in which a newly configured right interconnects with anti-democratic and illiberal forces at the level of the state, Europe’s Fault Lines provides much-needed answers, revealing some uncomfortable truths.
- Fatherland – Robert Harris (1992) – Set in a universe in which Nazi Germany won World War II, the story’s protagonist is an officer of the Kripo, the criminal police, who is investigating the murder of a Nazi government official who participated at the Wannsee Conference. A plot is thus discovered to eliminate all of those who attended the conference to help improve German relations with the United States.
- The Children of Men – P.D. James (1992) – Set in England in 2021, The Children of Men centers on the results of mass infertility. James describes a United Kingdom that is steadily depopulating and focuses on a small group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses.
- Berlin Noir – Philip Kerr (1994) – Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison…