This is the official blog about the book ”Fascism, mon amour: Ideology and history of the black and brown movements” (”Älskade fascism” in Swedish). The book has been labeled ”one of the most important books of our time”.
The image of “fascism” is evident in our culture – the very word sparks visions of devout masses following chauvinistic leaders, marching militias dressed in black or brown, violence against dissidents, world war and the horrors of the Holocaust.
Today, the word “fascist” is mostly used as an insult. But it’s important to understand the difference between the carelessly delivered invective and the actual ideology of generic fascism.
The moment Adolf Hitler committed suicide in 1945, fascism and nazism became an impossible route to continue in Europe, and a modern symbol of evil.
Mussolini in Milan 1919
Fascism as an ideology, on the other hand, had emerged long before that. On March 23, 1919, Benito Mussolini held a rally in Milan’s Piazza San Sepolcro, attended by futurists and syndicalists, republicans and monarchists, Jews and anti-Semites, women-haters and feminists.
In Älskade fascism, Henrik Arnstad explains the emergence of fascism, how it seized power in Italy and Germany, how it spread across Europe and around the world. How it relates to other ideologies (liberalism, conservatism and socialism) and to racism, antisemitism and the Holocaust.
Arnstad addresses fascism’s relationship to modernity (and anti-modernity) as well as women, men and masculinity within fascist movements.
Neo-fascism — the ideology of the 21st Century?
The last part of the book handles the controversial question of modern day fascists– neo-fascists – who are now holding parliamentary positions all over Europe. Will the 21st century become the fascist century?
Arnstad gives the reader a thorough and easy- comprehensible analysis of the ideology of fascism; a pioneering work of popular science elucidating the 20th century totalitarianism and what effects it still has on our society today.
It is an important, awarenessraising exposition that should be read not only for the sake of personal historical edification, but also for the sake of gaining a deeper insight into the perils that the future might hold.
International publishers will get more information about the book via Norstedts Agency.
And what has the critics to say about the book?
”Älskade fascism is one of the most important books of our time.”
Arch Bishop Anders Wejryd
“it is very easy to read, gripping, an exciting story” Swedish Television, Gomorron Sverige
“This is a book that discusses the concept of fascism as well as its history. /…/ We live in a time when it is obviously possible for racists and fascists to, in words, not in action, distance themselves from these ideas. Therefore Arnstad’s book is welcome. It makes its way deep down into the root system of fascism.” Radio Vega, YLE (FI)
“Arnstad’s account of the history of fascism is well worth reading. Very timely right now when these same thoughts – behind a polished façade – can be found in the European parliament.” Dagens Arbete
“Älskade fascism is captivating reading. Henrik Arnstad has succeeded in writing a book that is not only interesting but also pulls you in, in a way that makes it difficult to let go. A popular science page-turner that manages to add something new – especially if we include the literature about Nazi Germany – to a subject that has been written about ad nauseum.” Arbetaren
“Henrik Arnstad’s book Älskade fascism contains a thought-provoking discussion about fascism’s ideas and theories, and offers enlightening touchdowns into the history of the movement.” Norrköpings Tidningar
Author Henrik Arnstad has written the most important book of this spring, probably even this year. Even if it will not be the one most well-read. Älskade fascism is a frightening history lesson about this ultra-nationalistic ideology as an incurable cancer tumor in the body of society.” Arbetarbladet
“The very best thing about Arnstad’s book, which has an enormous breadth and attention to detail, is probably that he understands what a clever political instrument of power that many of the fascist parties were. How well they calibrated themselves toward their allies and their enemies, how they made themselves respectable in order to approach traditionally conservative groups, how they systematically (and literally) broke the left, how they in a very goal-oriented way seized power. /…/ Yes, it is an elegantly written book inviting political reflection.” Skånska Dagbladet
“With an impressive pedagogical but light hand, Arnstad includes many aspects of the birth, the successes, the ideology and the research areas around fascism. More than anything, he takes his popular science task very seriously. /…/ Arnstad’s way to, in a lively manner, without pretention and while prioritizing the reader, account for different research areas and theories, reminds us of Fanny Ambjörnsson’s Rosa – den farliga färgen and Katrine Kielo’s Det enda könet. In the same way that those books become a gateway into different parts of closed theoretical rooms, Arnstad pulls sociological and political science doors open. When, in addition, this is done with relevant content and good stylistics throughout, the result becomes a welcome contribution to popular education.”
“After I finish reading, I become convinced that we should refer to many of today’s ultra-nationalistic xenophobic parties as neo-fascist. Not as an insult, but based on the knowledge of what fascism really stands for. Then you must first dive deep into the muck beyond surface invectives in order to understand what it is all about. Älskade fascism is an important building block for this understanding. It is, in the real sense of the word, vital.”
“From the landscape of ruins rise – now as then – movements that promise to make everything right with a cleansing national renaissance. This is why Henrik Arnstad’s book Älskade fascism is both well-timed and important. The book’s ambitious purpose is to capture and convey international research, in order to illustrate the black-brown movements’ ideologies and history until today. It is a true effort in popular education, as an easy-to-access, summarizing Swedish book on this topic does not exist.” Aftonbladet
“Älskade fascism. De svartbruna rörelsernas ideologi och historia is in many ways a book to be impressed by. An incredible amount of work has been put into it. By pulling together much international research on the topic, Henrik Arnstad has managed well in the difficult task of writing a four-hundred-and-fifty-page book that is, to the very last period, surprisingly easy to read. In addition, his reasoning is tight practically the whole way through. It is especially good in the beginning when he, with a sharp definition of fascism as an ideology, helps us differentiate between real fascism and other occurrences and political movements that, with the insult “fascism,” are accused of being fascist.” Trelleborgs Allehanda
“Henrik Arnstad has written an important and elucidating book that raises consciousness about today’s fascism. You should read it, not only to get educated in history, but also to gain greater insight about the dangers of the future.” Svenska Dagbladet
“Arnstad sorts out the issues in a convincing way. /…/ The very greatest aspect of Arnstad’s book is his description of history. In the portrayal of European, anti-democratic movements after World War I, otherwise forgotten instances of racist and political violence, military dictatorships and fascist countries like Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, are brought up.” Expo
“The result is really very horribly fascinating, with an obvious focus on fascism’s two most abominable success stories, in Italy and Germany. But plenty of attention is also given to thought-provoking deviations, for example, the Lapua Movement in Finland and Peronism in Argentina.” Östgöta Correspondenten
“Älskade fascism treats history like it should be treated; as a tool we should use today. It explains, in an engaging manner and in a way that also elucidates our own time, a dark side of Europe’s history.” Fria Tidningen
“It is on the movement’s fringe islands where Arnstad’s book becomes astonishingly interesting: Finland, Romania, Hungary and Spain. He calls them the meteor showers of fascism. I suddenly understand Finland’s modern history and how it was influenced by that country’s fascism – in a tragic direction.”
“In short, you get both illuminated and inspired to think on for yourself. That is no small praise. /…/ [Arnstad] doesn’t write like an (arrogant) ‘Mr Know-All’, the narrative style most historians use when they write popular science. Instead he combines the historical description with discussions of explanations and different interpretations. It is a narrative style where the respect towards the reader is the basis and that is the way the genre should be carried in an open, democratic society.” Tidskriften Respons, review by Nils Arne Sørensen, Professor in European History at the University of Southern Denmark