A Taboo Subject
I knew very well that I would unleash hostile feelings toward my book in your country and even beyond when I devoted this long footnote to you. It didn't fail to do so, since just the fact of citing you triggers near “Pavlovian” reactions on the Left; Anglo-Saxon historians as different as Eric Hobsbawm and Tony Judt criticized me for simply citing your name, without feeling the need to justify this excommunication. The spell of this banishment must be broken, and I regret less than ever having done it. First simply by professional reflex, since I found myself dealing with a question on which you have written a great deal and for a long time. Your 1963 book, Three Faces of Fascism, interested me very much when it appeared in French, now thirty years ago! Beyond this respect for the rules of our profession, your books raise too many problems essential to the understanding of the twentieth century for their summary condemnation not to hide a great deal of blindness.