Opposing Fascism: Community, Authority, and Resistance in Europe

Opposing Fascism: Community, Authority, and Resistance in Europe

Opposing Fascism: Community, Authority, and Resistance in Europe

Opposing Fascism: Community, Authority, and Resistance in Europe

Synopsis

This innovative volume draws together in a wide-ranging collection a series of new perspectives on the everyday experience of Europeans in the "age of fascism." The contributions go beyond the conventional stereotypes of organized resistance to examine the tensions and ambiguities within the communities, national and local, that opposed fascism. The authors show that under the pressures of civil conflict, occupation, and even everyday life, motives were rarely as pure and political alignments seldom as straightforward as our reassuring collective memories of fascism and war have led us to believe.

Excerpt

This bookhad its origins in History Workshop 26, held at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1992. Most of the chapters were presented as papers in a conference strand on 'Popular Resistance to Fascism'. The aim of this strand was not to assemble a series of papers which would provide a systematic or representative 'coverage' of the theme for all parts of Europe; that would have been impossible in any case. It was, rather, to invite papers which re-examined the perspectives of the postwar historiography of fascism, a theme which has only slowly begun to free itself from the taboos and political imperatives of the Cold War. There were important gaps in the geographical range of the collection, and new contributions had to be solicited. The intention in doing so, however, was never merely to fill a national or regional gap but to extend the range of critical perspectives and new approaches. The editors would like to thank the original conference participants for their patience with this process, and the authors of the additional chapters for the efficiency with which they delivered their contributions. We should also like to thankSarah Kane, who translated Yves Le Maner's article. Thanks are also due to the University of Northumbria Small Research Grants Committee for its support during the preparation of the manuscript for publication; and to the Department of Historical and Critical Studies at the University of Northumbria, and the Research Committee of the School of History and International Relations at the University of St Andrews for their financial support for the translation of Le Maner's article. Both universities also provided important technical and administrative support. Last but by no means least we should like to thank Liz Harvey for her encouraging critical advice on the manuscript.

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