Synopses & Reviews
The end of the twentieth century was marked by a resurgence of extreme right-wing politics across Europe. Journalist Nicholas Fraser spent three years traveling across Europe to meet, confront, and try to understand the personalities behind this resurgence and assess the threat they pose to democracy. He interviewed members of "traditional" Far Rights groups, fascinated with the dark aesthetic of Fascism: the black boots, buckles, banners, and pagan mythology. He sat in meetings of "local" Fuhrers in Denmark, Belgium, and Germany -- sporting the uniform of Doc Martens and Fred Perry polo shirts.
But the Far Right does not consist only of disorganzied, Doc-Martened hooligans. Fraser also spoke with leaders who speak a coded language of euphemism rather than overt hate language. Unlike the provocateur-ish French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, Austria's Jorg Haider has a talent for adapting his ideas to the present and, Fraser warns, one should not underestimate those who wear business suits and talk of "populism". His chapter on David Irving, the controversial right-wing historian who lost his libel lawsuit over claims he is a "Holocaust denier", marks a strike against those who would manipulate history.
In looking at neo-Fascism's recent history in Europe -- its philosophical antecedents and its modern day adherents -- Nicholas Fraser provides the deep background for the crucial and ongoing debate about how democracies should deal with the Far Right.