European Socialists Respond to Fascism

European Socialists Respond to Fascism : Ideology, Activism and Contingency in the 1930s

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Based on documents collected in six European countries, European Socialists Respond to Fascism: Ideology, Activism and Contingency in the 1930s is a transnational study of largely parallel developments in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain in the years 1933-1936. Triggered into action by the shock effect of the Nazi rise to power in Germany, socialists throughout Western Europe entered an unusually active period of practical reorientation and debate over political strategy which helped determine the contours of European politics up to the outbreak of World War II and beyond. Stressing the transnational dimension of this process while simultaneously integrating local, regional, and national factors, this work finds that it was social democracy, rather than communism, that acted as the primary vehicle for radical change among European marxists during the 1930s. Following major figures within the European left and the significant events that made up the inter-war period, Gerd-Rainer Horn demonstrates the interconnectedness of Europe's interwar socialists. Finally, Horn manages to relate these findings to the ongoing interdisciplinary debate on structure, agency, and contingency in the historical process.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 162.1 x 236.7 x 20.6mm | 530.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195093747
  • 9780195093742

Back cover copy

Based on documents collected in six European countries, European Socialists Respond to Fascism: Ideology, Activism and Contingency in the 1930s is a transnational study of largely parallel developments in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain in the years 1933-1936. Triggered into action by the shock effect of the Nazi rise to power in Germany, socialists throughout Western Europe entered an unusually active period of practical reorientation and debate over political strategy which helped determine the contours of European politics up to the outbreak of World War II and beyond. Stressing the transnational dimension of this process while simultaneously integrating local, regional, and national factors, this work finds that it was social democracy, rather than communism, that acted as the primary vehicle for radical change among European Marxists during the 1930s. Following major figures within the European left and the significant events that made up the interwar period, Gerd-Rainer Horn demonstrates the interconnectedness of Europe's interwar socialists. Finally, Horn manages to relate these findings to the ongoing interdisciplinary debate on structure, agency, and contingency in the historical process.show more

Review quote

The strength of the book lies squarely on the intelligence of its comparative framework and it is, above all, for this reason that it should be required reading not only for all those who seek to understand the West European Left in the 1930s but also for all those interested in the more fruitful products of comparative history. * Donald Sassoon, Journal of Modern History * his book is a convincing indictment of the concessions all too often subliminally made to Comintern orthodoxy by much conventional history. * Roger Griffin, Labour History Review *show more

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