Leftist Critics Are Misreading Antifascism: The Course of a Crusade
Authoring a book comes with its usual praise and criticism and my latest book, Antifascism: Course of a Crusade, is no exception. One of my critics is the Canadian journalist and columnist at The Nation, Jeet Heer. His review leaves me wondering whether he has actually read my work, which charts the historical roots of the modern antifascist movement.
According to my critic, I—along with others like writer John Vella, who wrote a legitimate review of my book in The American Conservative—are laboring to rehabilitate Italian fascism. Those who have actually read my monograph will realize that I have not produced a lament for the lost glories of Mussolini’s Italy. Although I deal with the Italian attempt to build a fascist state, I am also quite critical of Mussolini’s career, especially his involvement with Hitler’s Third Reich and the unfortunate anti-Semitic laws that Il Duce issued in September 1938.
But Heer is irritated that still I notice the gigantic differences in degrees of tyranny between the nasty Third Reich and the authoritarian Italian fascist state before its takeover by Nazi Germany in 1943. I have no idea why my failure to denounce fascist Italy in a way that would please my critic constitutes a whitewash.
Also, to Heer’s obvious displeasure, my book tries to show why Italian
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