Chris Millington, "A History of Fascism in France: From the First World War to the National Front" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

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FASCISM...FRANCE. Two words/ideas that scholars have spent much time and energy debating in relationship to one another. Chris Millington's A History of Fascism in France: From the First World War to the National Front (Bloomsbury, 2019) is a work of synthesis that also draws on the author's own research for key examples and evidence to support its narrative and claims. Moving chronologically, the book's chapters take the reader from the impact of the First World War right up to the contemporary period in French politics, culture, and society. A narrative and analysis focused on the French context, the book situates France within a broader European frame.

Engaging the complex historiographic battles surrounding French fascism in ways that will be helpful to non-specialists, and especially to student readers, the book condenses decades of previous scholarship while delving into concrete cases and moments that help to illustrate the stakes of this historical and political field. Examining movements like the Croix-de-Feu, Faisceau, Jeunesses Patriotes, Partie Social Français, and the Cagoulards within the broader interwar landscape of right-wing thought and politics, the book goes on to consider the Vichy period and the emergence of the National Front after the Second World War.

*Special note: Chris and I ran out of time before I could ask him about what he's been working on since the publication of A History of Fascism in France. Readers may also be interested in his most recent book, France in the Second World War: Collaboration, Resistance, Holocaust, Empire (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and its empire. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send her an email (panchasi@sfu.ca).

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