Review Essay

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

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Samir Gandesha, ed. Spectres of Fascism: Historical, Theoretical and International Perspectives (London: Pluto Press, 2020). - xii, 291 pages. - isbn 9780745340630.Lawrence Grossberg, Under the Cover of Chaos: Trump and the Battle for the American Right (London: Pluto Press, 2018). - xv, 165 pages. - isbn 9780745337920.David Renton, The New Authoritarians: Convergence on the Right (London: Pluto Press, 2019). - 280 pages. - isbn 9780745338170.David Renton, Fascism: History and Theory (revised edition of Fascism: Theory and Practice, 1999) (London: Pluto Press, 2020). - 192 pages. - isbn 9780745341194.Mike Wendling, Alt Right: From 4 Chan to the White House (London: Pluto Press, 2018). - vi, 294 pages. - isbn 9780745337951.

The titles listed above are all published by the London-based Pluto Press, a radical anti-capitalist, internationalist and politically independent publisher. Originally founded in 1969, Pluto Press is one of Britain’s oldest radical-left publishers. Over fifty years on, their concern is to remain relevant, not to hark back to the past of 1960s radical protest, but to make timely interventions in the present. Nonetheless, past struggles remain a major source of inspiration for the publisher: ‘fascism and racism are on the rise. Refugees are fleeing authoritarian regimes and war. Tensions between corporations and workers are increasing, fuelled by austerity policies and deepening inequality. The world needs a Left Book Club for the 21st Century’, Pluto’s Managing Director declared in 2018.1 Without doubt, the publication of these five titles constitute a timely intervention. Collectively, they merit review as a sample, or ‘taster’ of how the radical left currently views fascism and the resurgent right. But the timing of this intervention aside, do they hold any special significance for the academic analysis of fascism today? For ‘At this moment’, as David Renton concedes in Fascism: History and Theory, ‘there is hardly any theory which is less fashionable among historians of fascism than Marxism’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages7
JournalFascism. Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021


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