In from the cold? British fascism and the mainstream press 1925-39

  • Janet Dack

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


For a more complete understanding of the significance of fascism in inter-war Britain, it is important to consider the extent to which fascist views were an expression or extension of existing mainstream views. This thesis uses original research to examine how far the promotion of fascist views converged with mainstream opinion and identifies the issues on which British fascists went beyond the acceptable boundaries of mainstream society. Examining attitudes to antisemitism, refugees, the left, continental dictatorship and appeasement, culture, and, finally, the response of the mainstream press to the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and their reaction to what they perceived as a conspiracy against them, the thesis explores the possibility that there is a sufficient area of discursive overlap to locate British fascists within the mainstream. Significantly, comparison of the British fascist press and mainstream newspapers reveals that, while there were considerable areas of overlapping discourse, nonetheless, the underlying motivations of the fascists and the mainstream clearly differed. With one notable yet brief exception, the majority of the mainstream press regarded British fascists as belonging to the political margins and, increasingly, British fascism and the BUF in particular, defined itself in counter-cultural opposition to the mainstream.
Date of Award17 Sept 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorNigel Copsey (Supervisor), Graham Ford (Supervisor) & Colin Holmes (Supervisor)

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