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  • Published: 15 September 2018
  • ISBN: 9780525511830
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $49.99

How Fascism Works

The Politics of Us and Them




Fascist politics is running rampant in America, and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies its ten pillars and charts its horrifying rise and deep history.

“No single book is as relevant to the present moment.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen

“One of the defining books of the decade.”—Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE • Fascist politics are running rampant in America today—and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history.

As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics—the language and beliefs that separate people into an “us” and a “them.” He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation’s past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.

By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

“With unsettling insight and disturbing clarity, How Fascism Works is an essential guidebook to our current national dilemma of democracy vs. authoritarianism.”—William Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope

  • Published: 15 September 2018
  • ISBN: 9780525511830
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $49.99

Praise for How Fascism Works

  • "There are moments in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance, and such times always bring with them the resurrection of ugly myths. And yet, as Jason Stanley, one of this nation's most important philosophers, makes clear, when such myths are deconstructed, and when their history is laid bare, we remember the extraordinary ties that in fact bind us together. And, in the fire of that powerful recollection, modern day fascism--the current myth-dependent moment of intolerance, xenophobia, and fear mongering that we find ourselves in--can be rendered to ash." --Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy