My Idiosyncratic Guide to Books on Postwar Fascism

I’m a little puzzled myself at how many books on post-war fascism I’ve read. What’s the allure? Perhaps its a fear that these ideas, which never went away, would one day resurface into the mainstream? Perhaps its trying to grapple with how anyone can be filled with this kind of hate and paranoia?  However you view it, I thought it’d be worth while to collect reviews I have written on various books on the post-war fascism / Neo-Nazism.

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International, Kevin Coogan — A biography of Yockey, a leading post war anti-semite and fascists, and a capsule history of post-war esoteric fascism

Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret International History of the Twentieth Century, Mark Sedwick — An academic history of the “tradionalist” religious movement, of which many of the more esoteric fascists of the post-war era have been enamored.

 Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Clark — An overview of the major currents in post-war “esoteric nazism” i.e. the most out there crazy of the bigots.

Blood In The Face: Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of New White Culture, James Ridgeway — Good overview of the history of neo-nazi movement and other hate groups in the United States circa the 1990s.

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right Angel Nagle — Excellent look at the rise of the online “Alt-right”

Militias in America 1995: A Reading and Resources, Institute for Alternative Journalism — A collection of journalism written in the aftermath of the Oklahoma city bombing and the rise of the Militia movement.

Soundtracks to the White Revolution : White Supremacist Assaults on Youth Music Subcultures Devin Burghart, editor A brief overview of the white power / neo-nazi movements infiltration of various underground music scenes.

The Silent Brotherhood: The Chilling Inside Story of America’s Violent, Anti-Government Militia Movement, Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt Story of White power criminal gang “the Order” who were responsible for a string of bank robberies and the death of liberal radio personality Alan Berg.

BONUS!

Adolf Hitler, Magic Yoga Spaceman — My friend V. Charm’s review of Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. Charm is a much better writer than me, you’ll enjoy this.

Coogan’s Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International 

Kevin Coogan

When this book came out, I reviewed it for Maximum RockNRoll. I wish I could find that review now, but alas, it seems to have been lost in the pre-digital fog. However, with Evola and other post-war fascists back in the air, I thought it would be worth the time to revisit this seminal work.

This book is, ostensibly, a biography of the post war American fascist Francis Parker Yockey. Yockey was a fascinating, dangerous, character. An attorney, a racist, an author, an anti-Semite, and possibly a traitor, he lived a life of almost constant agitation for a fascist future, using multiple aliases, and eventually committing suicide in custody by taking a cyanide pill almost surely smuggled in to him by a sympathizer. He also wrote one of the so-called “classics” of intellectual side of post-war fascism, Imperium a book which I have not read but can feel confident in telling you is almost surely incoherent garbage.

Yockey’s story alone is completely fascinating, but Coogan goes further, giving us a capsule history of the entire bonkers history of post-WWII fascism, with a special emphasis on the more mystical, wanna-be intellectual side of the endeavor promulgated by the likes of Julius Evola.

I’m pretty sure this started out as a phd thesis, but it reads like it is written with the chops of someone with a journalism background.* For a book on such a wide ranging and often esoteric subject matter, it moves, and even at over five hundred pages, I wanted more. If current times got you worried and wondering where all this alt-right garbage came from, you could do worse than picking this one up.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

Yockey in cuffs.

Yockey in cuffs.

*In the late 90s Coogan also wrote a couple of great articles for a now defunct punk rock magazine called Hit List on the Workers World Party and ANSWER and the facist underpinings of black metal. If anyone reading this knows Coogan, I’d very much like to get in touch with him. I can be reached at miloandthecalf@gmail.com

Review: Goodrich-Clarke’s Black Sun

Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity
Nicholas Goodrich-Clarke

An overview of Nazi inspired right wing lunatics of the post World War II era, covering the heavy hitters and some lesser known individuals. It is a very well researched account of world for which it is difficult to get information, but it is also dry, and skims too lightly over the biographies of these people for my taste. While I think it is important to seriously engage with lunatic ideas about Nazis in Antarctica, I don’t necessarily want to read fifty pages about it. I’d recommend it for the person deeply interested in the lunatic fringe of the right, but perhaps not for the average reader.

A thought on the substance of the book: Much of post WWIII Nazism is enraptured with a mystical religious understanding of Hitler and Nazism. There is much talk in this book about Hitler as a Hindu avatar, Hitler as an alien intelligence, Hitler as a blah blah blah.. What all of this does it put distance between the reality of Hitler as the mastermind of one of the greatest genocides in history and the “theoretical” Hitler of Julius Evola’s books. Goodrick-Clarke hints at this, but is too much of an even keel academic to say what needs to be said – by placing a mystical veneer on the man’s action, you can attempt to cloud the history and make the man more than a murder. This mysticalization of Hitler and Nazism is a dangerous trend in modern ultra right politics, and one that needs to be combated with the cold hard truth that Hitler was just a sociopath, nothing more.

Recommended for the enthusiast*

 

*Though it feels weird to use “enthusiast” here. Note that I loathe fascism, racism and antisemitism and actively fight it. Knowing it is part of defeating it.