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.
*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 firstname.lastname@example.org