Biographical dictionary of the extreme right since 1890 /

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Main Author: Rees, Philip
Format: Book
Published:New York : Simon & Schuster, c1990
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Review by Choice Review

Researchers and students will find here well-written, concise descriptions of major and minor figures of extreme right wing politics of the 19th and 20th centuries. The more than 500 selections cross national boundaries from Western and Eastern Europe to Latin America and even South Africa and Japan. The entries range from the notorious (Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich), to the less known, to the surprising (the Mufti of Jerusalem and Rabbi Kahane). The author of several other works on fascism, including bibliographies, e.g., Fascism and Pre-Fascism in Europe, 1890-1945 (CH, Feb'85), Rees often exceeds our expectation of the detail and interpretation usually found in standard biographical dictionaries. About Goebbels we learn that "embitterment at life appeared early; in his diary he wrote life is shit'" (p. 153). The Hitler entry contains a brief summary of current historiography. The entries, which average about 500 words, are complemented by bibliographical references in several languages. It is easy to sympathize with Rees's observation that it is "notoriously difficult to define the right" (p.xvii), but some may question his omissions. Laval and Pilsudski are missing, perhaps because to some extent they worked within the parliamentary framework; still, Huey Long rates an entry. The entries on literary and intellectual figures such as the Frenchmen Brasillach and Celine stand out. Recommended for all academic libraries except the smallest two-year collections. -D. J. Cohen, College of Charleston

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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