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Palgrave Macmillan

British Catholics and Fascism

Religious Identity and Political Extremism Between the Wars

ISBN 9781137274205
Publication Date February 2013
Formats Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

British Catholics and Fascism is a comprehensive study of the way in which British Catholic communities reacted to fascism both at home and abroad. Drawing on substantial primary research, Tom Villis sheds new light on religious identity and political extremism in early twentieth-century Britain. He examines the careers and thought of numerous prominent Catholic writers and cultural commentators as well as the role of the Catholic press more generally, the views of the hierarchy and the overtures which the British Union of Fascists made to the Catholic communities. Debates about fascism became symbolic of the wider difficulties in articulating a religious political critique in an increasingly secular political culture. For many Catholics, pro-fascism became a way of expressing their own distinct political and social identity in a society which largely held different views.

Tom Villis is a Senior Lecturer in History and Politics at Regent's College, London, UK. Tom was educated at the universities of Edinburgh, Grenoble and Cambridge and has also taught at Cambridge University and the Open University. He is the author of Reaction and the Avant-Garde: The Revolt against Liberal Democracy in Early Twentieth-Century Britain.

1. Catholic Fascists?
2. The Hierarchy
3. The Press
4. The Chesterbelloc
5. Campbell, Dawson, Burns and Wall: Catholic Writers and the Crisis of Liberalism
6. The Catholic Literary Right
7. Literary Catholicism and Fascism in Wales
8. Catholic Anti-Fascism


"A scholarly work that makes a clean sweep of stereotyped clichés, reopening the discussion on the essence of Fascism" - Luca Gallesi, Barbadillio.
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