The continuing interest in the history, ideas, structure and development of fascism in Britain in the twentieth century appears to show little sign of diminishing. This collection of essays, first published in 1980, deals in some depth with new evidence and interpretations of the phenomenon of British fascism and provides a reassessment of some of the major issues that have caused controversy, examines the diverse nature of British fascism and suggests areas which need further research. The early essays identify certain elements of British fascism, particularly anti-semitism, which produced the ideology of the inter-war organisations calling themselves ‘fascist’. Stress is laid on the British roots rather than the European influences of Italy or Germany, and the book also considers the Imperial Fascist League, a competitor of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s. The second section of the book deals with particular aspects of the BUF. Considering its ideology and tactics, there are studies of anti-semitism, economic thought and the public order question. Presenting new research and fresh interpretations of existing material, this important volume considers many of the crucial and unanswered questions surrounding British fascism.
1. Introduction Kenneth Lunn and Richard C. Thurlow Part 1. Precursors and Parallel Movements 2. Political Anti-Semitism before 1914: Fascism’s Heritage? Kenneth Lunn 3. Henry Hamilton Beamish and the Britons: Champions of Anti-Semitism Gisela C. Lebzelter 4. Arnold Leese and the Imperial Fascist League: the Impact of Racial Fascism John Morell Part 2. The British Union of Fascists 5. Reflections on Mosley and British Fascism Robert Skidelsky 6. The Return of Jeremiah: the Rejected Knowledge of Sir Oswald Mosley in the 1930s Richard C. Thurlow 7. Anti-Semitism and the BUF Colin Holmes 8. The BUF, the Metropolitan Police and Public Order John Stevenson 9. The Membership of the British Union of Fascists Stuart Rawnsley Part 3. Wider Context 10. The Contribution of British Intellectuals to Fascism Paul Hayes 11. Changing Interpretations of British Fascism: a Bibliographical Survey Philip Rees 12. Post-War Fascism? Neill Nugent