Fascism, Populism and American Democracy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fascism, Populism and American Democracy

1st Edition

By Leonard Weinberg


106 pages

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Paperback: 9781138063754
pub: 2018-10-10
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pub: 2018-10-09
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Hard right-wing politics is growing in popularity in America, marked by Donald Trump’s success in the 2016 election, and it is worth questioning what this means for the American democratic system. This book seeks to explain the vulnerability of democracies to the appeal of right-wing politics through a contemporary case study of the US, and how democracies are possibly under threat from a conflict between popular attitudes and institutional paralysis. Various forms of American right-wing extremism are examined here, such as the alt-right, the radical right and the Religious right, but their perceived relevance to Trump’s victory is questioned. Even still, this book asks the question: can the far-right prevail under the American way?


‘Fascism, Populism and American Democracy finally offers genuine insights and considered analysis to those eager to understand the complex relationship to actual fascism of the populist movement of support that Trump has whipped up with his rhetoric, rather than join in the public slanging match about it. Highly readable, but profound, the book gives intelligent readers the chance to regain a foothold on the terra firma of Enlightenment values based not on mythic thinking and visceral emotions, but on research-based knowledge and argument.’ – Roger Griffin, Professor of Modern History, Oxford Brookes University

‘Weinberg, a preeminent scholar of radicalism after World War II, portrays an important and thought-provoking picture of the challenges that the populist right poses to the democracy in America. This excellent book is a must read.’ - Ami Pedahzur, Arnold S. Chaplik Professor in Israel and Diaspora Studies, The University of Texas at Austin.

‘Leonard Weinberg proves again that he is one of the most lucid and intriguing voices among scholars of political extremism, as he provides an innovative and comprehensive analysis of the factors shaping the rise of far-right populism in the United States. A must read for anyone striving to comprehend the impact of far-right ideology on the contemporary American political landscape’. - Arie Perliger, Professor, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 – What Could Go Wrong?

Chapter 3 – Why the United States has come under Right-Wing Domination: The Background

Chapter 4 – Political Decay

Chapter 5 -Trump and The Alt-Right

Chapter 6 – Fascism and Populism

Chapter 7 – Final Observations

About the Author

Leonard Weinberg is Foundation Professor Emeritus at the University of Nevada. Over the course of his career he has served as a visiting professor at King’s College, University of London, University of Haifa and as a visiting scholar at the University of Florence, and UCLA. He has also been the recipient of both Fulbright and Guggenheim research awards. Weinberg has been the author or editor of some twenty books, the most recent one being The Role of Terrorism in Twenty-First Warfare (2016) co-authored with Susanne Martin.

About the Series

Extremism and Democracy

This series covers academic studies within the broad fields of ‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’, with volumes focusing on adjacent concepts such as populism, radicalism, and ideological/religious fundamentalism. These topics have been considered largely in isolation by scholars interested in the study of political parties, elections, social movements, activism, and radicalisation in democratic settings. A key focus of the series, therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism, radicalism, populism, fundamentalism, and democracy. Since its establishment in 1999, the series has encompassed both influential contributions to the discipline and informative accounts for public debate. Works will seek to problematise the role of extremism, broadly defined, within an ever-globalising world, and/or the way social and political actors can respond to these challenges without undermining democratic credentials.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Fascism & Totalitarianism