Over the past few decades, extreme-right political parties have won increasing support throughout Europe. The largest and most sophisticated of these is the French National Front. Led by the charismatic Jean-Marie Le Pen, the Front is now the third most important political force in France after the mainstream right and the socialists.This clear and comprehensive book explores the antecedents for the meteoric rise of the National Front. Beginning with a political history of the extreme right from 1945 to 1995, Harvey Simmons traces links between Le Pen and French neo-fascist and extreme-right organizations of the 1950s and 1960s, and concludes with analyses of the Front's antisemitism, racism, organization, ideology, language, electorate, and views on women. Simmons argues that the Front is not a party like any other, but a major threat to French democracy.
Preface -- Introduction -- History -- Out of the Ashes: Postwar Fascism in France -- From Poujade to de Gaulle -- From Tixier-Vignancour to the National Front -- Into the Limelight: 1981–1986 -- Sinking Roots: 1987–1995 -- Analysis -- Anti-Semitism -- Immigration and Racism -- Electorate -- Party Organization -- The New Political Discourse of the Extreme Right -- Metaphors of War: Women and the National Front -- Conclusion -- Postscript