1st Edition

Totalitarianism The Basics

By Phillip W. Gray Copyright 2023
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Totalitarianism: The Basics is an easy-to-read introduction into the main concepts, ideologies, and regimes associated with totalitarianism.

    Starting with an overview of how scholars have attempted to define totalitarianism, Phillip W. Gray begins with an examination of the various types of terms used, helping the reader think about how these terms do – and do not – apply to different ideologies and governments. Easily accessible language and the use of numerous examples aid readers in seeing the connections between certain types of ideologies and some forms of organization/movements in their relation to historically well-known totalitarian regimes. Gray concludes with the tools necessary to think through how to distinguish between an actual (or potential) totalitarian system and regimes that, while oppressive or authoritarian, would not be totalitarian in nature. A rich bibliography containing additional readings bookend the text.

    Totalitarianism: The Basics offers an essential introduction for students from all backgrounds seeking to understand totalitarianism and for general readers with an interest in political ideologies and extremism. For those knowledgeable in this field, it adds conceptual relevance and a variety of ways of thinking about the term.

    1. Introduction: What is Totalitarianism?

    2. Ideology: How Totalitarianism Thinks

    3. Movement/Party: How Totalitarianism Organizes

    4. Regime: How Totalitarianism Governs

    5. Totalitarianism in History

    6. The Future of Totalitarianism



    Phillip W. Gray is an independent scholar who previously taught at Texas A&M University at Qatar, the United States Coast Guard Academy, and at various university in Hong Kong. His main research areas are extremist political ideologies and movements, comparative political theory, and the history of political thought. His most recent book is Vanguardism: Ideology and Organization in Totalitarian Politics (Routledge, 2020).