The Fascist Effect: Japan and Italy, 1915-1952 - Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University (Hardback)Reto Hofmann (author)
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During the interwar period, Japanese intellectuals, writers, activists, and politicians, although conscious of the many points of intersection between their politics and those of Mussolini, were ambivalent about the comparability of Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy. In The Fascist Effect, Reto Hofmann uncovers the ideological links that tied Japan to Italy, drawing on extensive materials from Japanese and Italian archives to shed light on the formation of fascist history and practice in Japan and beyond. Moving between personal experiences, diplomatic and cultural relations, and geopolitical considerations, Hofmann shows that interwar Japan found in fascism a resource to develop a new order at a time of capitalist crisis.Japanese thinkers and politicians debated fascism as part of a wider effort to overcome a range of modern woes, including class conflict and moral degeneration, through measures that fostered national cohesion and social order. Hofmann demonstrates that fascism in Japan was neither a European import nor a domestic product; it was, rather, the result of a complex process of global transmission and reformulation. By focusing on how interwar Japanese understood fascism, Hofmann recuperates a historical debate that has been largely disregarded by historians, even though its extent reveals that fascism occupied a central position in the politics of interwar Japan. Far from being a vague term, as postwar historiography has so often claimed, for Japanese of all backgrounds who came of age from the 1920s to the 1940s, fascism conjured up a set of concrete associations, including nationalism, leadership, economics, and a drive toward empire and a new world order.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 539 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 20 mm
"Hofmann has produced a readable and exceptionally sensible volume on the global production of fascist ideology, which will be of tremendous value for scholars who teach comparative history... Hofmann's book opens the door to a debate truly worth having in Japanese history circles."* Journal of Japanese Studies *
"This book is an important addition to the growing body of literature that examines fascism in a transnational context. The author provides an insightful and highly original exploration of the dialogue between Italian Fascism and Japanese political and sociocultural debates of the period. Throughout the work, Reco Hofmann does especially well in highlighting the ambiguities and contradictions in the debate over fascism's applicability to Japan, in particular the tensions between its nationalist and internationalist impulses."* The Historian *
"The Fascist Effect is brilliantly researched, conceptually sophisticated, and engagingly written. The transnational focus on Italy and the circuits of exchange between Italian fascist thinkers and political figures and their Japanese counterparts have never been explored with such rigor and control. While enlivening his text with vivid biographical portraits, Reto Hofmann illuminates the contribution of Japanese thinkers to global fascism as well as the long-term engagement of Japanese fascists with the Italian right. In tying culture and ideas together with shifting economic and political realities, Hofmann opens up many new and exciting questions about fascism as a question of global modernity."-- Takashi Fujitani, Dr. David Chu Professor and Director in Asia Pacific Studies, University of Toronto, author of Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War II
"In The Fascist Effect, Reto Hofmann argues that fascism was not one thing but actually that its basic attributes were constantly reconstituted throughout its diverse histories. Hofmann provides a clear historical analysis of transnational connections between fascisms in Asia and Europe and significantly increases our knowledge of the global processes of exchange and reformulation of political ideas in the modern era."-- Federico Finchelstein, The New School, author of Transatlantic Fascism: Ideology, Violence and the Sacred in Argentina and Italy, 1919-1945
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