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Many historians explain the brutal emergence of the Nazi party in Germany in terms of national prejudices or Hitler's charismatic demagoguery. In this extraordinary Marxist analysis, Donny Gluckstein take issue with such arguments, demonstrating that at the height of an economic crisis in one of the most advanced countries in the world, it was the Nazis' commitment to annihilating the gains of working-class organizations that made their political platform attractive to the German ruling class. Though anti-Semitism was at the center of Nazi ideology, it was not enough to propel the party to popularity; the Nazis were a minor, politically irrelevant force until the collapse of the German economy. Only then did their promise of relief from the hardships of the Depression pave the way for fascism's wider appeal and ultimate rise to power. Yet this rise did not go unchallenged. Gluckstein also provides an analysis of working-class resistance to the Nazis. As the global economy careens into a new period of crisis, far-right and explicitly fascist parties are gaining ground across Europe. The urgency of preventing a resurgence of fascism in the twenty-first century makes it more necessary than ever to understand the political and social context of the Nazis' ascent to power in Germany.
About the Author
Donny Gluckstein is the author of The Paris Commune: A Revolution in Democracy (Bookmarks, 2006); The Tragedy of Bukharin (Pluto, 1994), and The Western Soviets: Workers' Councils Versus Parliament 1915-1920 (Bookmarks, 1988). He is the co-author, with Tony Cliff, of The Labour Party: A Marxist History (Bookmarks, 1986) and Marxism and Trade Union Struggle: The General Strike of 1926 (Bookmarks, 1986). Donny is a lecturer in history in Edinburgh and is a member of the Socialist Workers' Party (UK).