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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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How Fascism Works
The Politics of Us and Them
By (author): Jason Stanley
9780525511830 Hardcover English General Trade POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Fascism & Totalitarianism Sep 04, 2018
$35.00 CAD
Active 5.3 x 7.7 x 0.9 in 240 pages Random House
Fascist politics is running rampant in America, and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies its ten pillars and charts its horrifying rise and deep history.

Fascist politics seeks to divide a population along ethnic, racial, or religious lines. Jason Stanley understood this as a scholar of philosophy and propaganda and as the child of refugees of WWII Europe, but even he was surprised by its prevalence in the United States. First with the rise of the birther movement and later the ascent of Donald Trump, he observed that not only is the rise of fascist politics possible in America, but its roots have been here for more than a century. Drawing on history, philosophy, sociology, critical race theory, and examples from around the world from 19th-century America to 20th-century Germany (where Hitler was inspired by the Confederacy and Jim Crow South) to 21st-century India—Stanley identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics that leaders use to hold onto power by dividing populations into an us and a them: the mythic past, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, unreality, hierarchy, victimhood, law and order, sexual anxiety, appeals to the heartland, and a dismantling of public welfare and unity. He uncovers urgent patterns that are widespread today and pins down a creeping sense that fascist tendencies are on the rise. By recognizing them, he argues, readers might begin to resist their most harmful effects.

Story Locale: 20th and 21st Centuries

STAR PHILOSOPHER: Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale and the author of multiple award-winning philosophy books, including How Propaganda Works, which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. His first book, Knowledge and Practical Interests, won the American Philosophical Association Book Prize for 2005-06.

NATIONAL PLATFORM: A rising public intellectual, Stanley speaks to a wide audience and contributes frequently to The Stone in The New York Times along with The Washington Post, The Boston Review, Aeon and many other publications.

CONSTANT SPEAKING SCHEDULE: Stanley keeps up a speaking schedule that frequently takes him around the country and the world.

AUTHOR BACKGROUND: Stanley is the son of Jewish refugees of WWII Europe. Before fleeing Berlin for the United States, his grandmother freed Jewish prisoners from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp disguised as a Nazi social worker and later wrote about the denial of Berlin’s Jewish community as the Holocaust began, all of which Stanley writes about in How Fascism Works.

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Stanley is the author of Know How; Languages in Context; Knowledge and Practical Interests, which won the 2007 American Philosophical Association book prize; and How Propaganda Works, which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. His first book, Knowledge and Practical Interests, won the American Philosophical Association Book Prize, awarded to one philosopher every year, for 2005-6. He is a frequent contributor The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. Stanley lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his family.

Author Residence: New Haven, CT

Author Hometown: New York, NY

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“A vital read for a nation under Trump… [an] arresting new book… The book provides a fascinating breakdown of the fascist ideology, nimbly interweaving examples from Germany, Italy and Hungary, from Rwanda and Myanmar to Serbia and, yes, the US. As he proceeds through his framework of the broadest features of his subject, Stanley includes smaller observations that may for some readers land bracingly close to home.”The Guardian

“By placing Trump in transnational and transhistorical perspective, Stanley sees patterns that others miss…. Stanley’s comparative perspective is particularly effective in illustrating how fascists use fears of sexual violence…. By calling Trump a ‘fascist’—a word that strikes many Americans as alien and extreme—Stanley is trying to spark public alarm. He doesn’t want Americans to respond to Trump’s racist, authoritarian offensives by moving their moral goal posts. The greater danger, he suggests, isn’t hyperbole, it’s normalization. And twenty months into Trump’s presidency, the evidence is mounting that he’s right.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“Jason Stanley reveals how the liberties of the people wither when voters embrace politicians who promote the divisive politics of us versus them while denigrating cooperation, compromise, and respect for others. How Fascism Works builds on philosopher Stanley’s insightful How Propaganda Works to explain in concise and easily understood terms how people get tricked into reversing the expanding rights that made America great.”—David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of It’s Even Worse Than You Think and The Making of Donald Trump

“An endless question about history—does it repeat itself? The Allies triumphed over fascism nearly seventy-five years ago. But is it on the rise again? The national populism of Trump and Bannon; Brexit; Orban and the rise of the Hungarian right; the Italian five-star movement; Erdoğan—Jason Stanley has in this extraordinary book tried to answer these questions. For those in denial or in doubt, Stanley’s book provides overwhelming evidence that fascism is alive, well, and on the rise. It’s a clarion call to wake up, pay attention, and do something. No one has any doubt that fascism works; the question remains: How do we stop it? Stanley tells us that fascism is not a plan on how to govern but a plan on how to seize control. This is an important and essential book.”—Errol Morris, filmmaker and author of The Ashtray

“There are moments in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance, and such times always bring with them the resurrection of ugly myths. And yet, as Jason Stanley, one of this nation’s most important philosophers, makes clear, when such myths are deconstructed and their history is laid bare, we remember the extraordinary ties that in fact bind us together. And in the fire of that powerful recollection, modern-day fascism—the current myth-dependent moment of intolerance, xenophobia, and fearmongering in which we find ourselves—can be rendered to ash.”—Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water

“Jason Stanley’s book comes at a most propitious time, when we must come to grips with the political consequences that may follow the rise of xenophobic populism. History teaches what those consequences are, and in his book Stanley, with great analytical and conceptual clarity, not only tells the story but more crucially provides a critical framework through which to see the insidious mechanisms at play that are threatening today’s democracies around the globe. How Fascism Works is a must-read for all of us who take seriously our responsibility as citizens.”—Jan T. Gross, author of Neighbors

“A sharply argued and timely guide…Stanley’s highlighting of the politics of sexual anxiety is particularly welcome and relevant.”—Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema

“With unsettling insight and disturbing clarity, How Fascism Works is an essential guidebook to our current national dilemma of democracy vs. authoritarianism. The fingerprints of the fascist past are visible in the present, and this volume bravely shines a light upon them.”—William Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope

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