Book Review: Fascism

Madeleine Albright observed drily on meeting the Great Leader’s son, “Shaking hands and posing for cameras, I found that we were about the same height, in part because we wore the same size heels.”

The journey of discovery that the reader of ‘Fascism | A Warning’ encounters is one that does not bow to wonder and awe. Instead, it distressingly unveils how in the twentieth century and beyond, power obsessed individuals have exploited their fragile societies in order to satiate their craving for ideological primacy or territorial dominance.

The author’s indelible experience as a child fleeing a Czechoslovakia on the brink of World War Two evocatively informs her perspective on world affairs. Her position is distinct since it is also shaped through the lens of an academic, a former United Nations ambassador and a Secretary of State. Her penetrating insight into the psyches of despotic leaders from across the continents is penned with the authority of a statesman yet counterbalanced with a scholarly persuasiveness.

This captivatingly written book is hard to put down. It is a highly compelling read that pragmatically explores the origins and components of right wing extremism where the rationally expressed concepts are interlinked with cautionary tales from modern history.

A worthy ‘five-out-of-five stars’ read that may well leave the layperson with a yearning to comprehend how this complex world continues to harbor the ingredients that could conflagrate into perpetual conflict and suffering.

Thus, for those interested in the fates of our nations, a further study to consider would be ‘World Order’ by Henry Kissinger.

Review by David Poon, AIPM Visiting Fellow 2019-20 (Hong Kong Police Force)

Published on 07/09/2020 00:00

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