ForeWord Reviews

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Facing Fascism

The Threat to American Democracy in the 21st Century

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

“The people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists as for a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” - Hermann Goering

Jerry Sorlucco recalls the second world war when fascism’s destructive power was on display for all to observe. He believes the U.S. government’s reaction to the 2001 terrorist attacks involve many of the same abuses of authority as were once present in Germany Italy and Spain. This book uses Lawrence Britt’s well-publicized checklist to evaluate whether a system is fascist in nature. Typical components of the ideology include: creation of a permanent set of enemies an increase in media control and a devaluation of human rights.

Facing Fascism is divided into four sections. The first chronicles Sorlucco’s experience with the political process in New Hampshire’s North Country. The second and fourth sections deal directly with fascism in action; the third examines several particular issues. The tone is not overly upbeat although this was written before the mid-term elections of 2006 the results of which the author surely found heartening.

America is digging its own grave. Can we do anything? Sure get rid of the gravediggers and stop digging.

Interlocking crises are dissected such as an evaporating energy supply and a widening chasm between haves and have-nots. Prescriptions for reversal of the increasing national dysfunction include a proposed mandatory healthcare insurance pool of all citizens wholesale rejection of the philosophy of Social Darwinism and a review of trade policies.

Despite the author’s non-academic status the scholarship behind Facing Fascism is laudable — Sorlucco’s positions are backed by almost three hundred citations. Near the closing he states “I know it hasn’t been an easy or pleasant read — but I didn’t make this stuff up. No one could.” Therein lies this book’s conundrum. It systematically matches up the accepted hallmarks of classic fascism with similar facets of the current political environment without resorting to baseless cheap shots.

A one-time Eisenhower Republican turned Democrat Jerry Sorlucco has three times run for elective office in New Hampshire. He worked the 2004 campaign of Howard Dean until it was derailed by the infamously spirited I Have a Scream speech. His primary careers were as an airline pilot and a union official with a short stint as a lobbyist. Tim McCarthy former editor of the Littleton Courier (NH) did a bang-up job with the copy and served to an undefined extent as a collaborator.

This is a quality book on a difficult subject written for the dual purposes of educating concerned citizens and spurring opponents of corporate authoritarianism to run for office. Facing Fascism is intended for those who would rather be informed of a serious crisis than bask in feel-good ignorance.