Georges Valois is the enigma who stands at the center of French fascism. Writer, publisher, economic and political organizer, Valois went from adolescent anarchism to fascism and finally to libertarian socialism. His career has mystified scholars, as it did his contemporaries.
From Fascism to Libertarian Communism is the first study of Valois to take his entire life and work as its focus, explaining how certain basic assumptions and patterns of thought took form in strikingly different ideological options. Douglas's work, based on a thorough examination of sources from police archives to personal papers and interviews, provides a convincing explanation of this quixotic figure—a man who founded French fascism only to turn to the radical left and eventually die as a resister in Bergen-Belsen.
At a time when radical socialism is in decline and neofascist movements are gaining renewed support—in France and elsewhere—this original interpretation of Georges Valois's life and thought could not be more timely.
Allen Douglas is Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History at Indiana University.