FROM THE 1960s onwards books on fascism enjoyed a tremendous vogue among both scholars and left-wing academic activists. A handful of these books, notably Ernst Nolte's Three Faces of Fascism (1963), were works of major intellectual distinction; many more only appealed to a labyrinthine Marxist mind seeking to identify the plutocrats who had been the alleged puppet-masters of Mussolini and Hitler.
Between these extremes were books that resembled catalogues of fascist movements and regimes. These routinely consisted of long chapters on Italy and Germany, shorter ones on Britain, Hungary and Romania, and scant paragraphs on Denmark and Switzerland. Oh, and the obligatory inclusion, in ritual obeisance to the Third World, of