What I Got Wrong About Fascism
In January 2008 I published my first book, Liberal Fascism.
It did well, reaching No. 1 on the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists. It has been published in many languages. It was, to put it mildly, controversial and remains so to this day.
While I would certainly write the book differently today, I still stand by much of it, proudly so in many regards. For instance, I take great satisfaction that my hammer-and-tongs attack on Woodrow Wilson’s nativism, racism, and authoritarianism, much ridiculed at the time (the headline of the New York Times review of Liberal Fascism was a mocking “Heil Woodrow!”), is now much closer to conventional wisdom on the left and right.
But there’s one important claim that has been rendered utterly wrong. I argued that, contrary to generations of left-wing fearmongering and slander about the right’s fascist tendencies, the modern American right was simply immune to the fascist temptation chiefly because it was too dogmatically committed to the Founders, to constitutionalism, and to classical liberalism generally.