Imagining Fascism: The Culture Politics of the French Young Right, 1930-1945

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The role and influence of intellectuals is one of the flashpoints in the recurring debate on the nature and dimensions of French fascism. At the forefront of this debate are a group of emerging writers, collectively known as the Young Right. Though thoroughly schooled in the reactionary nationalism of Charles Maurras' Action francaise, whose orbit they entered in the early 1930s, they were soon seduced by the mobilizing force of neighboring fascist movements and regimes. Led by two precocious literary talents, Robert Brasillach and Thierry Maulnier, the Young Right set themselves to rejuvenating French nationalism and winning a place for France in an emerging new Europe. Their project - an attempt to graft lessons from foreign sources onto a native language of French generational and cultural politics - was one of several efforts to create a distinctive French fascism.