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Revolutionary Nativism Fascism and Culture in China, 1925-1937 by Maggie Clinton

Revolutionary Nativism Fascism and Culture in China, 1925-1937


Revolutionary Nativism Fascism and Culture in China, 1925-1937 by Maggie Clinton

In Revolutionary Nativism Maggie Clinton traces the history and cultural politics of fascist organizations that operated under the umbrella of the Chinese Nationalist Party (GMD) during the 1920s and 1930s. Clinton argues that fascism was not imported to China from Europe or Japan; rather it emerged from the charged social conditions that prevailed in the country's southern and coastal regions during the interwar period. These fascist groups were led by young militants who believed that reviving China's Confucian national spirit could foster the discipline and social cohesion necessary to defend China against imperialism and Communism and to develop formidable industrial and military capacities, thereby securing national strength in a competitive international arena. Fascists within the GMD deployed modernist aesthetics in their literature and art while justifying their anti-Communist violence with nativist discourse. Showing how the GMD's fascist factions popularized a virulently nationalist rhetoric that linked Confucianism with a specific path of industrial development, Clinton sheds new light on the complex dynamics of Chinese nationalism and modernity.


Historian Clinton offers an insightful analysis of what she sees as China's fascist movement after the ascendance of Chiang Kai-shek in the political arena. Highly recommended. -- P. F. Shan * Choice * An important contribution, Revolutionary Nativism shows how a strain of fascism in early twentieth-century China attempted to mold a vast and preindustrial country into a modern nation-state. Maggie Clinton tells this story with critical insight and historical sympathy, helping to enrich our understanding of fascism in China and central issues in Chinese modernity. -- Xiaobing Tang, author of * Chinese Modern: The Heroic and the Quotidian * Maggie Clinton's book, written in luminous prose, succeeds brilliantly in embedding the development of 1920s and 1930s Chinese right-wing nativist thought and practice in complex domestic and global milieus. Weaving together discussions of culture critique and nativist defense, of political consolidation and economic upheaval, as well as of military strategy and ordinary violence, Revolutionary Nativism reveals the grassroots sources and everyday appeal of fascist social analysis and activism. A compelling account with deep resonance for our contemporary moment. -- Rebecca E. Karl, New York University

About the Author

Maggie Clinton is Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2017


Maggie Clinton

More books by Maggie Clinton
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Duke University Press


280 pages


Fascism & Nazism
Political structures: totalitarianism & dictatorship
Cultural studies
Asian history



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