Book Launch: ‘Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australia’

Book Launch:

‘Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australia’

Friday 31 March at 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Catalyst Social Centre 144-146 Sydney Road, Coburg.

Cohosted by the Melbourne branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and the SEARCH Foundation. 

Join authors Evan Smith, Jayne Persian, Vashti Jane Fox and Jeff Sparrow in the launch of ‘Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australia’.

Free drinks and nibbles will be provided before and after the talk.


About the Book

Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australia provides a history of fascist movements and anti-fascist resistance in Australia over the past century. In recent years, the far right has become a resurgent force across the globe, resulting in populist parties securing electoral victories, social movements organising on the streets, and acts of right-wing terrorism. Australia has not been immune to this. However, this is not merely a recent phenomenon; it has a long history of fascist and far-right groups and individuals. These groups have attempted to situate themselves into the broader settler colonial political landscape, often portraying themselves as the inheritors of a violent and exclusionary colonial past. Concurrently, these groups have linked into globalised anti-communist and white supremacist networks. At the same time, Australia has often seen resistance to fascism and the far right, from the political centre to the far left. This book provides the most detailed account of this fascinating and important topic, covering the period from the 1920s to the present day and featuring insights from historians, sociologists, and political scientists. This book will interest students and activists interested in the extreme right and anti-fascism as well as Australian history, politics, and society.

Free, but RSVP is essential.


“This is an original and timely book with a stellar line-up of scholars. While research on the far right and fascism in Australia has grown over the years, anti-fascism and resistance have remained under explored and this book fills this significant gap magnificently.”

Aurelien MondonUniversity of Bath, UK

“This collection brings together the leading authorities on fascism and anti-fascism in Australia with a new generation working in the archives. It challenges our inherited understanding of the militant anti-fascism of the 1930s, and the early movements against the White Australia immigration regime. Lively and accessible, it documents the immediate predecessors to the racial populists of our own times, and the generations who resisted them.”

David Renton, author of No Free Speech for Fascists

“In a world where right wing extremism continues to flourish, this history of fascism and anti-fascism is both timely and illuminating. There is an impressive depth of empirical research together with insights drawn from global fascism and anti-fascism studies, and it’s all told with clarity and style. The chapters, by both well-established and emerging scholars, explore in depth the shifting relationships between extremist and mainstream political movements. A key theme is the manner in which Australia’s distinctive forms of racism – expressed in Indigenous and immigration policies, public discourse, and popular culture – have shaped its historical experience of fascist ideas and movements. Histories of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Australia also explores the achievements as well as the limitations and failures of anti-fascist movements in the past, making for a multi-faceted and nuanced work of history with both scholarly and practical value.”

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