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review 2018-11-14 15:44
What is fascism?
The Anatomy of Fascism - Robert O. Paxton

Over the past few years, the word "fascist" has been deployed increasingly to describe modern-day political movements in the United States, Hungary, Greece, and Italy, to name a few places. The word brings with it some of the most odious associations from the 20th century, namely Nazi Germany and the most devastating war in human history. Yet to what degree is the label appropriate and to what extent is it more melodramatic epithet than an appropriate description?

 

It was in part to answer that question that I picked up a copy of Robert O. Paxton's book. As a longtime historian of 20th century France and author of a seminal work on the Vichy regime, he brings a perspective to the question that is not predominantly Italian or German. This shows in the narrative, as his work uses fascist movements in nearly every European country to draw out commonalities that explain the fascist phenomenon. As he demonstrates, fascism can be traced as far back as the 1880s, with elements of it proposed by authors and politicians across Europe in order to mobilize the growing population of voters (thanks to new measures of enfranchisement) to causes other than communism. Until then, it was assumed by nearly everyone that such voters would be automatic supporters for socialist movements. Fascism proposed a different appeal, one based around nationalist elements which socialism ostensibly rejected.

 

Despite this, fascism remained undeveloped until it emerged in Italy in the aftermath of the First World War. This gave Benito Mussolini and his comrades a flexibility in crafting an appeal that won over the established elites in Italian politics and society. From this emerged a pattern that Paxton identifies in the emergence of fascism in both Italy and later in Germany, which was their acceptance by existing leaders as a precondition for power. Contrary to the myth of Mussolini's "March on Rome," nowhere did fascism take over by seizing power; instead they were offered it by conservative politicians as a solution to political turmoil and the threatened emergence of a radical left-wing alternative. It was the absence of an alternative on the right which led to the acceptance of fascism; where such alternatives (of a more traditional right-authoritarian variety) existed, fascism remained on the fringes. The nature of their ascent into power also defined the regimes that emerged, which were characterized by tension between fascists and more traditional conservatives, and often proved to be far less revolutionary in practice than their rhetoric promised.

 

Paxton's analysis is buttressed by a sure command of his subject. He ranges widely over the era, comparing and contrasting national groups in a way that allows him to come up an overarching analysis of it as a movement. All of this leads him to this final definition:

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. (p. 218)

While elements of this are certainly present today, they are hardly unique to fascism and exist in various forms across the political spectrum. Just as important, as Paxton demonstrates, is the context: one in which existing institutions are so distrusted or discredited that the broader population is willing to sit by and watch as they are compromised, bypassed, or dismantled in the name of achieving fascism's goals. Paxton's arguments here, made a decade before Donald Trump first embarked on his candidacy, are as true now as they were then. Reading them helped me to appreciate better the challenge of fascism, both in interwar Europe and in our world today. Everyone seeking to understand it would do well to start with this perceptive and well-argued book.

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text 2018-09-28 11:08
Managing Your Anxiety or Depression

Are you feeling extremely sad but don’t know what the real reason is? Never prolong the distress by searching for the right treatment for depression and anxiety. You need to straighten up your emotions before they consume you. There is one way to help you solve such abhorrent feeling, and it’s best done with consultations from a psychoanalyst named Patrick Mahony.

 

So, what is depression? It’s actually a feeling of being sad or in a low mood. Many people often feel such emotions, and it can turn more potent with sadness that it becomes unbearable. This is when it is classified as clinical depression where someone experiencing it will need professional help.

 

When you suffer from such illness, your cognitive, emotional somatic and behavioral components are combined to create a feeling of fear, nervousness and too much worry. This will affect the body by creating headaches, chest paint, nausea and heart palpitations.

 

Although they are different, Patrick Mahony recommends that depression and anxiety be treated in the same manner. It is believed that those experiencing depression are sometimes anxious. The treatment from a psychoanalyst will make the patient relax sometime and develop trust with the expert. After which, he may need to visit his clinic a number of days a week or months or even years, until he’s fully recovered.

 

As a medical practitioner, Patrick Mahony is the best person to tell you what type of treatment is most suited for depression and anxiety. Some may be given antidepressant drugs for those suffering the two illnesses. His therapy sessions will guide the patient to help himself or herself cope with his or her condition. The patient is aided to overcome his or her lowest points where he is asked to calm down physically until everything turns normal.

 

If you start feeling the depression or anxiety, or is in the healing stage, you need Patrick Mahony to advise you with some suggested relaxation techniques and exercises to keep you focused and balanced. You should also watch out what you eat especially those chemicals that trigger such emotions. Be careful in what you choose to consume for your body. The best ways are to eat right with vegetables, fruits and lots of water.

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review 2018-09-19 07:01
Moments
Strength - Amy Daws

This is book #2 in the Lost In London series, and #5 in the London Lovers series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading these series in order.

Hayden has had a tough time recently. He lost a loved one, was fighting depression, and lost who he believes was the love of his life. Then he meets someone he cannot stop thinking about. The timing sucks, but love gets you when you least expect it.

Vi does not want anything to do with the man who blew her off so quickly. When she sees him again she cannot stop her heart from wanting, but she can use her head and be smart. Is it possible to deny yourself something you were not sure you needed in the first place?

This was an emotional and deep story. These characters are fiercely independent and fight falling in the worst way. Chemistry is strong, however, and it wins every time. Sad, sweet, and sexy, this story and series are such a great read.

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review 2018-09-17 07:05
Strength
That One Moment - Amy Daws

This is book #2 in the Lost In London series, and #5 in the London Lovers series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading these series in order.

 

Hayden has had a tough time recently.  He lost a loved one, was fighting depression, and lost who he believes was the love of his life.  Then he meets someone he cannot stop thinking about.  The timing sucks, but love gets you when you least expect it.

 

Vi does not want anything to do with the man who blew her off so quickly.  When she sees him again she cannot stop her heart from wanting, but she can use her head and be smart.  Is it possible to deny yourself something you were not sure you needed in the first place?

 

This was an emotional and deep story.  These characters are fiercely independent and fight falling in the worst way.  Chemistry is strong, however, and it wins every time.  Sad, sweet, and sexy, this story and series are such a great read.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-09-10 03:14
Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud is a determined to find his father despite what is thrown his way. He battles foster parents and siblings, his ability to keep up a lie, as well as hunger and homelessness during the Great Depression. Bud’s mother died when he was six leaving him an orphan because his father was not apart of his life. When Bud runs away from a foster home after being locked in a shed with vampires, he sets his sights on locating his long lost father. Bud’s journey to find his father leads him to an outcome he never expected. Bud uses a map to find various routes during his journey, an activity for students to do is use a map to help Bud find his way from city to city. The students could calculate how long bud would need to travel by foot and by car. An extension to this activity is to have research the cities and find information about those cities during the Great Depression and record them in a graphic organizer. The DRA reading level is 40-50.

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