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Publisher's Summary

In the wake of tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Donald Trump's initial refusal to denounce the white nationalists behind it all, the "antifa" opposition movement is suddenly appearing everywhere. But what is it, precisely? And where did it come from?

As long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism - also known as "antifa." Born out of resistance to Mussolini and Hitler in Europe during the 1920s and '30s, the antifa movement has suddenly burst into the headlines amid opposition to the Trump administration and the alt-right. They could be seen in news reports, often clad all in black with balaclavas covering their faces, demonstrating at the presidential inauguration, and on California college campuses protesting far-right speakers, and most recently, on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, protecting, among others, a group of ministers including Cornel West from neo-Nazi violence. (West would later tell reporters, "The anti-fascists saved our lives.")

Simply, antifa aims to deny fascists the opportunity to promote their oppressive politics, and to protect tolerant communities from acts of violence promulgated by fascists. Critics say shutting down political adversaries is anti-democratic; antifa adherents argue that the horrors of fascism must never be allowed the slightest chance to triumph again.

In a smart and gripping investigation, historian and former Occupy Wall Street organizer Mark Bray provides a detailed survey of the full history of anti-fascism from its origins to the present day - the first transnational history of postwar anti-fascism in English. Based on interviews with anti-fascists from around the world, Antifa details the tactics of the movement and the philosophy behind it, offering insight into the growing but little-understood resistance fighting back against fascism in all its guises.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

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Forthright justification for a contentious stance

The book is unapologetic in its presentation of what it views as the core goals of antifa movements throughout history. That being the fight against oppressive, racist, fascist philosophy, recruitment and deeds, wherever they spring up, and as soon as possible. It does not back down from its detractors, defending it tactics, convincingly in my opinion, that the defense of the oppressed and aggrieved takes precedence over the niceties of *civil* society. I'm fairly certain that conservatives, or those who lean even more to the right have no interest in the book, or its explanations, (any more than to post 1-star negative reviews). And it is a tough listen for liberals and progressives, challenging some core beliefs about what the goals for a better society ought to be and how to get there. For me the most compelling part was the notion that antifa groups are not intrinsically extremist, expansive movements, but rather necessary reactions to truly dangerous fascist and exploitative factions seeking to solidify power. This is easily verifiable, as one can measure the activity of antifa as directly proportional to the instigating fascist activity.

You don't have to believe everything you read/hear in the book. The author himself confesses there is a lot of contradictory advice from the various proponents of antifa. But it is important to know what the movement is, what the goals are, and why they feel they need to use the tactics they do. If nothing else, the section on the tricky question of what constitutes *free speech" is very thought provoking, and should be worthy of spurring dialogue amongst progressives and liberals (not holding my breath on conservatives or moderates). All in all, very informative... convincing in parts, troubling in others. But always engaging.

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Dispels much anti-Antifa propaganda

Content was excellent! Great quick overview of Antifa; who they are, what they do, and why. Gives a history of Antifa in the US and various European countries. I enjoyed the narrator's voice and reading style for the most part. The only thing that irritated me was his attempt at accents when reading direct quotes. Since the book gets lots of material from interviews with Europeans, this happens frequently.

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Kind of boring, but very informative

I decided to read this after learning that a family member has gotten deeply involved with white supremacy. I am already involved in many social justice causes but haven’t involved myself in the kind of direct action that Antifa is known for. Overall I enjoyed the book and felt I got a lot of very useful information out of it. I don’t see myself getting deeply involved in some of the more radical of antifa’s activities but I do think overall the movement is a good one, and the book did convince me to start taking some self defense training, just in case I find I need to defend myself from violent white supremecists in the course of my other activism work. It is pretty intellectual, so it felt slow to listen to at times. I guess I expected a book about militant, anti racist, punk rockers to be a little more riveting, lol. Also, I could have done without all the accents the dude reading it did, that was cheesy and obnoxious. Still, worth a listen!

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Super-informative and surprisingly objective

I'm impressed. Literature on this topic often appears to be filled with value judgements and poor reasoning. This book is nothing of the kind. It covers history and the philosophy and reasoning of these antifa groups while allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions.

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Excellent, concise historical account

I highly recommend this book for those interested in organizing history or in building their own activist network. Bray spends a lot of time covering many different conditions in various Western countries over a long period of time and the successes and failures of various antifascist organizers. While I enjoyed the content, the various accents the performer uses to differentiate between different quotes and persons felt unnecessary and quite forced, but not enough to detract.

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not really a handbook.....

This book was more of a telling of antics activity than a handbook. I thought it was a bit boring. But it will educate a person on what antics is.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Poison

just a book that advocates for violence against anyone the author calls facist and the oppression of white people

4 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • mark
  • 08-01-18

Read this book folks!

Clear accessible thinking about how people have fought fascism in the past and valuable observations about this current moment.
Get it, read it, smash the fash!