Fascism

A Warning
Narrated by: Madeleine Albright
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,618 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the most admired international leaders comes a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism today and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace. 

At the end of the 1980s, when the Cold War ended, many, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, believed that democracy had triumphed politically once and for all. Yet nearly 30 years later, the direction of history no longer seems certain. A repressive and destructive force has begun to reemerge on the global stage - sweeping across Europe, parts of Asia, and the United States - that to Albright, looks very much like fascism. 

Based on her personal experience growing up in Hungary under Hitler and the Communist regime that followed World War II, as well as knowledge gleaned from her distinguished diplomatic career and insights from colleagues around the globe, Albright paints a clear picture of how fascism flourishes and explains why it is once again taking hold worldwide, identifying the factors contributing to its rise. Most importantly, she makes clear what could happen if we fail to act against rising fascist forces today and in the near future, including the potential for economic catastrophe, a lasting spike in terrorist activity, increased sectarian violence, a rash of large-scale humanitarian emergencies, massive human rights violations, a breakdown in multilateral cooperation, and nearly irreparable self-inflicted damage to America's reputation and capacity to lead. 

Albright also offers clear solutions, including adjusting to the ubiquity of social media and the changing nature of the workplace and understanding ordinary citizens' universal desire for sources of constancy and morality in their lives. She contends that we must stimulate economic growth and narrow the gap between the rich and poor, urban and rural, women and men, and skilled and unskilled; work across borders to respond to transnational challenges; and ultimately recognize that democracy's unique virtue is its ability - through reason and open debate - to find remedies for its own shortcomings. 

©2018 Madeleine Albright (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Known for her frank manner and direct approach, Albright brings these traits to her performance. Both qualities make her a strong narrator for this serious work.... Her experiences as a diplomat serve her well as a narrator - she is confident, steady, and engaging." (AudioFile)

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Warning!

Great history lesson, I felt like I was sitting in one of Madame Secretary’s classes. It is a book to listen to more than once and one that will provoke thought and conversation. No one else could have narrated it as well as she did.
Loved the book, love Madame Secretary, appreciate the lesson and warning.

102 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Listening to Albright narrate her book was like visiting with her over a cup of tea. She described her families fleeing the Nazis and later the Soviets. Her personal story of her encounter with fascism made the book more relevant than just an academic textbook would have been.

The book is well written and researched. I learned a lot from the book. To me it seemed Albright had trouble fitting in some of the current leaders as true fascists and was attempting to modernize the definition of a fascist. She did say that Kim of North Korea was the only true fascist regime currently in power today. Albright did show a step by step method on how a dictator seized power after being elected in a democracy. Albright stated that “Trump is the first anti-democratic president in modern U.S. history”. The book is worth reading and she stated that democracy depends on an educated, involved and voting public as well as both parties working together. She stated without these two things our country’s democracy will not survive.

The book is almost ten hours. Madeline Albright does a good job narrating the book.

32 people found this helpful

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Dishonest attempt to paint Trump as a fascist!

Finally, in the last chapter author Madeleine Albright gets around to defining “Fascism”: “A fascist is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence or whatever means necessary to achieve whatever goals he may have.” Earlier she identifies herself as a fan of populism which she says is not fascism. While she does not make the outright claim that Donald Trump is a fascist she does indicate that he is or alt least has strong fascist tendencies.

Before going on I'll note that the author does her own narration and does it superbly. For those unfamiliar with Albright served as US Ambassador to the UN and later as US Secretary of State both during the Clinton administration. Since then she has returned to the academy as a professor.

I started listening to FASCISM many months ago and restarted it several times. The author goes back only as far as Benito Mussolini's Italy in the early 1920's and then moves on to Adolph Hitler's Germany. She does recognize that Mussolini and Hitler were socialists and that their form of fascism was a close relative of Soviet communism. But for many chapters after that Ms. Albright discusses other regimes such as Putin's Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Milosevic's Serbia, Orban's Hungary, and Erdogen's Turkey without specifically identifying them as fascist. She then moves on to a discussion of her time in the Clinton administration and what a great job they did. After saying some nice things about both Bush 41 and 43 she lauded the terrific job that the Obama administration did with foreign affairs. Next she favorably discussed populism before defining a fascist. The rest of the book is an attack on President Trump's foreign policy.

With Ms. Albright's government service and her teaching history, government, and politics I expected her to have an ideological definition of fascism, yet she never even attempts it. Her definition of a fascist that I cite in my first paragraph is as close as she comes. Let me try: “Fascism is a branch of collectivism/socialism (as opposed to individualism) that is characterized by strident nationalism combined with aggressive geographic expansionism and a domestic policy of either direct government ownership of the means of production or very tight government control of all aspects of “privately owned” production.”

The weakness of Ms. Albright's book is that she goes out of her way to define fascism incorrectly so that she can force Donald Trump to fit into her definition. I do not like Donald Trump's governing style or his braggadocio, but he is not even close to being a fascist.

15 people found this helpful

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Bad title, good book

First - This book is not about Fascism. It is about authoritarian governments and dictatorships that might turn fascist or did. The title is misleading.

Second - Madeleine Albright is NOT a professional narrator. I did not have a problem with that though. She is a university professor, and it was much like sitting in a class she is teaching. I loved this aspect. Would I hire her to read any other book - NO! But her own works, sure.

Third - She does get up on her high horse when she is giving opinion. Again, not a serious problem, as she has the background and knowledge to make judgement.

Finally - this is a wonderfully interesting book. I loved the history, and I think that was very even handed. She doesn't like Trump, but she does not consider him a Fascist. She is clear about this. There is a bit of Trump bashing, but again, this is where she is giving opinion from an educated place. She is an interesting lecturer (this is what it felt like listening to the book) and I will take a deeper look into some of the countries she mentioned that did not immediately come to mind when I think Fascism. I do wish she had not picked such an alarmist title. "Authoritarianism, Dictatorships, and Fascism: A Warning" would have been much more telling of what to expect in this book

13 people found this helpful

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Let your voice be heard

As a 70 year old woman with a moderate knowledge of history, I have found this book to be enlightening and disturbing. I felt that Ms Albright presented an even handed perspective of then and now events and the players leading these events. I am disturbed that so many countries seem to have autocratic leaders and particularly that the members of the leading party in our Congress appear to have their heads in the wrong part of anatomy. I can only hope that other readers will write to members of Congress and the media to raise the alarm.

12 people found this helpful

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Thank you, Madeleine Albright.

This book made me feel sane again after a grieving period that has included hiding myself away from the goings on of today’s politics.

Thank you, Madeleine Albright, for writing and sharing this book. Despite its being “a warning”, I found it to be a sturdy island of guidance and knowledge in a sea of misinformation and borderline hopelessness. Being “optimists who worry a lot” is much better than letting the waves of despair envelope us.

10 people found this helpful

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A Book filled with information

Madeline Albright is 80 years old and brilliant. There are not many in this universe who are as knowledgeable as she regarding many countries. She conveys more knowledge in a few sentences than our so called leaders even pretend to know about. I fear that because there is no ad nauseam discussion of the pee pee tapes, many people will sadly let this book slip by.

27 people found this helpful

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A must read for everyone

If you have only time to read/listen one book this year, make sure it’s this one. Madeline Albright has outdone herself with this comprehensive overview of how democracies can digress to a state of peril. It is never with a Big Bang, but very subtle. This book helps you get some perspective on how fascism rises and a glimpse of what we can do about it. I personally love the quote by dr. Albright: ‘I’m an optimist, but I worry a lot’.
Very, very well recommended.

63 people found this helpful

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A fascinating opinion

This was a fascinating opinion on what fascism was, is, and can be. It is a warning to all, of what it it looks like, but more importantly what we as people should be aware of in our daily lives. I have studied fascism and nationalism a lot, and I found it to be on-the-nose for the topic. I would highly recommend this to all political persuasions.

17 people found this helpful

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Amazing Analysis

It was amazing to see the similarities of the despots throughout history. It's scary to realize how easily lead unthinking people are. The desire to fulfill selfish interests causes people to sell themselves into bondage, over and over.

41 people found this helpful