The Ideological Origins of the Dirty War: Fascism, Populism, and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Argentina

ISBN : 9780199930241

Federico Finchelstein
232 Pages
162 x 237 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
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This book tells the history of modern Argentina through the lens of political violence and ideology. It focuses on the theory and practice of the fascist idea in Argentine political culture throughout the twentieth century. It analyzes the connections between fascist theory and the Holocaust, antisemitism and the military junta's practices of torture and state violence (1976-1983), its networks of concentration camps and extermination. The destruction of the rule of law and military state terror represent the end road of the twisted historical path of Argentine and Latin American dictatorships. The book emphasizes the genocidal dimensions of the persecution of Argentine Jewish victims, explaining why they were disproportionately victimized by the military dictatorship. The Dirty War was not a real war, Federico Finchelstein argues, but an illegal militarization of state repression. This popularized term needs to be explained in terms of the fascist genealogies that The Ideological Origins of the Dirty War explores. From a historical perspective, the Dirty War did not feature two combatants but rather victims and perpetrators. In fact, the state made "war" against its citizens. This state sanctioned terror had its roots in fascist ideology, tracing a history from the fascist movements of the interwar war years to the concentration camps. Argentine fascism shaped the country's political culture. The Argentine road to fascism was shaped in the 1920s and 1930s and from then on continued to acquire many political and ideological reformulations and personifications, from Peronism (1943-1955) to terrorist right-wing organizations in the 1960s (especially Tacuara and the Triple A) to the last military dictatorship (1976-1983).


Introduction: Introduction: From Fascism to the Concentration Camps
Chapter 1 The Ideological Origins of Fascist Argentina
Chapter 2 Catholic Fascist Ideology in Argentina
Chapter 3 Antisemitism, Sex, and Christianity
Chapter 4 Peronism and Fascism
Chapter 5 Bombs, Death, and Ideology: From Tacuara to Triple A
Chapter 6 State Terrorism: The Ideology of the Argentine Dictatorship
Epilogue: History, the Past, and the Present

About the author: 

Associate Professor of History and Director of The Janey Program in Latin American Studies, The New School for Social Research

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