In the 1930s and early 1940s, prominent Americans publically endorsed a policy of “America First,” even if that meant turning a blind eye to the violence done in Europe by fascist political parties in Italy and, especially Germany. Christopher Vials argues that American fascism has roots that go back to the end of World War I—and is enjoying new dynamism today.
Vials is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut-Storrs, where he is also the Director of American Studies. His broader research interests include class and racial formation, popular culture, ethnic studies, and working class cultural studies.
Vial’s monograph, Haunted by Hitler: Liberals, the Left, and the Fight against Fascism in the United States, looks at the ways in which antifascism, a political discourse with origins in the international left of the 1930s, remained in US popular culture after the Second World War.
His first book, entitled Realism for the Masses: Aesthetics, Popular Front Pluralism, and US Culture: 1935-1947, examined how the 1930s and 1940s left popularized realism in the US, and in so doing, re-shaped the contours of American pluralism.
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