Cultural Literacy: Fascism

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on fascism. This is a full-page worksheet with a seven-sentence reading (a couple of which could easily be broken up) and nine comprehension questions.

Fascism, as you may know, is a notoriously slippery concept, but is nonetheless thrown around casually–I myself once (fortunately, before I was of voting age) ludicrously characterized President Jimmy Carter as a fascist. I studied authoritarian political movements as an undergraduate and can report that even experts on fascism–e.g. Walter Laqueur and George Mosse–were careful with the term and were circumspect about using the word casually. Indeed, Professor Mosse in particular, with whose work I am quite familiar, grappled for much of his career with his agnosticism about fascism and fascist movements.

All of this is a long way of saying that while this worksheet is far from perfect, it is a decent general introduction to some of the cultural, economic, and political aspects of fascism. As much as the seven sentences of text in this document expose, they are notable for the questions they leave unanswered and therefore arouse. In fact, this may be a good document for starting students’ questioning of the conceptual elements of fascism (trust me, they are wide-ranging, disparate, and frequently just plain crazy).

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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