It took me quite awhile, but I finally finished Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" yesterday. Make no mistake, this is not a sparsely sourced, name-calling polemic. It is a serious work of intellectual history that can be a daunting task to read.
Having said that; everyone should read it.
Goldberg traces the roots of fascism from the early 20th century and the war-planning surrounding World War I to its varying strains in Germany, Italy and, yes, the United States.
Liberal readers will also be able to answer a question, or at least be able to list some specific policies, Goldberg often asks when he is accused of being a fascist: Aside from the whole Jew-killing thing, exactly what fascist policies are you opposed to?
As Goldberg demonstrates, the vast majority of "progressive" policy "solutions" to what ails the United States are ripped straight out of Italian and German fascism. It's a history of which the left would like Americans to remain ignorant. "Liberal Fascism" begins to move more apace in the last 100 pages as he links the impulses and policies of the long-forgotten 1910's through 1940's with the more familiar 1960's and even numerous Clinton administration policies.
Goldberg closes with a short section on "the tempting of the right," which illustrates that fascistic tendencies aren't limited to the left of the political spectrum. Specifically, he calls out Pat Buchanan and to a lesser extent George W. Bush on the fascist policies they've promoted -- unfortunately for the left, it hasn't been Bush's war policy or warantless surveillance of terrorists that draw Goldberg's eye, but his so-called "compassionate conservatism."
It's certainly not light reading, but it is necessary.