Did It Happen Here?

Since the election of Donald Trump, politicians, historians, intellectuals, and media pundits have been faced with a startling and urgent question: Are we threatened by fascism? Some see striking connections between our current moment and the tumultuous interwar period in Europe. But others question if these connections really reflect our current political moment or if they are another example of Eurocentrism and American provincialism speaking over a much more complex global political landscape.?

Did It Happen Here? collects, in one place, key texts from the sharpest minds in politics, history, and the academy beginning with classic pieces by Hannah Arendt, Angela Davis, Reinhold Niebuhr, Leon Trotsky, and others. The book's contemporary contributors include Ruth Ben-Ghiat on the trivialization of the term "fascism," Jason Stanley and Sarah Churchwell on the Black radical perspective, and Robert O. Paxton on Trump. These writers argue firmly that fascism is alive and well in America today, but another set of contemporary voices disagree. Samuel Moyn demonstrates the limitations of historical comparison. Rebecca Panovka examines the uses and abuses of Hannah Arendt's work. Anton Jager and Victoria De Grazia make the case that the social and communal conditions necessary for fascism do not exist in the United States. Still others, like Priya Satia and Pankaj Mishra, are critical of the narrow framework of this debate and argue for a global perspective.

Did it Happen Here? brings together a range of brilliant intellectuals, offering vital takes on our evolving political landscape. The questions posed by editor Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is one that readers will be debating for decades to come. Is fascism significantly influencing--even threatening to dominate--modern American politics? Is it happening here?

Publication Date: 
March 19, 2024