OTTAWA—Everywhere we turn, people are talking about history. And not just any historical event. Our eyes are trained on the rise of fascism in the 1930s and whether we are living through a similar historical moment today. There can be no doubt about a sea change in how the United States is being governed in the short weeks since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. But can this be likened to Germany in 1933 and to the crisis in liberal democracy that ultimately brought Adolf Hitler to power? This question lies at the heart of the New Fascism Syllabus Project I have created together with Lisa Heineman, professor and chair of the history department at the University of Iowa. This crowd-sourced compendium of news articles will serve as the basis of a course I’m designing at Carleton University next winter on populism as a global phenomenon. It asks students to consider how we might use the tools of history to think through the challenges of today? Is fascism the best term for the job?
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