Memoir of a Fascist Childhood: A Boy in Mosley's Britain

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9780099271796: Memoir of a Fascist Childhood: A Boy in Mosley's Britain

For Grundy and his family Oswald Mosley was God, anti-Semitism a creed. His father was a fascist brawler, his mother obsessed with Mosley and Grundy himself dreamed Mosley was his father and grew up to be the youngest member of the Fascist Union Movement to speak at Trafalgar Square. But, after her death, Grundy learnt that his mother was Jewish.

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In 1957, at the age of 17, Trevor Grundy addressed what remained of Oswald Mosley's Union Movement in a rally in Trafalgar Square, London. The Movement was the nearest thing to a Fascist Party that England has ever seen, and its story, and that of Grundy's indoctrination into its ranks, is the subject of Memoir of a Fascist Childhood.

Encouraged by a father imprisoned for his support for Mosley during World War II, and a mother who confused Mosley with Jesus in an attempt to hide her own origins, the young Trevor grew up in a household resembling a bunker, defined by bigotry, repression and paranoia. But as Trevor's story unfolds, it also becomes a moving account of the tensions and secrets that lie at the heart of most families, as the young man wrestles with a love for his mother which comes into increasing conflict with his gradual disillusion with the Movement.

Memoir of a Fascist Childhood is a frank and fascinating story of the remarkable politicisation and polarisation of post-war Britain, as Trevor moves from the austerity and unrest of the 1940s to the liberalism of the 1960s. Very powerful, very disturbing, and at times very funny, this must have been an extremely difficult book to write, inspired as it was by the death of Grundy's father in 1991. But the anguish is worth it; this is a fine book. --Jerry Brotton

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