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The politics of betrayalRenegades and ex-radicals from Mussolini to Christopher Hitchens$
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Ashley Lavelle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088162

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088162.001.0001

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A Road Well Travelled

A Road Well Travelled

(p.1) Introduction A Road Well Travelled
The politics of betrayal

Ashley Lavelle

Manchester University Press

The corpse of the radical turned renegade is strewn across the battle plains of political history. Perhaps the best-known example since the rise of organised party politics in the early twentieth century is the man who distinguished himself as a rambunctious editor of a socialist newspaper only to emerge later as the ruler of fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini. But a similar fate befell numerous other radicals around the period of WWI and during the interwar years, including the French anti-militarist transformed into a warmonger Gustave Hervé, the Belgian Marxist cum Nazi collaborator Hendrik de Man, and the British Labour Party politician Oswald Mosley who eventually founded his own fascist movement. Numerous former 1960s radicals, too, subsequently were to find themselves ensconced in parts of the establishment in various countries, as the whiff of tear gas and the blow of the truncheon faded from memory. This chapter defines some of the terms used and outlines the approach adopted in attempting to explain the phenomenon of the renegade in politics.

Keywords:   Structure, Agency, Renegade, Left, Right, Conservatism, Transformation, Experience of Defeat

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