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Queen – Another One Bites the Dust (Official Video)

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Pepsi Commercial HD – We Will Rock You (feat. Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink & Enrique Iglesias)

We Will Rock You



[Verse 1]
Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday

You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singing

We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

[Verse 2]
Buddy, you’re a young man, hard man
Shouting in the street, gonna take on the world someday

You got blood on your face, you big disgrace
Waving your banner all over the place

We will, we will rock you
Sing it out
We will, we will rock you

[Verse 3]
Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes, gonna make you some peace someday

You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back into your place

We will, we will rock you, sing it
We will, we will rock you, everybody
We will, we will rock you, hmm
We will, we will rock you, alright


Queen – We Will Rock You (Official Video)


How Qassem Soleimani was ‘torn to shreds’ by a US missile and his body had to be identified by his RING: Pentagon drone launched four rockets at car carrying Iranian general after he arrived from Syria to meet ringleaders of embassy attack

  • US airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in Baghdad
  • The attack unfolded early on Friday local time in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani¬†
  • Soleimani had just arrived in Baghdad on a flight from Syria and was leaving the airport when he was hit
  • Attack also killed¬†Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of Iranian militias in Iraq which led attacks on US embassy

Four precision missiles were fired from a deadly remote-controlled 4,900 pound U.S. drone, decimating a convoy that¬†Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds force, was traveling in and tearing his body ‘to shreds’.

Soleimani, commonly known as the second-most powerful man in Iran and tipped as a future president, was so badly maimed in the strike that he had to be identified by a large ring he wore on his finger.

He had just landed in Baghdad airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Both vehicles were instantly reduced to smoldering wrecks Рkilling Soleimani, Muhandis, Jabri and two others who have yet to be identified.

Social media photos show burning wreckage of the US airstrike on two cars at Baghdad International Airport. Iranian officials and pro-Iran militia members were among those killed

This is the moment an American guided missile struck a convoy of cars carrying Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani along with two Islamic Revolutionary Guards generals, a colonel, and a captain, killing all five

The devastating US drone has a range of 1,150 miles and is able to to fly at altitudes of 50,000 feet. It is an ‘armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance’ remotely piloted aircraft.

It is primarily used to execute targets – such as Soleimani – and secondarily to collect intelligence, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The drone is capable of annihilating targets with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles which provide ‘highly accurate’ and ‘low-collateral damage’ capabilities.

An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft making a rare public sighting in Nevada in November

AGM-114 Hellfire missiles – which are laser guided and subsonic – are so powerful that they are used to take out tanks. They can also be used as an air-to-air weapon against helicopters and other aircraft.

Fired upon¬†Soleimani’s convoy, the¬†4,900-pound drone- which has a wingspan of 66 feet and a cruising speed of roughly 230mph – is said to have reduced two vehicles to smoldering wrecks and ‘torn to shreds’ the bodies of those inside.

The drone made a rare public sighting at¬†Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada in November. The Aviationist reports that it was ‘nearly silent’ and ‘sent a collective shiver up air show viewers‚Äô spines’.

Two officials from the PMF said Soleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis.

A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. Photos from the scene show a hand with large ring that looks identical to one Soleimani is seen wearing in old photos.

Local militia commander Abu Muntathar al-Hussaini told Reuters:

‘Haj Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were riding in one vehicle when it was struck by two successive guided missiles launched from an American helicopter while they were on their way from the arrivals hall on the road that leads out of Baghdad Airport.’

He said the second vehicle was carrying bodyguards from the PMF and was hit by one rocket.

While American forces did not make it clear how they had tracked Soleimani’s location, he is thought to be kept under near-constant surveillance by US, Saudi and Israeli security forces.

The¬†New York Times¬†reported that Friday’s attack¬†drew upon a combination of highly classified information from informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance techniques.

The Defense Department said that the airstrike was justified to protect American lives.

‘General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,’ the Pentagon statement said.

The statement added that Soleimani ‘orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months’ including the embassy assault.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Soleimani’s assassination would strengthen resistance against the United States and Israel in the region and the world, Iranian state television reported.

‘The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani … will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous,’ Zarif said in a statement.

The high-profile assassinations are likely to be a massive blow to Iran, which has been locked in a long conflict with the United States that escalated sharply last week with an attack on the US embassy in Iraq by pro-Iranian militiamen.

A senior politician said Soleimani's body was identified by the ring (above) he often wore

The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (center in sunglasses), the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were responsible for the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad

Soleimani’s killing marks a dramatic escalation in the regional ‘shadow war’ between Iran and the US and its allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia, which could quickly ratchet up tit-for-tat attacks – all the way to the brink of all-out war.

The slain commander’s Quds Force, along with its stable of paramilitary proxies from Lebanon’s Hezbollah to the PMF in Iraq – battle-hardened militias armed with missiles – has ample means to launch a multi-barrelled response against its enemies.

In September, US officials blamed Iran for a devastating missiles and drones attack on oil installations of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state energy giant and world’s largest oil exporter. The Trump administration did not respond, beyond heated rhetoric and threats.

Iran, for its part, has absorbed scores of air strikes and missile attacks, mainly carried out by Israel against its fighters and proxies in Syria and Iraq.

But analysts say Iran is likely to respond forcefully to the targeting of Soleimani, who it has built into a legend as its influence has spread across the region in the wake of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation.

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force

The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force

Images taken after sunup on Friday show the twisted wreckage left behind by the US missile strike on two cars


Images taken after sunup on Friday show the twisted wreckage left behind by the US missile strike on two cars

PMF official said the dead also included its airport protocol officer, identifying him as Mohammed Reda (above)

Soleimani, who has led the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards and has had a key role in fighting in Syria and Iraq, acquired celebrity status at home and abroad.

The United States and Iran’s regional foes Saudi Arabia and Israel have struggled to keep Iran’s influence in check.

Soleimani survived several assassination attempts against him by Western, Israeli and Arab agencies over the past two decades.

His Quds Force, tasked with carrying out operations beyond Iran’s borders, shored up support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when he looked close to defeat in the civil war raging since 2011 and also helped militiamen defeat Islamic State in Iraq.

He became head of the Quds Force in 1998, a position in which he kept a low profile for years while he strengthened Iran’s ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria’s government and Shi¬īite militia groups in Iraq.

Muhandis, who was killed with Soleimani, oversaw Iraq¬īs PMF, an umbrella grouping of paramilitary groups mostly consisting of Iran-backed Shi¬īite militias that was formally integrated into Iraqi armed forces.

Soleimani (right) is seen attending a religious ceremony with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a file photo. Soleimani was immensely popular in Iran and the Ayatollah has vowed 'harsh revenge'

Soleimani (right) is seen attending a religious ceremony with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a file photo. Soleimani was immensely popular in Iran and the Ayatollah has vowed ‘harsh revenge’


Qasem Soleimani

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Qasem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani with Zolfaghar Order.jpg

Soleimani in his official military dress with the Order of Zolfaghar in 2019
Native name
Nickname(s) Haj¬†Qassem” (among supporters)[1]
“The Shadow Commander” (in the West)[2][3][4][5][6]
Born 11 March 1957
Qanat-e Malek, Kerman, Imperial State of Iran
Died 3 January 2020 (aged 62)[7]
Near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Years¬†of service 1979‚Äď2020
Rank Major general
Lieutenant general (posthumously)
Commands held 41st Tharallah Division of Kerman
Quds Force

See battles
Awards Order of Zolfaghar (1)[17]
Order of Fath (3)[18]

Qasem Soleimani¬†(Persian:¬†Ŕāōßō≥ŔÖ ō≥ŔĄŘĆŔÖōßŔÜŘĆ‚Äé,¬†pronounced¬†[…Ę…íňźseme solejm…íňźniňź]; 11 March 1957 ‚Äď 3 January 2020), also spelled Qassem Suleimani or Qassim Soleimani, was an¬†Iranian¬†major general¬†in the¬†Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps¬†(IRGC) and from 1998 until his death, commander of its¬†Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for¬†extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.

Soleimani began his military career in the beginning of the¬†Iran‚ÄďIraq War¬†of the 1980s, during which he eventually commanded the¬†41st Division. He was later involved in extraterritorial operations, providing military assistance to¬†Hezbollah¬†in Lebanon. In 2012, Soleimani helped bolster the¬†Syrian¬†government, a key Iranian ally, during the¬†Syrian Civil War, particularly in its operations against¬†ISIS and its offshoots. Soleimani also assisted in the command of combined Iraqi government and¬†Shia militia forces¬†that advanced against the¬†Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant¬†(ISIL) in 2014‚Äď2015.

Soleimani was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad, Iraq. Also killed were Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces members and its deputy head, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.[19] Soleimani was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.[20] Soleimani was suceeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.[21]

Early life

Soleimani was born on 11 March 1957 in the village of Qanat-e Malek, Kerman Province,[22] to an impoverished peasant family. In his youth, he moved to the city of Kerman and worked as a construction worker to help repay a debt his father owed. In 1975, he began working as a contractor for the Kerman Water Organization.[23][24] When not at work, he spent his time lifting weights in local gyms and attending the sermons of a traveling preacher, Hojjat Kamyab, a protege of Ayatollah Khomeini.[25]

Military career

Soleimani joined the Revolutionary war Guard (IRGC) in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, which saw the Shah fall and Ayatollah Khomeini take power. Reportedly, his training was minimal, but he advanced rapidly. Early in his career as a guardsman, he was stationed in northwestern Iran, and participated in the suppression of a Kurdish separatist uprising in West Azerbaijan Province.[25]

On 22 September 1980, when¬†Saddam Hussein¬†launched an invasion of Iran, setting off the¬†Iran‚ÄďIraq War¬†(1980‚Äď1988), Soleimani joined the battlefield serving as the leader of a military company, consisting of men from Kerman whom he personally assembled and trained.[26]¬†He quickly earned a reputation for bravery,[27]¬†and rose through the ranks because of his role in the successful operations in retaking the lands Iraq had occupied, eventually becoming the commander of the¬†41st Sarallah Division¬†while still in his 20s, participating in most major operations. He was mostly stationed at the southern front.[26][28]¬†He was seriously injured in¬†Operation Tariq-ol-Qods. In a 1990 interview, he mentioned¬†Operation Fath-ol-Mobin¬†as “the best” operation he participated in and “very memorable”, due to its difficulties yet positive outcome.[29]¬†He was also engaged in leading and organizing¬†irregular warfare¬†missions deep inside Iraq carried out by the Ramadan Headquarters. It was at this point that Suleimani established relations with¬†Kurdish Iraqi¬†leaders and the Shia¬†Badr Organization, both of which were opposed to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.[26]

On 17 July 1985, Soleimani opposed the IRGC leadership’s plan to deploy forces to two islands in western Arvandroud (Shatt al-Arab).[30]

After the war, during the 1990s, he was an IRGC commander in Kerman Province.[28]¬†In this region, which is relatively close to¬†Afghanistan, Afghan-grown opium travels to¬†Turkey¬†and on to Europe. Soleimani’s military experience helped him earn a reputation as a successful fighter against¬†drug trafficking.[25]

During the 1999 student revolt in Tehran, Soleimani was one of the IRGC officers who signed a letter to President Mohammad Khatami. The letter stated that if Khatami did not crush the student rebellion the military would, and it might also launch a coup against Khatami.[25][31]

Command of Quds Force

Qasem Soleimani Reading Quran in Memorial ceremony of Akbar Hashemi

The exact date of his appointment as commander of the IRGC’s¬†Quds Force¬†is not clear, but Ali Alfoneh cites it as between 10 September 1997 and 21 March 1998.[24]¬†He was considered one of the possible successors to the post of commander of the IRGC, when General¬†Yahya Rahim Safavi¬†left this post in 2007. In 2008, he led a group of Iranian investigators looking into the death of¬†Imad Mughniyah. Soleimani helped arrange a ceasefire between the Iraqi Army and¬†Mahdi Army¬†in March 2008.[32]

Following the¬†September 11 attacks¬†in 2001,¬†Ryan Crocker, a senior State Department official in the United States, flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the¬†Taliban, which had targeted¬†Shia¬†Afghanis.[25]¬†This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key¬†Al-Qaeda¬†operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when President¬†George W. Bush¬†named Iran as part of the “Axis of evil” in his State of the Union address.[25]

In 2009, a leaked report stated that General Soleimani met¬†Christopher R. Hill¬†and General¬†Raymond T. Odierno¬†(America’s two most senior officials in Baghdad at the time) in the office of Iraq‚Äôs president,¬†Jalal Talabani¬†(who knew General Soleimani for decades). Hill and General Odierno denied the occurrence of the meeting.[33]

On 24 January 2011, Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader¬†Ali Khamenei.[28][34]¬†Khamenei was described as having a close relationship with him, calling Soleimani a “living martyr” and helping him financially.[25]

Soleimani was described as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran’s effort to combat Western influence and promote the expansion of¬†Shiite¬†and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East.[25]¬†In¬†Iraq, as the commander of the Quds force, he was believed to have strongly influenced the organization of the Iraqi government, notably supporting the election of previous Iraqi Prime Minister¬†Nuri Al-Maliki.[25][35]¬†Soleimani has even been described as being “Iran‚Äôs very own¬†Erwin Rommel“.[36]

According to some sources, Soleimani was the principal leader and architect of the military wing of the Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah since his appointment as Quds commander in 1998.[25] In an interview aired in October 2019, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.[37]

Syrian Civil War

A map of Al-Qusayr and its environs. The Al-Qusayr offensive was allegedly masterminded by Soleimani[38]

According to several sources, including¬†Riad Hijab, a former Syrian premier who defected in August 2012, he was also one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian government of¬†Bashar al-Assad¬†in the¬†Syrian Civil War.[25][35]¬†In the later half of 2012, Soleimani assumed personal control of the Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, when Iranians became deeply concerned about the Assad government’s lack of ability to fight the opposition, and the fallout to the Islamic Republic if the Syrian government fell. He was reported to have coordinated the war from a base in¬†Damascus¬†at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shiite militia coordinator have been mobilized, in addition to Syrian and Iranian officers. Brigadier General¬†Hossein Hamadani, the¬†Basij‚Äôs former deputy commander, helped to run irregular militias that Soleimani hoped to continue the fight if Assad fell.[25]¬†Under Soleimani the command “coordinated attacks, trained militias, and set up an elaborate system to monitor rebel communications”. According to a Middle Eastern security official Dexter Filkins talked to, thousands of Quds Force and Iraqi Shiite militiamen in Syria were “spread out across the entire country.‚ÄĚ[25]¬†The¬†retaking of Qusayr¬†in May 2013 from rebel forces and¬†Al-Nusra Front[39]¬†was, according to John Maguire, a former¬†CIA¬†officer in Iraq, “orchestrated” by Soleimani.[25]

Soleimani was much credited in Syria for the strategy that assisted President Bashar al-Assad in finally repulsing rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns.[40] He was involved in the training of government-allied militias and the coordination of decisive military offensives.[25] The sighting of Iranian UAVs in Syria strongly suggested that his command, the Quds force, was involved in the civil war.[25] In a visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut on Thursday 29 January 2015, Soleimani laid wreaths at the graves of the slain Hezbollah members, including Jihad Mughniyah, the son of late Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah which strengthens some possibilities about his role in Hezbollah military reaction on Israel.[41]

Soleimani helped form of the National Defence Forces (NDF) in Syria.[42]

In October 2015, it was reported that he had been instrumental in devising during his visit to Moscow in July 2015 the¬†Russian‚ÄďIranian‚ÄďSyrian offensive¬†in October 2015.[43]

War on ISIS in Iraq

The east of Saladin Governorate in Iraq, where Qasem Soleimani was involved in breaking the Siege of Amirli by ISIL[44]

Qasem Soleimani was in the Iraqi city of¬†Amirli, to work with the Iraqi forces to push back militants from ISIL.[45][46]¬†According to the¬†Los Angeles Times, which reported that Amerli was the first town to successfully withstand an ISIS invasion, it was secured thanks to “an unusual partnership of Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and U.S. warplanes”. The US acted as a force multiplier for a number of Iranian-backed armed groups‚ÄĒat the same time that was present on the battlefield.[47][48]

Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani prays in the Syrian desert during a local pro-government offensive in 2017.

A senior Iraqi official told the BBC that when the city of Mosul fell, the rapid reaction of Iran, rather than American bombing, was what prevented a more widespread collapse.[10]¬†Qasem Soleimani also seems to have been instrumental in planning the operation to relieve¬†Amirli¬†in Saladin Governorate, where ISIL had laid siege to an important city.[44]¬†In fact the Quds force operatives under Soleimani’s command seem to have been deeply involved with not only the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias but also the Kurdish in the¬†battle of Amirli,[49]¬†not only providing liaisons for intelligence sharing but also the supply of arms and munitions in addition to “providing expertise”.[50]

In the¬†operation to liberate Jurf Al Sakhar, he was reportedly “present on the battlefield”. Some Shia militia commanders described Soleimani as “fearless”‚ÄĒone pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a¬†flak jacket, even on the front lines.[51]

Soleimani was also intimately involved in the planning and execution of the operation to liberate Tikrit[52][53]

Hadi al-Amiri, the former Iraqi minister of transportation and the head of the Badr Organization [an official Iraqi political party whose military wing is one of the largest armed forces in the country] highlighted the pivotal role of General Qasem Soleimani in defending Iraq’s Kurdistan Region against the ISIL terrorist group, maintaining that if it were not for Iran, Heidar al-Ebadi’s government would have been a government-in-exile right now[54]¬†and he added there would be no Iraq if Gen. Soleimani hadn’t helped us.[55]

There were reports by some Western sources that Soleimani was seriously wounded in action against ISIL in Samarra. The claim was rejected by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.[56]

Soleimani played an integral role in the organisation and planning of the crucial operation to¬†retake the city of Tikrit¬†in Iraq from ISIS. The city of Tikrit rests on the left bank of the Tigris river and is the largest and most important city between Baghdad and Mosul, gifting it a high strategic value. The city fell to ISIS during 2014 when ISIS made immense gains in northern and central Iraq. After its capture, ISIL’s¬†massacre at Camp Speicher¬†led to 1,600 to 1,700 deaths of Iraqi Army cadets and soldiers. After months of careful preparation and intelligence gathering an offensive to encircle and capture Tikrit was launched in early March 2015.[53]¬†Soleimani was directing the operations on the eastern flank from a village about 35 miles from Tikrit called Albu Rayash, captured over the weekend.[citation needed]¬†The offensive was the biggest military operation in the Salahuddin region since the previous summer, when ISIS fighters killed hundreds of Iraq army soldiers who had abandoned their military base at Camp Speicher outside Tikrit.[citation needed]

Orchestration of military escalation in 2015

In 2015 Soleimani started to gather support from various sources in order to combat the newly resurgent ISIL and rebel groups which were both successful in taking large swathes of territory away from Assad’s forces. He was reportedly the main architect of the joint intervention involving Russia as a new partner with Assad and Hezbollah.[57][58][59]

According to Reuters, at a meeting in Moscow in July, Soleimani unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory‚ÄĒwith Russia’s help. Qasem Soleimani’s visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new¬†Iranian‚ÄďRussian alliance¬†in support of the Syrian (and Iraqi) governments. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei also sent a senior envoy to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin. “Putin reportedly told the envoy ‘Okay we will intervene. Send Qassem Soleimani’. General Soleimani went to explain the map of the theatre and coordinate the strategic escalation of military forces in Syria.[58]

Operations in Aleppo

Map of the offensive.[60][61][62][63][64][65]

Soleimani had a decisive impact on the theatre of operations and led to a strong advance in southern Aleppo with the government and allied forces re-capturing two military bases and dozens of towns and villages in a matter of weeks. There was also a series of major¬†advances towards Kuweiris air-base¬†to the north-east.[66]¬†By mid-November, the Syrian army and its allies had gained ground in southern areas of Aleppo Governorate, capturing numerous rebel strongholds. Soleimani was reported to have personally led the drive deep into the southern Aleppo countryside where many towns and villages fell into government hands. He reportedly commanded the Syrian Arab Army‚Äôs 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Iraqi), Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-Abbas (Iraqi), and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Afghan/Iranian volunteers).[67]

Soleimani was lightly wounded while fighting in Syria, outside of Al-Eis. Reports initially speculated that he was seriously or gravely injured.[68]¬†He was quoted as saying, “Martyrdom is what I seek in mountains and valleys, but it isn’t granted yet”.[69]

In early February 2016, backed by Russian and Syrian air force airstrikes, the 4th Mechanized Division ‚Äď in close coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Kata’eb Hezbollah, and Harakat Al-Nujaba ‚Äď launched¬†an offensive¬†in Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside,[70]¬†which eventually broke the three-year¬†siege of Nubl and Al-Zahraa¬†and cut off rebel’s main supply route from Turkey. According to a senior, non-Syrian security source close to Damascus, Iranian fighters played a crucial role in the conflict. “Qassem Soleimani is there in the same area”, he said.[71]¬†In December 2016, new photos emerged of Soleimani at the¬†Citadel of Aleppo, though the exact date of the photos is unknown.[72][73]

Operations in 2016 and 2017

In 2016, photos published by a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) source showed Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani and other PMF commanders discussing the¬†Battle of Fallujah.[74]

In late March 2017, Soleimani was seen in the northern Hama Governorate countryside, reportedly aiding Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan in repelling a major rebel offensive.[16]

CIA chief¬†Mike Pompeo¬†said that he sent Soleimani and other Iranian leaders a letter holding them responsible for any attacks on US interests by forces under their control. According to Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, a senior aide for Iran’s supreme leader, Soleimani ignored the letter when it was handed over to him during the¬†Abu Kamal offensive¬†against ISIL, saying “I will not take your letter nor read it and I have nothing to say to these people.”[75][76]

In politics

General Soleimani in civilian attire during a public ceremony in 2015

In 1999, Soleimani, along with other senior IRGC commanders, signed a letter to then-President¬†Mohammad Khatami¬†regarding the¬†student protests in July. They wrote “Dear Mr. Khatami, how long do we have to shed tears, sorrow over the events, practice democracy by chaos and insults, and have revolutionary patience at the expense of sabotaging the system? Dear president, if you don’t make a revolutionary decision and act according to your Islamic and national missions, tomorrow will be so late and irrecoverable that cannot be even imagined.”[77]

Iranian media reported in 2012 that he might be replaced as the commander of Quds Force in order to allow him to run in the¬†2013 presidential election.[78]¬†He reportedly refused to be nominated for the election.[77]¬†According to¬†BBC News, in 2015 a campaign started among¬†conservative¬†bloggers for Soleimani to stand for¬†2017 presidential election.[79]¬†In 2016, he was speculated as a possible candidate,[77][80]¬†however in a statement published on 15 September 2016, he called speculations about his candidacy as “divisive reports by the enemies” and said he will “always remain a simple soldier serving Iran and the Islamic Revolution”.[81]

In the summer of 2018, Soleimani and Tehran exchanged public remarks related to Red Sea shipping with American President Donald Trump which heightened tensions between the two countries and their allies in the region.[82]

Personal life

Qasem Soleimani while Praying

Soleimani was a¬†Persian¬†from¬†Kerman. His father was a farmer who died in 2017. His mother, Fatemeh, died in 2013.[83]¬†He came from a family of nine and had five sisters and one brother, Sohrab, who lived and worked with Soleimani in his youth.[84]¬†Sohrab Soleimani is a warden and former director general of the Tehran Prisons Organization. The United States imposed sanctions on Sohrab Soleimani in April 2017 “for his role in abuses in Iranian prisons”.[85]

Soleimani had Dan in karate and was a fitness trainer in his youth. He had four children: two sons and two daughters.[86]


In March 2007, Soleimani was included on a list of Iranian individuals targeted with sanctions in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747.[87] On 18 May 2011, he was sanctioned again by the United States along with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian officials due to his alleged involvement in providing material support to the Syrian government.[88]

On 24 June 2011, the¬†Official Journal of the European Union¬†said the three Iranian Revolutionary Guard members now subject to sanctions had been “providing equipment and support to help the Syrian government suppress protests in Syria”.[89]¬†The Iranians added to the EU sanctions list were two Revolutionary Guard commanders, Soleimani, Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the Guard’s deputy commander for intelligence, Hossein Taeb.[90]¬†Soleimani was also sanctioned by¬†the Swiss government¬†in September 2011 due to the same grounds cited by¬†the European Union.[91]

He was listed by the¬†United States¬†as a known terrorist, which forbade U.S. citizens from doing business with him.[32][92]¬†The list, published in the EU’s Official Journal on 24 June 2011, also included a Syrian property firm, an investment fund and two other enterprises accused of funding the Syrian government. The list also included¬†Mohammad Ali Jafari¬†and¬†Hossein Taeb.[93]

On 13 November 2018, the United States sanctioned an Iraqi military leader named Shibl Muhsin ‚ÄėUbayd Al-Zaydi and others who allegedly were acting on Qasem Soleimani’s behalf in financing military actions in Syria or otherwise providing support for terrorism in the region.[94]


Qasem Soleimani (left) with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (right) at a 2017 ceremony commemorating the father of Soleimani, in Mosalla, Tehran.

Soleimani was killed on 3 January 2020 around 1 am local time (22:00 UTC on 2 January)[95], after missiles shot from American drones targeted his convoy near Baghdad International Airport.[96] He had just left his plane, which arrived in Iraq from Lebanon or Syria.[97] His body was identified using a ring he wore on his finger, with DNA confirmation still pending.[98] Also killed were four members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the PMF.[99]

The airstrike followed attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad by supporters of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia and the 2019 K-1 Air Base attack.[100]

The¬†United States Department of Defense¬†issued a statement that said the U.S. strike was carried out “at the direction of the¬†President” and asserted that Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to¬†U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019¬†and was meant to deter future attacks.[101][102]

Soleimani was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.[103][20] He was suceeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.[21]

Cultural depictions

He was described as having “a calm presence”,[104]¬†and as carrying himself “inconspicuously and rarely rais[ing] his voice”, exhibiting “understated¬†charisma“.[27]¬†In Western sources, Suleimani’s personality was compared to the fictional characters¬†Karla,¬†Keyser S√∂ze,[27]¬†and¬†The Scarlet Pimpernel.[105]

Unlike other IRGC commanders, he usually did not appear in his official military clothing, even in the battlefield.[106][107]

In January 2015, Hadi Al-Ameri the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq said of him: “If Qasem Soleimani were not present in Iraq,¬†Haider al-Abadi¬†would not be able to form his cabinet within Iraq”.[108]

The British magazine The Week featured Soleimani in bed with Uncle Sam in 2015, which indicated to both sides fighting ISIS, although Soleimani was leading militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans during the Iraq War.[109]

The 2016 movie¬†Bodyguard, directed by¬†Ebrahim Hatamikia, was inspired by Soleimani’s activities.[110]

The 2016 Persian book Noble Comrades 17: Hajj Qassem, written by Ali Akbari Mozdabadi, contains memoirs of Qassem Soleimani.[111]

See also

References …

External links

How Trump decided to kill Iran’s Soleimani

The U.S. strike against Tehran’s feared paramilitary commander followed months of Iranian attacks.

Qassem Soleimani

Hours before the U.S. military sent a Reaper drone to kill one of the most wanted men on the planet, President Donald Trump was relaxing at his palatial Florida properties. In the morning, he played 18 holes at Trump International, his West Palm Beach golf club.

At around 3 p.m., he returned to Mar-a-Lago, the historic oceanfront estate he‚Äôs branded ‚Äúthe Winter White House,‚ÄĚ and waited, donning a navy blue suit with a powder-blue tie and an American flag pinned to his lapel.

He‚Äôd already made a risky‚ÄĒand potentially world-altering‚ÄĒdecision to allow the U.S. military to kill Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran‚Äôs elite paramilitary forces. Earlier this week, he‚Äôd been surrounded at Mar-a-Lago by top officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, national security adviser Robert O‚ÄôBrien and Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland. Throughout the entire week, Trump sought input from other advisers by phone.

‚ÄúHe was calm, cool and collected,‚ÄĚ said conservative radio host Howie Carr, who spoke with Trump on Thursday at Mar-a-Lago soon after the news first broke, as the president dined with GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy. ‚ÄúI had no idea there was anything out of the ordinary going on until I got home.‚ÄĚ

As rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq intensified over the last two months, the president had granted the Pentagon extraordinary latitude: The U.S. military had his permission to kill Soleimani the next time it had an opportunity to do so, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

‚ÄúWe had authority before the strike to take that action,‚ÄĚ said the official, who wouldn‚Äôt say how recently Trump gave the Pentagon that authorization‚ÄĒwhether it was hours, weeks or even months earlier. As recently as New Year‚Äôs Eve, the president was telling reporters that he didn‚Äôt want war with Iran.

For a man U.S. officials have portrayed as a terrorist mastermind, an evil genius responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, Soleimani often flaunted his influence as he jetted between Tehran, Baghdad and Beirut for meetings with local potentates.

‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it was so hard [to find him] because he was not below the radar in the last two or three years,‚ÄĚ said a former senior Israeli government official, who noted that Soleimani had previously moved around under strict operational secrecy. ‚ÄúBut the last two or three years, he worked in the open.‚ÄĚ

Former national security adviser John Bolton, a vocal advocate of regime change in Iran, described the killing of Soleimani as ‚Äúlong in the making.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe‚Äôve known every minute of every day where Soleimani is for years‚ÄĒthere‚Äôs no moment of any given day where five or six intelligence agencies can‚Äôt tell you where he is,‚ÄĚ a Republican foreign policy hand said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been one of his talking points: The Americans can find me any time, they just don‚Äôt dare hit me.‚ÄĚ

That calculation proved misguided in the wee hours of January 3 in Iraq, where Soleimani landed amid spiraling tensions between U.S.- and Iranian-allied factions. ‚ÄúHe arrived at the airport and we had a target of opportunity, and based on the president‚Äôs direction, we took it,‚ÄĚ the senior defense official said.

U.S. officials had received ‚Äúan intelligence-based assessment that drove our decision-making process,‚ÄĚ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, describing how the recent killing of an American contractor had changed the Trump team‚Äôs calculations about the ‚Äúintelligence flow‚ÄĚ they were receiving about Soleimani‚Äôs activities in Iraq.

U.S. officials, briefing conservative think-tank experts on Friday, said the U.S. had “exquisite intelligence” on a plot to strike Americans in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, according to someone familiar with the call. By killing Soleimani, the officials said, they disrupted such plans.

A night of confusion and rumors

The first dispatches from Baghdad on Thursday evening were cryptic. ‚ÄúSeveral Katyusha rockets have been fired at Baghdad airport, causing multiple casualties amid tensions with US,‚ÄĚ the AP alert read.

Then, suggestions that something major had just gone down began trickling in. Word that someone‚ÄĒpresumably the United States‚ÄĒhad just killed Iran‚Äôs pre-eminent strategist first posted online shortly before 7 p.m. in Washington.

As journalists scrambled to confirm and make sense of the rumors flying around, Iraqi state television announced that Soleimani, along with several of Iran’s top Iraqi allies, had been killed. A BBC reporter shared a grisly image purporting to show Soleimani’s mangled hand, complete with his signature ruby ring; other photographs claiming to be of the remains of the convoy he was traveling in circulated online.

Photographs taken around this time showed President Trump huddling with McCarthy and White House aides Jared Kushner, Hogan Gidley and Dan Scavino at Mar-a-Lago.

‚ÄúA memorable and historic evening at The Winter White House. Proud of our President!‚ÄĚ McCarthy¬†posted¬†later on his Instagram feed.

It wasn’t until 9:46 p.m. on Thursday that the U.S. government officially confirmed Soleimani’s death, in the form of a terse, 163-word Pentagon press release emailed to reporters.

‚ÄúAt the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,‚ÄĚ the statement read.

But his television surrogates were quick to supply their inside accounts.

Dialing into Fox News from his vacation, conservative commentator Sean Hannity‚ÄĒa close Trump confidant‚ÄĒshared what he‚Äôd heard from ‚Äúone person familiar that was in the room.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe president said, ‚ÄėOur people will be protected. This will not be Benghazi,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Hannity relayed.

‚ÄúAt one point,‚ÄĚ the Fox host continued, ‚Äúthe president asked the question among some of his military and Cabinet and intelligence and State Department people, ‚ÄėWell, how long is it going to take to mobilize?‚Äô And the words [came back from the president], ‚ÄėThat‚Äôs not fast enough,‚Äô and everybody said, ‚ÄėYes, sir.‚Äô And they got it done in really record time.‚ÄĚ

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, another of the president‚Äôs close allies on Capitol Hill who was with him at Mar-a-Lago, described the president‚Äôs mood on Thursday evening as ‚Äúvery focused.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI think he was really dialed into the ways in which Soleimani was planning to kill Americans, to harm our diplomats and to throw the entire region into civil war,‚ÄĚ Gaetz said on Fox News. ‚ÄúI think we understand that this is a big moment in time. He appreciates the gravity of that.‚ÄĚ

The White House seems to have informed only its closest congressional allies ahead of the move, with top Hill Democrats complaining that they hadn’t been informed in advance.

‚ÄúI was briefed about the potential operation when I was down in Florida,‚ÄĚ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was with the president at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week, told Fox News on Friday morning. ‚ÄúI appreciate being brought into the orbit.‚ÄĚ

Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared to warn Iran of the coming strikes hours beforehand on Thursday, amid a discussion of the recent attacks on U.S. bases by Iraqi militias tied to Iran.

In what might have been a sign of preparation for the strike, Pompeo cancelled a trip to Ukraine and several other countries this week to monitor the tensions in Iraq.

State Department officials summoned the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. for a meeting Thursday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the situation. It was not clear what exactly was discussed.

‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs been in the works for a while because I don‚Äôt think it was a last-minute thing,‚ÄĚ a Middle Eastern official said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think they were like, ‚ÄėOh we just found him, let‚Äôs take him out.’ I think it was to mitigate an action that was actually in the works.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúTracking Solemani was likely something that was being done from at least May, when the major stream of threats emerged,‚ÄĚ a former defense official said.

Actually targeting Soleimani posed a more formidable challenge, though, according to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, a former senior special operations commander in the Middle East who retired as strategy head at the National Counterterrorism Center last summer. ‚ÄúThat depends on being able to know not only where he is, but where he‚Äôs going to be at a specific time in the future,‚ÄĚ Nagata said.

That, in part, was why ‚Äúwe never decided to go after him personally‚ÄĚ before, Nagata said ‚Äď especially in earlier years when Soleimani maintained a lower profile and traveled less often, the military was reluctant to devote surveillance assets to a target few believed any president would ever allow to be struck.

‚ÄúSoleimani was the spider at the center of the web, so there were recurring conversations over the years about what it would take to do something about him,‚ÄĚ Nagata explained. ‚ÄúBut what you had to grapple with was, ‚ÄėThis is going to divert time, energy and resources from other tasks, and for a mission that I have no confidence we‚Äôre going to go through with.‚Äô‚ÄĚ

Consultation with Israel

Pompeo held several phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks, suggesting that Israel was not surprised by the strike against Soleimani.

Before departing on Thursday morning for Greece, Netanyahu told reporters in Israel, ‚ÄúWe are in continuous contact with our great friend the U.S., including my conversation yesterday afternoon. I want to make one thing clear: We fully support all of the steps that the U.S. has taken as well as its full right to defend itself and its citizens.‚ÄĚ

By Friday morning, Pompeo was dialing up his counterparts in foreign capitals, including Moscow and Beijing, to stress that the strike was a ‚Äúdefensive action‚ÄĚ and that the U.S. hopes for a de-escalation in the crisis.

Iranian officials were warning of a severe reaction, and the Parliament in Baghdad was voting to bar U.S. troops from Iraq even as U.S. officials were planning to send more forces to the region. European diplomats traded anxious phone calls, warning about the potential for further regional chaos.

And Trump himself was finally weighing in, explaining and justifying the decision with a barrage of tweets and retweets. ‚ÄúHe should have been taken out many years ago!‚ÄĚ the president wrote.

Asked about the U.S. plan for managing the potential blowback from Iran, a U.S. defense official said, ‚ÄúYour guess is as good as mine. The ball‚Äôs in Iran‚Äôs court at this time. We‚Äôre waiting to see what their response is.‚ÄĚ

Nancy Cook, Quint Forgey and Caitlin Oprysko contributed reporting.


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America’s Generations — Videos

Posted on October 29, 2019. Filed under: American History, Anthropology, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Communications, Computers, Crisis, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Economics, Elections, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, Generations, Health, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, Mastery, media, Media Streamers, Mobile Phones, Monetary Policy, Narcissism, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Psychology, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulations, Religious, Resources, Social Sciences, Sociology, Speech, Spying, Tax Policy, Technology, Television, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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The Who – My Generation

Generations: America’s 5 living generations

Who Are the Generations?

Generations Throughout History

Generations and the Next America: Paul Taylor

Generations: The History of America’s Future

Neil Howe & William Strauss discuss the Silent Generation on Chuck Underwood’s Generations | 2001

Neil Howe & William Strauss discuss the book “Generations” on CSPAN | 1991

The Fourth Turning: Why American ‘Crisis’ May Last Until 2030

Neil Howe Interview: ‚ÄúWe Are 8 Years Into the Fourth Turning‚ÄĚ What’s Next? | MWC 2017

Neil Howe: The World Is on the Verge of Generational Crisis

The Zeitgeist According to Steve Bannon’s Favorite Demographer Neil Howe

Neil Howe: Is Trump America‚Äôs ‚ÄėGray Champion‚Äô Like Lincoln or FDR?

Neil Howe: It’s going to get worse; more financial crises coming

Neil Howe discusses the Fourth Turning with Don Krueger of The Motley Fool | 2011

Are Generations Real? The History, The Controversy.

Generations and the Next America: Panel 1, Family and Society

Generations and the Next America: Panel 2, Politics and Policy

Jordan Peterson to Millennials: “Don’t Be A Damn Victim!”

Our Generation Is FAILING, Why Jordan Peterson Is One Remedy

Jordan Peterson Explains WHY The Youth Today are So Unhappy + Why you Shouldn’t Lie!

Jordan B. Peterson | Full interview | SVT/TV 2/Skavlan

The Next America: Generations

Barry McGuire – Eve of Destruction


Neil Howe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Neil Howe¬†(born October 21, 1951) is an American author and consultant. He is best known for his work with¬†William Strauss¬†on¬†social generations¬†regarding a theorized generational cycle in American history. Howe is currently the managing director of demography at Hedgeye and he is president of Saeculum Research and LifeCourse Associates, consulting companies he founded with Strauss to apply¬†Strauss‚ÄďHowe generational theory. He is also a senior associate at the¬†Center for Strategic and International Studies‘ Global Aging Initiative, and a senior advisor to the¬†Concord Coalition.


Howe was born in Santa Monica, California. His grandfather was the astronomer Robert Julius Trumpler. His father was a physicist and his mother was a professor of occupational therapy. He attended high school in Palo Alto, California, and earned a BA in English Literature at U.C. Berkeley in 1972. He studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (M.A., 1978) and history (M.Phil., 1979) from Yale University.[1]

After receiving his degrees, Howe worked in Washington, D.C., as a public policy consultant on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. His positions have included advisor on public policy to the Blackstone Group, policy advisor to the Concord Coalition, and senior associate for the Global Aging Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).[2][3]

During the 1990s, Howe developed a second career as an author, historian and pop sociologist,[4] examining how generational differences shape attitudes, behaviors, and the course of history. He has since written nine books on social generations, mostly with William Strauss. In 1997 Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on their generational theory. As president of LifeCourse, Howe currently provides marketing, personnel, and government affairs consulting to corporate and nonprofit clients, and writes and speaks about the collective personalities of today’s generations.

Howe lives in Great Falls, Virginia, and has two young adult children.[citation needed]


Howe has written a number of non-academic books on generational trends. He is best known for his books with William Strauss on generations in American history. These include¬†Generations¬†(1991) and¬†The Fourth Turning¬†(1997) which examine historical generations and describe a theorized cycle of recurring mood eras in American History (now described as the¬†Strauss‚ÄďHowe generational theory).[5][6]¬†The book made a deep impression on¬†Steve Bannon, who wrote and directed¬†Generation Zero¬†(2010), a¬†Citizens United Productions¬†film on the book’s theory, prior to his becoming¬†White House Chief Strategist.[7]

Howe and Strauss also co-authored¬†13th Gen¬†(1993) about¬†Generation X, and¬†Millennials Rising¬†(2000) about the¬†Millennial Generation.[8][9]¬†Eric Hoover has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations. He wrote a critical piece about the concept of “generations” and the “Millennials” (a term coined by Strauss and Howe) for the Chronicle of Higher Education.¬†Michael Lind¬†offered his critique of Howe’s book “Generations” for¬†The New York Times Book Review.[10][11]

Howe has written a number of application books with Strauss about the Millennials’ impact on various sectors, including Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007), Millennials and the Pop Culture (2006), and Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008). After Strauss died in 2007, Howe authored Millennials in the Workplace (2010).[12]

In 1988, he coauthored On Borrowed Time with Peter G. Peterson, one of the early calls for budgetary reform (the book was reissued 2004). Since the late 1990s, Howe has also coauthored a number of academic studies published by CSIS, including the Global Aging Initiative’s Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China. In 2008, he co-authored The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.[12]

Selected bibliography

  • On Borrowed Time¬†(1988)
  • Generations¬†(1991)
  • 13th-GEN¬†(1993)
  • The Fourth Turning¬†(1997)
  • Global Aging: The Challenge of the Next Millennium¬†(1999)
  • Millennials Rising¬†(2000)
  • The 2003 Aging Vulnerability Index¬†(2003)
  • Millennials Go To College (2003, 2007)
  • The Graying of the Middle Kingdom¬†(2004)
  • Millennials and the Pop Culture¬†(2005)
  • Long-Term Immigration Projection Methods¬†(2006)
  • Millennials and K-12 Schools¬†(2008)
  • The Graying of the Great Powers¬†(2008)
  • Millennials in the Workplace¬†(2010)


  1. ^¬†Howe, Neil.¬†“Profile”. LinkedIn. Retrieved¬†4 October¬†2010.
  2. ^ Howe, Neil; Jackson, Richard; Rebecca Strauss; Keisuke Nakashima (2008). The Graying of the Great Powers. Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 218. ISBN978-0-89206-532-5.
  3. ^¬†“Neil Howe”. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from¬†the original¬†on 2010-10-08. Retrieved¬†4 October2010.
  4. ^¬†“Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”. Publisher Weekly. Retrieved¬†8 February¬†2017.
  5. ^¬†Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1991).¬†Generations:The History of America’s Future 1584-2069. New York: William Morrow and Company.¬†ISBN0-688-08133-9.
  6. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1997). The Fourth Turning. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN0-7679-0046-4.
  7. ^¬†Peters, Jeremy W. (9 April 2017).¬†“Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is Coming.¬†The New York Times. p.¬†A20. Retrieved¬†13 April¬†2017.
  8. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. New York: Vintage Print. ISBN0-679-74365-0.
  9. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2000). Millennials Rising. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN0-375-70719-0.
  10. ^¬†Hoover, Eric (2009-10-11).¬†“The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions”.¬†The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc. Retrieved¬†2011-01-11.
  11. ^¬†Michael Lind¬†(January 26, 1997).¬†“Generation Gaps”.¬†The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved¬†1 November¬†2010.
  12. ^ Jump up to:ab Howe, Neil; Reena Nadler (2010). Millennials in the Workplace. LifeCourse Associates. p. 246. ISBN978-0-9712606-4-1.

External links



William Strauss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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William Strauss
William Strauss.jpg
Born December 5, 1947

Died December 18, 2007 (aged 60)

Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
  • author
  • playwright
  • theatre director
  • lecturer
Known¬†for Strauss‚ÄďHowe generational theory,¬†Capitol Steps,¬†Cappies

William Strauss¬†(December 5, 1947 ‚Äď December 18, 2007) was an American author, playwright, theater director, and lecturer. As an author, he is known for his work with¬†Neil Howe¬†on social generations and for¬†Strauss‚ÄďHowe generational theory. He is also known as the co-founder and director of the satirical musical theater group the¬†Capitol Steps, and as the co-founder of the¬†Cappies, a critics and awards program for high school theater students.



Strauss was born in Chicago and grew up in Burlingame, California. He graduated from Harvard University in 1969. In 1973, he received a JD from Harvard Law School and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government,[1] where he was a member of the program’s first graduating class.[2]

After receiving his degrees, Strauss worked in Washington, DC as a policy aid to the Presidential Clemency Board, directing a research team writing a report on the impact of the Vietnam War on the generation that was drafted. In 1978, Strauss and Lawrence Baskir co-authored two books on the Vietnam War, Chance and Circumstance, and Reconciliation after Vietnam. Strauss later worked at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a committee staffer for Senator Charles Percy, and in 1980 he became chief counsel and staff director of the Subcommittee on Energy, Nuclear Proliferation, and Government Processes.[1]

In 1981, Strauss organized a group of senate staffers to perform satirical songs at the annual office Christmas party of his employer, Senator Percy. The group was so successful that Strauss went on to co-found a professional satirical troupe, the Capitol Steps, with Elaina Newport. The Capitol Steps is now a $3 million company with more than 40 employees who perform at venues across the country.[1] As director, Strauss wrote many of the songs, performed regularly off Broadway, and recorded 27 albums.

External video
 Booknotes interview with Strauss and Neil Howe on Generations, April 14, 1991, C-SPAN

During the 1990s, Strauss developed another career as an historian and pop sociologist,[3] examining how generational differences shape attitudes, behaviors, and the course of history. He wrote seven books on social generations with Neil Howe, beginning with Generations in 1991.[4] In 1997, Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on their generational theory. As a partner at LifeCourse, Strauss worked as a corporate, nonprofit, education, and government affairs consultant.

In 1999, Strauss received a diagnosis of¬†pancreatic cancer. This prompted him to found the¬†Cappies, a program to inspire the next generation of theater performers and writers.[1]¬†Now an international program including hundreds of high schools, Cappies allows students to attend and review each other’s plays and musicals, publish reviews in major newspapers, and hold Tonys-style Cappies award Galas, in which Strauss acted as MC for the Fairfax County program. Strauss also founded¬†Cappies International Theater, a summer program in which top Cappies winners perform plays and musicals written by teenagers.[5]¬†In 2006 and 2007, Strauss advised creative teams of students who wrote two new musicals,¬†Edit:Undo¬†and¬†Senioritis.¬†Senioritis¬†was made into a movie that was released in 2007.[6]


Strauss died of pancreatic cancer in his home in McLean, Virginia. His wife of 34 years, Janie Strauss, lives in McLean and is a member of the Fairfax County School Board. They have four grown children.


Strauss authored multiple books on social generations, as well as a number of plays and musicals.

In 1978, he and Lawrence Baskir co-authored¬†Chance and Circumstance, a book about the Vietnam-era draft. Their second book,¬†Reconciliation After Vietnam¬†(1978) “was said to have influenced” President¬†Jimmy Carter‘s blanket¬†pardon¬†of¬†Vietnam draft resisters.[1]

Strauss’s books with Neil Howe include¬†Generations¬†(1991) and¬†The Fourth Turning¬†(1997), which examine historical generations and describe a theorized cycle of recurring mood eras in American History (now described as the¬†Strauss-Howe generational theory).[7][8]¬†The book made a deep impression on¬†Steve Bannon, who wrote and directed¬†Generation Zero¬†(2010), a¬†Citizens United Productions¬†film on the book’s theory, prior to his becoming¬†White House Chief Strategist.[9]

Howe and Strauss also co-authored 13th Gen (1993) about Generation X, and Millennials Rising (2000) about the Millennial Generation.[10][11]

Eric Hoover has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations. He wrote a critical piece about the concept of “generations” and the “Millennials” (a term coined by Strauss and Howe) for the Chronicle of Higher Education.[12]¬†Michael Lind offered his critique of Howe’s book “Generations” for the New York Times.[13]

Strauss also wrote a number of application books with Howe about the Millennials’ impact on various sectors, including Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007), Millennials in the Pop Culture (2005), and Millennials in K-12 Schools (2008).

Strauss wrote three musicals, MaKiddo, Free-the-Music.com, and Anasazi, and two plays, Gray Champions and The Big Bump, about various themes in the books he has co-authored with Howe. He also co-wrote two books of political satire with Elaina Newport, Fools on the Hill (1992) and Sixteen Scandals (2002).[14]

Selected bibliography


  • Chance and Circumstance¬†(1978)
  • Reconciliation After Vietnam¬†(1978)
  • Generations¬†(1991)
  • Fools on the Hill¬†(1992)
  • 13th-GEN¬†(1993)
  • The Fourth Turning¬†(1997)
  • Millennials Rising¬†(2000)
  • Sixteen Scandals¬†(2002)
  • Millennials Go To College¬†(2003, 2007)
  • Millennials and the Pop Culture¬†(2006)
  • Millennials and K-12 Schools¬†(2008)

Plays and musicals

  • MaKiddo¬†(2000)
  • Free-the-Music.com¬†(2001)
  • The Big Bump¬†(2001)
  • Anasazi¬†(2004)
  • Gray Champions¬†(2005)


  1. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†d¬†e¬†Holley, Joe (December 19, 2007).¬†“Bill Strauss, 60; Political Insider Who Stepped Into Comedy”.¬†Washington Post.
  2. ^¬†“Harvard Kennedy School-History”. Retrieved¬†October 5,2010.
  3. ^¬†“Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”. Publisher Weekly. Retrieved¬†February 8,¬†2017.
  4. ^¬†“William Strauss, Founding Partner”. LifeCourse Associates. Retrieved¬†October 5,¬†2010.
  5. ^¬†Martin, Noah (August 5, 2008).¬†“The Joy of Capppies”.¬†Centre View Northern Edition. Retrieved¬†October 5,¬†2010.
  6. ^¬†Toppo, Gregg (July 31, 2007).¬†“A School Musical in Their Own Words”.¬†USA Today. Retrieved¬†October 5,¬†2010.
  7. ^¬†Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1991).¬†Generations:The History of America’s Future 1584‚Äď2069. New York: William Morrow and Company.¬†ISBN¬†0-688-08133-9.
  8. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1997). The Fourth Turning. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0046-4.
  9. ^¬†Peters, Jeremy W. (April 9, 2017).¬†“Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is Coming.¬†The New York Times. p.¬†A20. Retrieved¬†April 13,¬†2017.
  10. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. New York: Vintage Print. ISBN 0-679-74365-0.
  11. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2000). Millennials Rising. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-70719-0.
  12. ^¬†Hoover, Eric (October 11, 2009).¬†“The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions”.¬†The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc. Retrieved¬†January 11,¬†2011.
  13. ^¬†Lind, Michael (January 26, 1997).¬†“Generation Gaps”.¬†New York Times Review of Books. Retrieved¬†November 1,¬†2010.
  14. ^¬†“William Strauss”.¬†williamstrauss.com. Retrieved¬†October 5,2010.

External links


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Bill Bonner — Hormegeddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads To Disaster — Videos

Posted on July 13, 2019. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Congress, conservatives, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health, history, History of Economic Thought, Immigration, Investments, Journalism, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Narcissism, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Plays, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Programming, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulations, Reviews, Security, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Trade, Trade Policiy, Transportation, Wealth, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Why Public Policy Always Ends in Disaster

It’s Hormeggedon! What Happens When Public Policy Passes the Point of No Return

Bill Bonner Interview: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come

Bill Bonner on the financial markets WORLD.MINDS INTERVIEW

How to Profit from the Death of Retail. Guest Bill Bonner.

Bill Bonner (author)

¬†MoneyWeek¬†magazine,[2]¬†and his daily financial column¬†Bill Bonner’s Diary.[3]



Bonner was born in 1948.[4] He attended the University of New Mexico and Georgetown University Law School, and he began work with Jim Davidson, at the National Taxpayers Union.[citation needed]

Bonner was a director of MoneyWeek from 2003 to 2009.[4]


Bonner co-authored Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving The Soft Depression of The 21st Century and Empire of Debt with Addison Wiggin. He also co-authored Mobs, Messiahs and Marketswith Lila Rajiva. The latter publication won the GetAbstract International Book Award for 2008.[5] He has previously co-authored two short pamphlets with British media historian, John Campbell, and with The Times former editor, Lord William Rees-Mogg, and has co-edited a book of essays with intellectual historian, Pierre Lemieux.[6]

In his two financial books, as well as in¬†The Daily Reckoning, Bonner has argued that the financial future of the¬†United States¬†is in peril because of various economic and demographic trends, not the least of which is America’s large¬†trade deficit. He claims that¬†America’s foreign policy¬†exploits are tantamount to the establishment of an¬†empire, and that the cost of maintaining such an empire could accelerate America’s eventual decline. Bonner argues in his latest book that mob and mass delusions are part of the human condition.[citation needed]

Bonner warned in 2015 that the credit system, which has been the essential basis of the US economy since the 1950s, will inevitably fail, leading to catastrophic failure of the banking system.[7][8]

In June 2016, Bill Bonner, via his company Agora, paid for an advertisement on¬†Reuters¬†describing a new law that would not allow Americans to take money out of their own USA accounts. The ad reads: “New Law Cracks Down on Right to Use Cash. Americans are reporting problems taking their own money out of US banks.” The advertisement does not cite the law (the¬†Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act¬†or FATCA[9]) to which it refers.


  1. ^¬†“Bill Bonner, Author at LewRockwell LewRockwell.com”.
  2. ^ https://moneyweek.com/author/bill-bonner/
  3. ^¬†Bill Bonner’s Diary
  4. ^ Jump up to:a bhttps://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/04016750/officers
  5. ^¬†“getAbstract International Book Award”.
  6. ^ Bonner, Bill; Lemieux, Pierre (2003). The Idea of America. Agora Health Books. ISBN 1891434136.
  7. ^¬†“Bill Bonner: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come”. MoneyWeek. March 3, 2015.
  8. ^¬†Wiggins, Addison (June 29, 2015).¬†“When Genius Fails Again”. Forbes. Retrieved¬†December 1,¬†2016.
  9. ^¬†Sahadi, Jeanne (June 4, 2015).¬†“You’ve never seen IRS penalties like these”.¬†CNNMoney. Retrieved¬†2016-08-01.

External links


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Dinesh D’Souza — The Big Lie: Exposing The Nazi Roots of The American Left — Videos

Posted on June 8, 2019. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Comedy, Communications, Congress, conservatives, Constitution, Corruption, Documentary, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Journalism, Law, liberty, Links, Literacy, Mastery, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Security, Sociology, Spying, State, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Taxation, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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D’Souza reveals SHOCKING truth about FDR

Dinesh D’Souza: My pardon is dangerous to left’s ideology

Dinesh D’Souza on Clinton Foundation documentary

Never-before-seen clip from ‘Hillary’s America’

Dinesh D’Souza on Democratic Party ties to Fascism & Nazism “They liked it” (Book TV)

Dinesh D’Souza SPECIAL EVENT at Yale University

The ‘Big Lie’: Dinesh D’Souza Exposes Neo-Nazi Roots of the Progressive Left

Dinesh D’Souza – The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left

What Is Fascism?

Italy Under Fascism (ca 1930s)

Mussolini’s Foreign Policy in the 1920s & 1930s pt1 Prof. John Gooch

Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism

Fascism and Mussolini | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy

Mussolini becomes Prime Minister | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy

Mussolini aligns with Hitler | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy

Ten Minute History – Mussolini and Fascist Italy (Short Documentary)

Learn History: Top 5 Things to Know About Benito Mussolini

From Socialist to Fascist – Benito Mussolini in World War 1 I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson On The Impact Of the Radical Left

Identity politics and the Marxist lie of white privilege

The Choice We All Have , But Only a Few Apply It | Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson on Why People Are So Unhappy

Jordan Peterson On The Meaning Of Life

Jordan Peterson On Importance Of Reading

Jordan Peterson about Universities, Education and personal Growth

Jordan Peterson: ‚ÄúThere was plenty of motivation to take me out. It just didn’t work” | British GQ

Joe Rogan Experience #1139 – Jordan Peterson

Jordan B. Peterson on 12 Rules for Life

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler(right), the fascist leaders of Italy and Nazi Germany, respectively

Fascism¬†(/ňąf√¶ É…™z…ôm/) is a form of radical,¬†right-wing,¬†authoritarian¬†ultranationalism,[1][2][3][4]¬†characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy,[5]¬†which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.[6]¬†The first fascist movements¬†emerged in Italy¬†during¬†World War I¬†before¬†it spread to other European countries.[6]¬†Opposed to¬†liberalism,¬†Marxism, and¬†anarchism, fascism is placed on the¬†far-right¬†within the traditional¬†left‚Äďright spectrum.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Fascists saw¬†World War I¬†as a¬†revolution¬†that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of¬†total war¬†and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A “military citizenship” arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[12][13]¬†The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[12][13]

Fascists believe that¬†liberal democracy¬†is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a¬†totalitarian¬†one-party state¬†as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[14]¬†Such a state is led by a strong leader‚ÄĒsuch as a¬†dictator¬†and a¬†martial¬†government composed of the members of the governing fascist party‚ÄĒto forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[14]¬†Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war, and¬†imperialism¬†as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[15][16][17][18]¬†Fascists advocate a¬†mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving¬†autarky(national economic self-sufficiency) through¬†protectionist¬†and interventionist economic policies.[19]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.[6][20]



The Italian term¬†fascismo¬†is derived from¬†fascio¬†meaning “a bundle of sticks”, ultimately from the¬†Latin¬†word¬†fasces.[21]¬†This was the name given to political organizations in Italy known as¬†fasci, groups similar to¬†guilds¬†or¬†syndicates. According to¬†Mussolini‘s own account, the¬†Fascist Revolutionary Party¬†(Partito Fascista Rivoluzionario¬†or PFR) was founded in Italy in 1915.[22]¬†In 1919, Mussolini founded the¬†Fasci Italiani di Combattimento¬†in Milan, which became the¬†Partito Nazionale Fascista¬†(National Fascist Party) two years later. The Fascists came to associate the term with the ancient Roman fasces or¬†fascio littorio[23]‚ÄĒa bundle of rods tied around an axe,[24]¬†an¬†ancient Roman¬†symbol of the authority of the civic¬†magistrate[25]¬†carried by his¬†lictors, which could be used for¬†corporal¬†and¬†capital punishment¬†at his command.[26][27]

The symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break.[28] Similar symbols were developed by different fascist movements: for example, the Falange symbol is five arrows joined together by a yoke.[29]


Historians, political scientists, and other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism.[30] Each group described as fascist has at least some unique elements, and many definitions of fascism have been criticized as either too wide or narrow.[31][32]

One common definition of the term focuses on three concepts:

  1. the fascist negations (anti-liberalism, anti-communism, and anti-conservatism);
  2. nationalist authoritarian goals of creating a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture; and
  3. a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence, and promotion of masculinity, youth, and charismatic leadership.[33][34][35]

According to many scholars, fascism‚ÄĒespecially once in power‚ÄĒhas historically attacked communism, conservatism, and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the far-right.[36]

Historian¬†Stanley Payne¬†identifies three main strands in fascism. His typology is regularly cited by reliable sources as a standard definition. First, Payne’s “fascist negations” refers to such typical policies as anti-communism and anti-liberalism. Second, “fascist goals” include a nationalist dictatorship and an expanded empire. Third, “fascist style” is seen in its emphasis on violence and authoritarianism and its exultation of men above women and young against old.[37]

Roger Griffin¬†describes fascism as “a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a¬†palingenetic¬†form of¬†populistultranationalism“.[38]¬†Griffin describes the ideology as having three core components: “(i) the rebirth myth, (ii) populist ultra-nationalism, and (iii) the myth of decadence”.[39]¬†Fascism is “a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism” built on a complex range of theoretical and cultural influences. He distinguishes an inter-war period in which it manifested itself in elite-led but populist “armed party” politics opposing socialism and liberalism and promising radical politics to rescue the nation from decadence.[40]

Robert Paxton¬†says that fascism is “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion”.[41]

Racism was a key feature of German fascism, as they made the¬†Holocaust¬†a high priority. According to the historiography of genocide, “In dealing with the Holocaust, it is the consensus of historians that Nazi Germany targeted Jews as a race, not as a religious group.”[42]¬†Umberto Eco,[43]Kevin Passmore,[44]¬†John Weiss,[45]¬†Ian Adams,[46]¬†and Moyra Grant[47]¬†stress¬†racism¬†as a characteristic component of German fascism. The¬†Encyclopedia Britannica¬†says, “Hitler envisioned the ideal German society as a¬†Volksgemeinschaft, a racially unified and hierarchically organized body in which the interests of individuals would be strictly subordinate to those of the nation, or Volk.”[48]¬†Fascist philosophies vary by application, but remain distinct by one theoretic commonality. All traditionally fall into the far-right sector of any¬†political spectrum, catalyzed by afflicted class identities over conventional social inequities[6]

Historian John Lukacs argues that there is no such thing as generic fascism. He claims that National Socialism and communism are essentially manifestations of populism and that states such as National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy are more different than similar.[49]

Position in the political spectrum

Most scholars place fascism on the far right of the political spectrum.[6][7][8][9][10][11]¬†Such scholarship focuses on its¬†social conservatism¬†and its authoritarian means of opposing¬†egalitarianism.[50][51]¬†Roderick Stackelberg places fascism‚ÄĒincluding¬†Nazism, which he says is “a radical variant of fascism”‚ÄĒon the political right by explaining: “The more a person deems absolute equality among all people to be a desirable condition, the further left he or she will be on the ideological spectrum. The more a person considers inequality to be unavoidable or even desirable, the further to the right he or she will be”.[52]

Fascism’s origins, however, are complex and include many seemingly contradictory viewpoints, ultimately centered around a myth of national rebirth from decadence.[53]¬†Fascism was founded during¬†World War I¬†by Italian¬†national syndicalists¬†who drew upon both¬†left-wing¬†organizational tactics and¬†right-wing¬†political views.[54]

Italian Fascism gravitated to the right in the early 1920s.[55][56] A major element of fascist ideology that has been deemed to be far-right is its stated goal to promote the right of a supposedly superior people to dominate, while purging society of supposedly inferior elements.[57]

In the 1920s, the Italian Fascists described their ideology as right-wing in the political program¬†The Doctrine of Fascism, stating: “We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right,’ a fascist century”.[58][59]¬†Mussolini stated that fascism’s position on the political spectrum was not a serious issue for fascists: “Fascism, sitting on the right, could also have sat on the mountain of the center¬†… These words in any case do not have a fixed and unchanged meaning: they do have a variable subject to location, time and spirit. We don’t give a damn about these empty terminologies and we despise those who are terrorized by these words”.[60]

Major Italian groups politically on the right, especially rich landowners and big business, feared an uprising by groups on the left such as sharecroppers and labour unions.[61]¬†They welcomed Fascism and supported its violent suppression of opponents on the left.[62]¬†The accommodation of the political right into the Italian Fascist movement in the early 1920s created internal factions within the movement. The “Fascist left” included¬†Michele Bianchi,¬†Giuseppe Bottai,¬†Angelo Oliviero Olivetti,¬†Sergio Panunzio, and¬†Edmondo Rossoni, who were committed to advancing¬†national syndicalism¬†as a replacement for parliamentary liberalism in order to modernize the economy and advance the interests of workers and common people.[63]¬†The “Fascist right” included members of the paramilitary¬†Squadristi¬†and former members of the¬†Italian Nationalist Association¬†(ANI).[63]¬†The¬†Squadristi¬†wanted to establish Fascism as a complete dictatorship, while the former ANI members, including¬†Alfredo Rocco, sought to institute an authoritarian corporatist state to replace the liberal state in Italy while retaining the existing elites.[63]¬†Upon accommodating the political right, there arose a group of monarchist fascists who sought to use fascism to create an¬†absolute monarchy¬†under King¬†Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.[63]

After King Victor Emmanuel III¬†forced Mussolini to resign¬†as head of government and placed him under arrest in 1943, Mussolini was rescued by German forces. While continuing to rely on Germany for support, Mussolini and the remaining loyal Fascists founded the¬†Italian Social Republic¬†with Mussolini as head of state. Mussolini sought to re-radicalize Italian Fascism, declaring that the Fascist state had been overthrown because Italian Fascism had been subverted by Italian conservatives and the bourgeoisie.[64]¬†Then the new Fascist government proposed the creation of workers’ councils and profit-sharing in industry, although the German authorities, who effectively controlled northern Italy at this point, ignored these measures and did not seek to enforce them.[64]

A number of post-World War II fascist movements described themselves as a “third position” outside the traditional political spectrum.[65]¬†Spanish¬†Falangist¬†leader Jos√© Antonio Primo de Rivera said: “[B]asically the Right stands for the maintenance of an economic structure, albeit an unjust one, while the Left stands for the attempt to subvert that economic structure, even though the subversion thereof would entail the destruction of much that was worthwhile”.[66]

“Fascist” as a pejorative

The term “fascist” has been used as a¬†pejorative,[67]¬†regarding varying movements across the far right of the political spectrum.[68]¬†George Orwell¬†wrote in 1944 that “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless¬†… almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist'”.[68]

Communist states¬†have sometimes been referred to as “fascist”, typically as an insult. For example, it has been applied to¬†Marxist¬†regimes in¬†Cuba¬†under¬†Fidel Castro¬†and¬†Vietnam¬†under¬†Ho Chi Minh.[69]¬†Chinese Marxists used the term to denounce the¬†Soviet Union¬†during the¬†Sino-Soviet Split, and likewise the Soviets used the term to denounce Chinese Marxists[70]¬†and¬†social democracy¬†(coining a new term in “social fascism“).

In the¬†United States, Herbert Matthews of¬†The New York Times¬†asked in 1946: “Should we now place Stalinist Russia in the same category as Hitlerite Germany? Should we say that she is Fascist?”.[71]¬†J. Edgar Hoover, longtime¬†FBI¬†director and ardent anti-communist, wrote extensively of “Red Fascism”.[72]¬†The¬†Ku Klux Klan¬†in the 1920s was sometimes called “fascist”. Historian Peter Amann states that, “Undeniably, the Klan had some traits in common with European fascism‚ÄĒchauvinism, racism, a mystique of violence, an affirmation of a certain kind of archaic traditionalism‚ÄĒyet their differences were fundamental….[the KKK] never envisioned a change of political or economic system.”[73]

Professor Richard Griffiths of the¬†University of Wales[74]¬†wrote in 2005 that “fascism” is the “most misused, and over-used word, of our times”.[32]¬†“Fascist” is sometimes applied to post-World War II organizations and ways of thinking that academics more commonly term “neo-fascist“.[75]


Nineteenth-century roots

According to¬†Encyclop√¶dia Britannica[better¬†source¬†needed]¬†the roots of fascism are either tied to the¬†Jacobin¬†movement or a 19th-century backlash against the¬†Enlightenment.[76]¬†Historians such as¬†Irene Collins¬†and¬†Howard C Payne¬†see¬†Napoleon III, who ran a ‘police state’ and suppressed the media, as a forerunner of fascism.[77]¬†According to¬†David Thomson,[78]¬†the Italian¬†Risorgimento¬†of 1871 led to the ‘nemesis of fascism’.¬†William L Shirer[79]¬†sees a continuity from the views of¬†Fichte¬†and¬†Hegel, through¬†Bismarck, to Hitler;¬†Robert Gerwarth¬†speaks of a ‘direct line’ from Bismarck to Hitler.[80]¬†Julian Dierkes¬†sees fascism as a ‘particularly violent form of¬†Imperialism‘.[81]

Fin de si√®cle¬†era and the fusion of Maurrasism with Sorelianism (1880‚Äď1914)

The historian Zeev Sternhell has traced the ideological roots of fascism back to the 1880s and in particular to the fin de siècle theme of that time.[82][83] The theme was based on a revolt against materialism, rationalism, positivism, bourgeois society and democracy.[84] The fin-de-siècle generation supported emotionalism, irrationalism, subjectivism and vitalism.[85] The fin-de-sièclemindset saw civilization as being in a crisis that required a massive and total solution.[84] The fin-de-siècle intellectual school considered the individual only one part of the larger collectivity, which should not be viewed as an atomized numerical sum of individuals.[84] They condemned the rationalistic individualism of liberal society and the dissolution of social links in bourgeois society.[84]

The¬†fin-de-si√®cle¬†outlook was influenced by various intellectual developments, including¬†Darwinian¬†biology;¬†Wagnerian aesthetics;¬†Arthur de Gobineau‘s¬†racialism;¬†Gustave Le Bon‘s¬†psychology; and the philosophies of¬†Friedrich Nietzsche,¬†Fyodor Dostoyevsky¬†and¬†Henri Bergson.[86]¬†Social Darwinism, which gained widespread acceptance, made no distinction between physical and social life, and viewed the human condition as being an unceasing struggle to achieve the¬†survival of the fittest.[86]¬†Social Darwinism challenged positivism’s claim of deliberate and rational choice as the determining behaviour of humans, with social Darwinism focusing on heredity, race, and environment.[86]¬†Social Darwinism’s emphasis on biogroup identity and the role of organic relations within societies fostered legitimacy and appeal for nationalism.[87]¬†New theories of social and political psychology also rejected the notion of human behaviour being governed by rational choice and instead claimed that emotion was more influential in political issues than reason.[86]¬†Nietzsche’s argument that “God is dead” coincided with his attack on the “herd mentality” of¬†Christianity, democracy and modern collectivism; his concept of the¬†√ľbermensch; and his advocacy of the¬†will to power¬†as a primordial instinct, were major influences upon many of the¬†fin-de-si√®cle¬†generation.[88]¬†Bergson’s claim of the existence of an “√©lan vital” or vital instinct centred upon free choice and rejected the processes of materialism and determinism; this challenged Marxism.[89]

Gaetano Mosca¬†in his work¬†The Ruling Class¬†(1896) developed the theory that claims that in all societies an “organized minority” will dominate and rule over the “disorganized majority”.[90][91]Mosca claims that there are only two classes in society, “the governing” (the organized minority) and “the governed” (the disorganized majority).[92]¬†He claims that the organized nature of the organized minority makes it irresistible to any individual of the disorganized majority.[92]

French nationalist¬†and reactionary monarchist¬†Charles Maurras¬†influenced fascism.[93]¬†Maurras promoted what he called¬†integral nationalism, which called for the organic unity of a nation and Maurras insisted that a powerful monarch was an ideal leader of a nation. Maurras distrusted what he considered the democratic mystification of the popular will that created an impersonal collective subject.[93]¬†He claimed that a powerful monarch was a personified sovereign who could exercise authority to unite a nation’s people.[93]¬†Maurras’ integral nationalism was idealized by fascists, but modified into a modernized revolutionary form that was devoid of Maurras’ monarchism.[93]

French revolutionary syndicalist¬†Georges Sorel¬†promoted the legitimacy of¬†political violence¬†in his work¬†Reflections on Violence¬†(1908) and other works in which he advocated radical syndicalist action to achieve a revolution to overthrow capitalism and the bourgeoisie through a¬†general strike.[94]In¬†Reflections on Violence, Sorel emphasized need for a revolutionary¬†political religion.[95]¬†Also in his work¬†The Illusions of Progress, Sorel denounced democracy as reactionary, saying “nothing is more aristocratic than democracy”.[96]¬†By 1909 after the failure of a syndicalist general strike in France, Sorel and his supporters left the radical left and went to the radical right, where they sought to merge militant Catholicism and French patriotism with their views‚ÄĒadvocating anti-republican Christian French patriots as ideal revolutionaries.[97]¬†Initially Sorel had officially been a¬†revisionist¬†of Marxism, but by 1910 announced his abandonment of socialist literature and claimed in 1914, using an aphorism of¬†Benedetto Croce¬†that “socialism is dead” because of the “decomposition of Marxism”.[98]¬†Sorel became a supporter of reactionary Maurrassian nationalism beginning in 1909 that influenced his works.[98]¬†Maurras held interest in merging his nationalist ideals with¬†Sorelian¬†syndicalism¬†as a means to confront¬†democracy.[99]Maurras stated “a socialism liberated from the democratic and cosmopolitan element fits nationalism well as a well made glove fits a beautiful hand”.[100]

The fusion of Maurrassian nationalism and Sorelian syndicalism influenced radical Italian nationalist¬†Enrico Corradini.[101]¬†Corradini spoke of the need for a¬†nationalist-syndicalist¬†movement, led by elitist aristocrats and anti-democrats who shared a revolutionary syndicalist commitment to direct action and a willingness to fight.[101]¬†Corradini spoke of Italy as being a “proletarian nation” that needed to pursue¬†imperialism¬†in order to challenge the “plutocratic” French and British.[102]¬†Corradini’s views were part of a wider set of perceptions within the right-wing¬†Italian Nationalist Association¬†(ANI), which claimed that Italy’s economic backwardness was caused by corruption in its political class,¬†liberalism, and division caused by “ignoble socialism”.[102]¬†The ANI held ties and influence among¬†conservatives, Catholics and the business community.[102]¬†Italian national syndicalists held a common set of principles: the rejection of¬†bourgeois¬†values,¬†democracy, liberalism,¬†Marxism,¬†internationalism¬†and¬†pacifism; and the promotion of¬†heroism,¬†vitalism¬†and violence.[103]¬†The ANI claimed that liberal democracy was no longer compatible with the modern world, and advocated a strong state and imperialism, claiming that humans are naturally predatory and that nations were in a constant struggle, in which only the strongest could survive.[104]

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian modernist author of the Futurist Manifesto (1909) and later the co-author of the Fascist Manifesto (1919)

Futurism was both an artistic-cultural movement and initially a political movement in Italy led by¬†Filippo Tommaso Marinetti¬†who founded the¬†Futurist Manifesto¬†(1908), that championed the causes of modernism, action, and political violence as necessary elements of politics while denouncing liberalism and parliamentary politics. Marinetti rejected conventional democracy based on majority rule and egalitarianism, for a new form of democracy, promoting what he described in his work “The Futurist Conception of Democracy” as the following: “We are therefore able to give the directions to create and to dismantle to numbers, to quantity, to the mass, for with us number, quantity and mass will never be‚ÄĒas they are in Germany and Russia‚ÄĒthe number, quantity and mass of mediocre men, incapable and indecisive”.[105]

Futurism influenced fascism in its emphasis on recognizing the virile nature of violent action and war as being necessities of modern civilization.[106]¬†Marinetti promoted the need of physical training of young men, saying that in male education, gymnastics should take precedence over books, and he advocated segregation of the genders on this matter, in that womanly sensibility must not enter men’s education whom Marinetti claimed must be “lively, bellicose, muscular and violently dynamic”.[107]

Benito Mussolini¬†(here in 1917 as a soldier in¬†World War I), who in 1914 founded and led the¬†Fasci d’Azione Rivoluzionaria¬†to promote the Italian intervention in the war as a¬†revolutionary nationalistaction to liberate Italian-claimed lands from Austria-Hungary

World War I and its aftermath (1914‚Äď1929)

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the Italian political left became severely split over its position on the war. The¬†Italian Socialist Party¬†(PSI) opposed the war but a number of Italian revolutionary syndicalists supported war against Germany and Austria-Hungary on the grounds that their reactionary regimes had to be defeated to ensure the success of socialism.[108]¬†Angelo Oliviero Olivetti¬†formed a pro-interventionist¬†fascio¬†called the¬†Fasci of International Action¬†in October 1914.[108]¬†Benito Mussolini upon being expelled from his position as chief editor of the PSI’s newspaper¬†Avanti!¬†for his anti-German stance, joined the interventionist cause in a separate fascio.[109]¬†The term “Fascism” was first used in 1915 by members of Mussolini’s movement, the¬†Fasci of Revolutionary Action.[110]

The first meeting of the Fasci of Revolutionary Action was held on 24 January 1915[111]¬†when Mussolini declared that it was necessary for Europe to resolve its national problems‚ÄĒincluding national borders‚ÄĒof Italy and elsewhere “for the ideals of justice and liberty for which oppressed peoples must acquire the right to belong to those national communities from which they descended”.[111]¬†Attempts to hold mass meetings were ineffective and the organization was regularly harassed by government authorities and socialists.[112]

German soldiers parading through L√ľbeck in the days leading up to World War I.¬†Johann Plenge‘s concept of the “Spirit of 1914” identified the outbreak of war as a moment that forged nationalistic German solidarity

Similar political ideas arose in Germany after the outbreak of the war. German sociologist¬†Johann Plenge¬†spoke of the rise of a “National Socialism” in Germany within what he termed the “ideas of 1914” that were a declaration of war against the “ideas of 1789” (the¬†French Revolution).[113]According to Plenge, the “ideas of 1789” that included rights of man, democracy, individualism and liberalism were being rejected in favor of “the ideas of 1914” that included “German values” of duty, discipline, law and order.[113]¬†Plenge believed that racial solidarity (Volksgemeinschaft) would replace class division and that “racial comrades” would unite to create a socialist society in the struggle of “proletarian” Germany against “capitalist” Britain.[113]¬†He believed that the “Spirit of 1914” manifested itself in the concept of the “People’s League of National Socialism”.[114]¬†This National Socialism was a form of state socialism that rejected the “idea of boundless freedom” and promoted an economy that would serve the whole of Germany under the leadership of the state.[114]¬†This National Socialism was opposed to capitalism because of the components that were against “the national interest” of Germany, but insisted that National Socialism would strive for greater efficiency in the economy.[114][115]¬†Plenge advocated an authoritarian rational ruling elite to develop National Socialism through a hierarchical¬†technocratic¬†state.[116]

Impact of World War I

Fascists viewed World War I as bringing revolutionary changes in the nature of war, society, the state and technology, as the advent of¬†total war¬†and mass mobilization had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant, as civilians had become a critical part in economic production for the war effort and thus arose a “military citizenship” in which all citizens were involved to the military in some manner during the war.[12][13]¬†World War I had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines or provide economic production and logistics to support those on the front lines, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[12][13]¬†Fascists viewed technological developments of weaponry and the state’s total mobilization of its population in the war as symbolizing the beginning of a new era fusing state power with¬†mass politics, technology and particularly the mobilizing myth that they contended had triumphed over the myth of progress and the era of liberalism.[12]

Members of Italy’s¬†Arditi¬†corps (here in 1918 holding daggers, a symbol of their group), which was formed in 1917 as groups of soldiers trained for dangerous missions, characterized by refusal to surrender and willingness to fight to the death. Their black uniforms inspired those of the Italian Fascist movement.

Impact of the Bolshevik Revolution

The¬†October Revolution¬†of 1917‚ÄĒin which¬†Bolshevik¬†communists led by¬†Vladimir Lenin¬†seized power in Russia‚ÄĒgreatly influenced the development of fascism.[117]¬†In 1917, Mussolini, as leader of the¬†Fasci of Revolutionary Action, praised the October Revolution, but later he became unimpressed with Lenin, regarding him as merely a new version of Tsar Nicholas.[118]¬†After World War I, fascists have commonly campaigned on anti-Marxist agendas.[117]

Liberal opponents of both fascism and the Bolsheviks argue that there are various similarities between the two, including that they believed in the necessity of a vanguard leadership, had disdain for bourgeois values and it is argued had totalitarian ambitions.[117] In practice, both have commonly emphasized revolutionary action, proletarian nation theories, one-party states and party-armies.[117] However, both draw clear distinctions from each other both in aims and tactics, with the Bolsheviks emphasizing the need for an organized participatory democracy and an egalitarian, internationalist vision for society while the fascists emphasize hyper-nationalism and open hostility towards democracy, envisioning a hierarchical social structure as essential to their aims.

With the antagonism between anti-interventionist Marxists and pro-interventionist Fascists complete by the end of the war, the two sides became irreconcilable. The Fascists presented themselves as anti-Marxists and as opposed to the Marxists.[119] Mussolini consolidated control over the Fascist movement, known as Sansepolcrismo, in 1919 with the founding of the Fasci italiani di combattimento.

The Fascist Manifesto of 1919

In 1919,¬†Alceste De Ambris¬†and¬†Futurist¬†movement leader¬†Filippo Tommaso Marinetti¬†created¬†The Manifesto of the Italian Fasci of Combat¬†(the¬†Fascist Manifesto).[120]¬†The Manifesto was presented on 6 June 1919 in the Fascist newspaper¬†Il Popolo d’Italia. The Manifesto supported the creation of¬†universal suffrage¬†for both men¬†and women¬†(the latter being realized only partly in late 1925, with all opposition parties banned or disbanded);[121]¬†proportional representation¬†on a regional basis; government representation through a¬†corporatist¬†system of “National Councils” of experts, selected from professionals and tradespeople, elected to represent and hold legislative power over their respective areas, including labour, industry, transportation, public health, communications, etc.; and the abolition of the¬†Italian Senate.[122]¬†The Manifesto supported the creation of an¬†eight-hour work day¬†for all workers, a¬†minimum wage, worker representation in industrial management, equal confidence in labour unions as in industrial executives and public servants, reorganization of the transportation sector, revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance, reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55, a strong¬†progressive tax¬†on capital, confiscation of the property of religious institutions and abolishment of bishoprics, and revision of military contracts to allow the government to seize 85% of profits.[123]¬†It also called for the fulfillment of expansionist aims in the Balkans and other parts of the Mediterranean,[124]¬†the creation of a short-service national militia to serve defensive duties,¬†nationalization¬†of the armaments industry and a foreign policy designed to be peaceful but also competitive.[125]

Residents of¬†Fiume¬†cheer the arrival of¬†Gabriele d’Annunzio¬†and his blackshirt-wearing nationalist raiders, as D’Annunzio and Fascist¬†Alceste De Ambrisdeveloped the quasi-fascist¬†Italian Regency of Carnaro¬†(a city-state in Fiume) from 1919 to 1920 and whose actions by D’Annunzio in Fiume inspired the Italian Fascist movement

The next events that influenced the Fascists in Italy was the raid of¬†Fiume¬†by Italian nationalist¬†Gabriele d’Annunzio¬†and the founding of the¬†Charter of Carnaro¬†in 1920.[126]¬†D’Annunzio and De Ambris designed the Charter, which advocated¬†national-syndicalist¬†corporatistproductionism¬†alongside D’Annunzio’s political views.[127]¬†Many Fascists saw the Charter of Carnaro as an ideal constitution for a Fascist Italy.[128]¬†This behaviour of aggression towards Yugoslavia and¬†South Slavs¬†was pursued by Italian Fascists with their persecution of South Slavs‚ÄĒespecially Slovenes and Croats.

Italian Fascists in 1920

In 1920, militant strike activity by industrial workers reached its peak in Italy and 1919 and 1920 were known as the¬†“Red Years”.[129]Mussolini and the Fascists took advantage of the situation by allying with industrial businesses and attacking workers and peasants in the name of preserving order and internal peace in Italy.[130]

Fascists identified their primary opponents as the majority of socialists on the left who had opposed intervention in World War I.[128] The Fascists and the Italian political right held common ground: both held Marxism in contempt, discounted class consciousness and believed in the rule of elites.[131] The Fascists assisted the anti-socialist campaign by allying with the other parties and the conservative right in a mutual effort to destroy the Italian Socialist Party and labour organizations committed to class identity above national identity.[131]

Fascism sought to accommodate Italian conservatives by making major alterations to its political agenda‚ÄĒabandoning its previous¬†populism,¬†republicanism¬†and¬†anticlericalism, adopting policies in support of¬†free enterprise¬†and accepting the¬†Catholic Church¬†and the monarchy as institutions in Italy.[132]¬†To appeal to Italian conservatives, Fascism adopted policies such as promoting family values, including promotion policies designed to reduce the number of women in the workforce limiting the woman’s role to that of a mother. The fascists banned literature on birth control and increased penalties for abortion in 1926, declaring both crimes against the state.[133]¬†Though Fascism adopted a number of anti-modern positions designed to appeal to people upset with the new trends in sexuality and women’s rights‚ÄĒespecially those with a¬†reactionary¬†point of view‚ÄĒthe Fascists sought to maintain Fascism’s revolutionary character, with Angelo Oliviero Olivetti saying: “Fascism would like to be conservative, but it will [be] by being revolutionary”.[134]¬†The Fascists supported revolutionary action and committed to secure law and order to appeal to both conservatives and syndicalists.[135]

Prior to Fascism’s accommodations to the political right, Fascism was a small, urban, northern Italian movement that had about a thousand members.[136]¬†After Fascism’s accommodation of the political right, the Fascist movement’s membership soared to approximately 250,000 by 1921.[137]

Fascist violence in 1922

Beginning in 1922, Fascist paramilitaries escalated their strategy from one of attacking socialist offices and homes of socialist leadership figures to one of violent occupation of cities. The Fascists met little serious resistance from authorities and proceeded to take over several northern Italian cities.[138] The Fascists attacked the headquarters of socialist and Catholic labour unions in Cremona and imposed forced Italianization upon the German-speaking population of Trent and Bolzano.[138] After seizing these cities, the Fascists made plans to take Rome.[138]

Benito Mussolini with three of the four quadrumvirsduring the March on Rome (from left to right: unknown, de Bono, Mussolini, Balbo and de Vecchi)

On 24 October 1922, the Fascist party held its annual congress in¬†Naples, where Mussolini ordered Blackshirts to take control of public buildings and trains and to converge on three points around Rome.[138]¬†The Fascists managed to seize control of several post offices and trains in northern Italy while the Italian government, led by a left-wing coalition, was internally divided and unable to respond to the Fascist advances.[139]¬†King¬†Victor Emmanuel III of Italy¬†perceived the risk of bloodshed in Rome in response to attempting to disperse the Fascists to be too high.[140]¬†Victor Emmanuel III decided to appoint Mussolini as¬†Prime Minister of Italy¬†and Mussolini arrived in Rome on 30 October to accept the appointment.[140]¬†Fascist propaganda aggrandized this event, known as “March on Rome“, as a “seizure” of power because of Fascists’ heroic exploits.[138]

Fascist Italy

Historian Stanley G. Payne says Fascism in Italy was:

A primarily political dictatorship….The Fascist Party itself had become almost completely bureaucratized and subservient to, not dominant over, the state itself. Big business, industry, and finance retained extensive autonomy, particularly in the early years. The armed forces also enjoyed considerable autonomy….The Fascist militia was placed under military control….The judicial system was left largely intact and relatively autonomous as well. The police continued to be directed by state officials and were not taken over by party leaders…nor was a major new police elite created….There was never any question of bringing the Church under overall subservience…. Sizable sectors of Italian cultural life retained extensive autonomy, and no major state propaganda-and-culture ministry existed….The Mussolini regime was neither especially sanguinary nor particularly repressive.[141]

Mussolini in power

Upon being appointed Prime Minister of Italy, Mussolini had to form a coalition government because the Fascists did not have control over the Italian parliament.[142]¬†Mussolini’s coalition government initially pursued¬†economically liberal¬†policies under the direction of liberal finance minister¬†Alberto De Stefani, a member of the Center Party, including balancing the budget through deep cuts to the civil service.[142]¬†Initially, little drastic change in government policy had occurred and repressive police actions were limited.[142]

The Fascists began their attempt to entrench Fascism in Italy with the Acerbo Law, which guaranteed a plurality of the seats in parliament to any party or coalition list in an election that received 25% or more of the vote.[143] Through considerable Fascist violence and intimidation, the list won a majority of the vote, allowing many seats to go to the Fascists.[143] In the aftermath of the election, a crisis and political scandal erupted after Socialist Party deputy Giacomo Matteotti was kidnapped and murdered by a Fascist.[143] The liberals and the leftist minority in parliament walked out in protest in what became known as the Aventine Secession.[144] On 3 January 1925, Mussolini addressed the Fascist-dominated Italian parliament and declared that he was personally responsible for what happened, but insisted that he had done nothing wrong. Mussolini proclaimed himself dictator of Italy, assuming full responsibility over the government and announcing the dismissal of parliament.[144] From 1925 to 1929, Fascism steadily became entrenched in power: opposition deputies were denied access to parliament, censorship was introduced and a December 1925 decree made Mussolini solely responsible to the King.[145]

Catholic Church

In 1929, the Fascist regime briefly gained what was in effect a blessing of the Catholic Church after the regime signed a concordat with the Church, known as the¬†Lateran Treaty, which gave the papacy state sovereignty and financial compensation for the seizure of Church lands by the liberal state in the nineteenth century, but within two years the Church had renounced Fascism in the Encyclical¬†Non Abbiamo Bisogno¬†as a “pagan idolotry of the state” which teaches “hatred, violence and irreverence”.[146]¬†Not long after signing the agreement, by Mussolini’s own confession the Church had threatened to have him ‚Äúexcommunicated‚ÄĚ, in part because of his intractable nature and that he had “confiscated more issues of Catholic newspapers in the next three months than in the previous seven years‚ÄĚ.[147]¬†By the late 1930s, Mussolini became more vocal in his anti-clerical rhetoric, repeatedly denouncing the Catholic Church and discussing ways to depose the pope. He took the position that the ‚Äúpapacy was a malignant tumor in the body of Italy and must ‘be rooted out once and for all,‚Äô because there was no room in Rome for both the Pope and himself”.[148]¬†In her 1974 book, Mussolini’s widow Rachele stated that her husband had always been an atheist until near the end of his life, writing that her husband was ‚Äúbasically irreligious until the later years of his life‚ÄĚ.[149]

The National Socialists of Germany employed similar anti-clerical policies. The Gestapo confiscated hundreds of monasteries in Austria and Germany, evicted clergymen and laymen alike and often replaced crosses with a swastikas.[150]¬†Referring to the swastika as the ‚ÄúDevil‚Äôs Cross‚ÄĚ, church leaders found their youth organizations banned, their meetings limited and various Catholic periodicals censored or banned. Government officials eventually found it necessary to place ‚ÄúNazis into editorial positions in the Catholic press‚ÄĚ.[151]¬†Up to 2,720 clerics, mostly Catholics, were arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned inside of Germany’s Dachau concentration camp, resulting in over 1,000 deaths.[152]

Corporatist economic system

The Fascist regime created a¬†corporatist¬†economic system in 1925 with creation of the Palazzo Vidioni Pact, in which the Italian employers’ association¬†Confindustria¬†and Fascist trade unions agreed to recognize each other as the sole representatives of Italy’s employers and employees, excluding non-Fascist trade unions.[153]¬†The Fascist regime first created a Ministry of Corporations that organized the Italian economy into 22 sectoral corporations, banned workers’ strikes and lock-outs and in 1927 created the¬†Charter of Labour, which established workers’ rights and duties and created labour tribunals to arbitrate employer-employee disputes.[153]¬†In practice, the sectoral corporations exercised little independence and were largely controlled by the regime and employee organizations were rarely led by employees themselves, but instead by appointed Fascist party members.[153]

Aggressive foreign policy

In the 1920s, Fascist Italy pursued an aggressive foreign policy that included an attack on the Greek island of¬†Corfu, aims to expand Italian territory in the¬†Balkans, plans to wage war against¬†Turkey¬†and¬†Yugoslavia, attempts to bring Yugoslavia into civil war by supporting Croat and Macedonian separatists to legitimize Italian intervention and making¬†Albania¬†a¬†de facto¬†protectorate¬†of Italy, which was achieved through diplomatic means by 1927.[154]¬†In response to revolt in the Italian colony of¬†Libya, Fascist Italy abandoned previous liberal-era colonial policy of cooperation with local leaders. Instead, claiming that Italians were a superior race to African races and thereby had the right to colonize the “inferior” Africans, it sought to settle 10 to 15 million Italians in Libya.[155]¬†This resulted in an aggressive military campaign known as the¬†Pacification of Libya¬†against natives in Libya, including mass killings, the use of¬†concentration camps¬†and the forced starvation of thousands of people.[155]¬†Italian authorities committed¬†ethnic cleansing¬†by forcibly expelling 100,000¬†Bedouin¬†Cyrenaicans, half the population of Cyrenaica in Libya, from their settlements that was slated to be given to Italian settlers.[156][157]

Hitler adopts Italian model

Nazis in Munich during the Beer Hall Putsch

The March on Rome brought Fascism international attention. One early admirer of the Italian Fascists was¬†Adolf Hitler, who less than a month after the March had begun to model himself and the¬†Nazi Party¬†upon Mussolini and the Fascists.[158]¬†The Nazis, led by Hitler and the German war hero¬†Erich Ludendorff, attempted a “March on Berlin” modeled upon the March on Rome, which resulted in the failed¬†Beer Hall Putsch¬†in¬†Munich¬†in November 1923.[159]

International impact of the Great Depression and the buildup to World War II

Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler (right)

The conditions of economic hardship caused by the¬†Great Depression¬†brought about an international surge of social unrest. According to historian Philip Morgan, “the onset of the Great Depression…was the greatest stimulus yet to the diffusion and expansion of fascism outside Italy”.[160]¬†Fascist propaganda blamed the problems of the long depression of the 1930s on minorities and¬†scapegoats: ‚ÄúJudeoMasonicbolshevik‚ÄĚ conspiracies,¬†left-wing internationalism¬†and the presence of¬†immigrants.

In Germany, it contributed to the rise of the¬†National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which resulted in the demise of the¬†Weimar Republic¬†and the establishment of the fascist regime,¬†Nazi Germany, under the leadership of¬†Adolf Hitler. With the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power in 1933,¬†liberal democracy¬†was dissolved in Germany and the Nazis mobilized the country for war, with expansionist territorial aims against several countries. In the 1930s, the Nazis implemented racial laws that deliberately discriminated against,¬†disenfranchised¬†and persecuted Jews and other racial and minority groups.

Fascist movements grew in strength elsewhere in Europe. Hungarian fascist¬†Gyula G√∂mb√∂s¬†rose to power as Prime Minister of¬†Hungary¬†in 1932 and attempted to entrench his¬†Party of National Unity¬†throughout the country. He created an eight-hour work day, a forty-eight-hour work week in industry and sought to entrench a corporatist economy; and pursued irredentist claims on Hungary’s neighbors.[161]¬†The fascist¬†Iron Guard¬†movement in¬†Romaniasoared in political support after 1933, gaining representation in the Romanian government and an Iron Guard member assassinated Romanian prime minister¬†Ion Duca.[162]¬†During the¬†6 February 1934 crisis,¬†France¬†faced the greatest domestic political turmoil since the¬†Dreyfus Affair¬†when the fascist¬†Francist Movement¬†and multiple far-right movements rioted¬†en masse¬†in Paris against the French government resulting in major political violence.[163]¬†A variety of¬†para-fascist¬†governments that borrowed elements from fascism were formed during the Great Depression, including those of¬†Greece,¬†Lithuania,¬†Poland¬†and¬†Yugoslavia.[164]

Integralists marching in Brazil

In the Americas, the¬†Brazilian Integralists¬†led by¬†Pl√≠nio Salgado¬†claimed as many as 200,000 members although following coup attempts it faced a crackdown from the¬†Estado Novo¬†of¬†Get√ļlio Vargas¬†in 1937.[165]¬†In the 1930s, the¬†National Socialist Movement of Chile¬†gained seats in¬†Chile‘s parliament and attempted a coup d’√©tat that resulted in the¬†Seguro Obrero massacre¬†of 1938.[166]

During the Great Depression, Mussolini promoted active state intervention in the economy. He denounced the contemporary “supercapitalism” that he claimed began in 1914 as a failure because of its alleged¬†decadence, its support for unlimited¬†consumerism¬†and its intention to create the “standardization of humankind”.[167]¬†Fascist Italy created the¬†Institute for Industrial Reconstruction¬†(IRI), a giant state-owned firm and holding company that provided state funding to failing private enterprises.[168]¬†The IRI was made a permanent institution in Fascist Italy in 1937, pursued Fascist policies to create national¬†autarky¬†and had the power to take over private firms to maximize war production.[168]¬†While Hitler’s regime only nationalized 500 companies in key industries by the early 1940s,[169]¬†Mussolini declared in 1934 that ‚Äú[t]hree-fourths of Italian economy, industrial and agricultural, is in the hands of the state‚ÄĚ.[170]¬†Due to the worldwide depression, Mussolini’s government was able to take over most of Italy’s largest failing banks, who held controlling interest in many Italian businesses. The Institute for Industrial Reconstruction, a state-operated holding company in charge of bankrupt banks and companies, reported in early 1934 that they held assets of ‚Äú48.5 percent of the share capital of Italy‚ÄĚ, which later included the capital of the banks themselves.[171]¬†Political historian Martin Blinkhorn estimated Italy’s scope of state intervention and ownership ‚Äúgreatly surpassed that in Nazi Germany, giving Italy a public sector second only to that of Stalin‚Äôs Russia‚ÄĚ.[172]¬†In the late 1930s, Italy enacted manufacturing cartels, tariff barriers, currency restrictions and massive regulation of the economy to attempt to balance payments.[173]¬†Italy’s policy of autarky failed to achieve effective economic autonomy.[173]¬†Nazi Germany similarly pursued an economic agenda with the aims of autarky and rearmament and imposed¬†protectionist¬†policies, including forcing the German steel industry to use lower-quality German iron ore rather than superior-quality imported iron.[174]

World War II (1939‚Äď1945)

In Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, both Mussolini and Hitler pursued territorial expansionist and¬†interventionist foreign policy¬†agendas from the 1930s through the 1940s culminating in World War II. Mussolini called for¬†irredentist¬†Italian claims to be reclaimed, establishing Italian domination of the¬†Mediterranean Sea¬†and securing Italian access to the¬†Atlantic Ocean¬†and the creation of Italian¬†spazio vitale¬†(“vital space”) in the¬†Mediterranean¬†and¬†Red Sea¬†regions.[175]¬†Hitler called for¬†irredentist¬†German claims to be reclaimed along with the creation of German¬†Lebensraum(“living space”) in Eastern Europe, including territories held by the¬†Soviet Union, that would be colonized by Germans.[176]

Emaciated male inmate at the Italian Rab concentration camp

From 1935 to 1939, Germany and Italy escalated their demands for territorial claims and greater influence in world affairs. Italy¬†invaded Ethiopia in 1935resulting in its condemnation by the¬†League of Nations¬†and its widespread diplomatic isolation. In 1936, Germany¬†remilitarized the industrial Rhineland, a region that had been ordered demilitarized by the¬†Treaty of Versailles. In 1938, Germany annexed¬†Austria¬†and Italy assisted Germany in resolving the diplomatic crisis between Germany versus Britain and France over claims on¬†Czechoslovakia¬†by arranging the¬†Munich Agreement¬†that gave Germany the¬†Sudetenland¬†and was perceived at the time to have averted a European war. These hopes faded when Hitler violated the Munich Agreement by ordering the invasion and partition of Czechoslovakia between Germany and a client state of¬†Slovakia¬†in 1939. At the same time from 1938 to 1939, Italy was demanding territorial and colonial concessions from France and Britain.[177]¬†In 1939, Germany prepared for war with Poland, but attempted to gain territorial concessions from Poland through diplomatic means.[178]¬†The Polish government did not trust Hitler’s promises and refused to accept Germany’s demands.[178]

The invasion of Poland by Germany was deemed unacceptable by Britain, France and their allies, resulting in their mutual declaration of war against Germany that was deemed the aggressor in the war in Poland, resulting in the outbreak of World War II. In 1940, Mussolini led Italy into World War II on the side of the Axis. Mussolini was aware that Italy did not have the military capacity to carry out a long war with France or the United Kingdom and waited until France was on the verge of imminent collapse and surrender from the German invasion before declaring war on France and the United Kingdom on 10 June 1940 on the assumption that the war would be short-lived following France’s collapse.[179]¬†Mussolini believed that following a brief entry of Italy into war with France, followed by the imminent French surrender, Italy could gain some territorial concessions from France and then concentrate its forces on a major offensive in¬†Egypt¬†where British and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered by Italian forces.[180]¬†Plans by Germany to invade the United Kingdom in 1940 failed after Germany lost the aerial warfare campaign in the¬†Battle of Britain. In 1941, the Axis campaign spread to the Soviet Union after Hitler launched¬†Operation Barbarossa. Axis forces at the height of their power controlled almost all of continental Europe. The war became prolonged‚ÄĒcontrary to Mussolini’s plans‚ÄĒresulting in Italy losing battles on multiple fronts and requiring German assistance.

Corpses of victims of the German Buchenwald concentration camp

During World War II, the Axis Powers in Europe led by Nazi Germany participated in the extermination of millions of Poles, Jews, Gypsies and others in the genocide known as the Holocaust.

After 1942, Axis forces began to falter. In 1943, after Italy faced multiple military failures, the complete reliance and subordination of Italy to Germany, the Allied invasion of Italy and the corresponding international humiliation, Mussolini¬†was removed as head of government and arrested¬†on the order of King Victor Emmanuel III, who proceeded to dismantle the Fascist state and declared Italy’s switching of allegiance to the Allied side. Mussolini was rescued from arrest by German forces and led the German client state, the¬†Italian Social Republic¬†from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany faced multiple losses and steady Soviet and Western Allied offensives from 1943 to 1945.

On 28 April 1945, Mussolini was captured and executed by Italian communist partisans. On 30 April 1945, Hitler committed suicide. Shortly afterwards, Germany surrendered and the Nazi regime was systematically dismantled by the occupying Allied powers. An International Military Tribunal was subsequently convened in Nuremberg. Beginning in November 1945 and lasting through 1949, numerous Nazi political, military and economic leaders were tried and convicted of war crimes, with many of the worst offenders receiving the death penalty.

Post-World War II (1945‚Äďpresent)

Juan Perón, President of Argentina from 1946 to 1955 and 1973 to 1974, admired Italian Fascism and modelled his economic policies on those pursued by Fascist Italy

The victory of the Allies over the Axis powers in World War II led to the collapse of many fascist regimes in Europe. The Nuremberg Trials convicted several Nazi leaders of crimes against humanity involving the Holocaust. However, there remained several movements and governments that were ideologically related to fascism.

Francisco Franco‘s¬†Falangist¬†one-party state in Spain was officially neutral during World War II and it survived the collapse of the Axis Powers. Franco’s rise to power had been directly assisted by the militaries of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during the¬†Spanish Civil War¬†and Franco had sent volunteers to fight on the side of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union during World War II. The first years were characterized by a repression against the anti-fascist ideologies, a deep censorship and the suppression of democratic institutions (elected Parliament,¬†Constitution of 1931, Regional Statutes of Autonomy). After World War II and a period of international isolation, Franco’s regime normalized relations with the Western powers during the¬†Cold War, until Franco’s death in 1975 and the transformation of Spain into a liberal democracy.

Giorgio Almirante, leader of the Italian Social Movement from 1969 to 1987

Historian¬†Robert Paxton¬†observes that one of the main problems in defining fascism is that it was widely mimicked. Paxton says: “In fascism’s heyday, in the 1930s, many regimes that were not functionally fascist borrowed elements of fascist decor in order to lend themselves an aura of force, vitality, and mass mobilization”. He goes on to observe that Salazar “crushed Portuguese fascism after he had copied some of its techniques of popular mobilization”.¬†[181]¬†Paxton says that: “Where Franco subjected Spain‚Äôs fascist party to his personal control, Salazar abolished outright in July 1934 the nearest thing Portugal had to an authentic fascist movement, Rol√£o Preto‚Äôs blue-shirted National Syndicalists [‚Ķ] Salazar preferred to control his population through such ‚Äúorganic‚ÄĚ institutions traditionally powerful in Portugal as the Church. Salazar’s regime was not only non-fascist, but ‚Äúvoluntarily non-totalitarian,‚ÄĚ preferring to let those of its citizens who kept out of politics ‚Äúlive by habit”.[182]¬†Historians tend to view the¬†Estado Novo¬†as¬†para-fascist¬†in nature,[183]possessing minimal fascist tendencies.[184]¬†In Argentina,¬†Peronism, associated with the regime of¬†Juan Per√≥n¬†from 1946 to 1955 and 1973 to 1974, was influenced by fascism.[185]¬†Between 1939 and 1941, prior to his rise to power, Per√≥n had developed a deep admiration of Italian Fascism and modelled his economic policies on Italian Fascist policies.[185]

The term¬†neo-fascism¬†refers to fascist movements after World War II. In Italy, the¬†Italian Social Movement¬†led by¬†Giorgio Almirante¬†was a major neo-fascist movement that transformed itself into a self-described “post-fascist” movement called the¬†National Alliance¬†(AN), which has been an ally of¬†Silvio Berlusconi‘s¬†Forza Italia¬†for a decade. In 2008, AN joined Forza Italia in Berlusconi’s new party¬†The People of Freedom, but in 2012 a group of politicians split from The People of Freedom, refounding the party with the name¬†Brothers of Italy. In Germany, various neo-Nazi movements have been formed and banned in accordance with Germany’s constitutional law which forbids Nazism. The¬†National Democratic Party of Germany¬†(NPD) is widely considered a neo-Nazi party, although the party does not publicly identify itself as such.

Golden Dawn demonstration in Greece in 2012

After the onset of the¬†Great Recession¬†and economic crisis in Greece, a movement known as the¬†Golden Dawn, widely considered a neo-Nazi party, soared in support out of obscurity and won seats in¬†Greece‘s parliament, espousing a staunch hostility towards minorities, illegal immigrants and refugees. In 2013, after the murder of an anti-fascist musician by a person with links to Golden Dawn, the Greek government ordered the arrest of Golden Dawn’s leader¬†Nikolaos Michaloliakos¬†and other Golden Dawn members on charges related to being associated with a criminal organization.


Robert O. Paxton¬†finds that the transformations undertaken by fascists in power were “profound enough to be called ‘revolutionary.'” They “often set fascists into conflict with conservatives rooted in families, churches, social rank, and property.” Paxton argues:

[F]ascism redrew the frontiers between private and public, sharply diminishing what had once been untouchably private. It changed the practice of citizenship from the enjoyment of constitutional rights and duties to participation in mass ceremonies of affirmation and conformity. It reconfigured relations between the individual and the collectivity, so that an individual had no rights outside community interest. It expanded the powers of the executive‚ÄĒparty and state‚ÄĒin a bid for total control. Finally, it unleashed aggressive emotions hitherto known in Europe only during war or social revolution.[186]


Ultranationalism combined with the myth of national rebirth is a key foundation of fascism.[187] Dylan Riley argues that in Italy in the early 1920s:

Neither organized socialism nor the Italian liberals championed the democratic demands of the left nationalists. Fascism stepped into this vacuum, constituting itself as an antisocialist and antiliberal civil society movement. It was the failure of this counterhegemonic movement that would lead to the fascist seizure of power. Veterans’ organizations are the clearest manifestation of civic mobilization in postwar Italy.[188]

The fascist view of a nation is of a single organic entity that binds people together by their ancestry and is a natural unifying force of people.[189]Fascism seeks to solve economic, political and social problems by achieving a millenarian national rebirth, exalting the nation or race above all else and promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.[41][190][191][192][193] European fascist movements typically espouse a racist conception of non-Europeans being inferior to Europeans.[194] Beyond this, fascists in Europe have not held a unified set of racial views.[194] Historically, most fascists promoted imperialism, although there have been several fascist movements that were uninterested in the pursuit of new imperial ambitions.[194]


Fascism promotes the establishment of a¬†totalitarian¬†state.[195]¬†It opposes¬†liberal democracy, rejects multi-party systems and supports a¬†one-party state. Mussolini’s¬†The Doctrine of Fascism¬†(1932) ‚Äď partly¬†ghostwritten¬†by philosopher¬†Giovanni Gentile,[196]¬†who Mussolini described as “the philosopher of Fascism” ‚Äď states: “The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State‚ÄĒa synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values‚ÄĒinterprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people”.[197]¬†In¬†The Legal Basis of the Total State, Nazi political theorist¬†Carl Schmitt¬†described the Nazi intention to form a “strong state which guarantees a totality of political unity transcending all diversity” in order to avoid a “disastrous pluralism tearing the German people apart”.[198]

Fascist states pursued policies of social indoctrination through propaganda in education and the media and regulation of the production of educational and media materials.[199][200] Education was designed to glorify the fascist movement and inform students of its historical and political importance to the nation. It attempted to purge ideas that were not consistent with the beliefs of the fascist movement and to teach students to be obedient to the state.[201]


Fascism presented itself as a¬†third position,[when?]¬†alternative to both¬†international socialism¬†and¬†free market capitalism.[202]¬†While fascism opposed mainstream socialism, it sometimes regarded itself as a type of nationalist “socialism” to highlight their commitment to national¬†solidarity¬†and unity.[203][204]¬†Fascists opposed international free market capitalism, but supported a type of productive capitalism.[115][205]¬†Economic self-sufficiency, known as¬†autarky, was a major goal of most fascist governments.[206]

Fascist governments advocated resolution of domestic¬†class conflict¬†within a nation in order to secure national solidarity.[207]¬†This would be done through the state mediating relations between the classes (contrary to the views of¬†classical liberal-inspired capitalists).[208]¬†While fascism was opposed to domestic class conflict, it was held that bourgeois-proletarian conflict existed primarily in national conflict between¬†proletarian nations¬†versus¬†bourgeois nations.[209]¬†Fascism condemned what it viewed as widespread character traits that it associated as the typical bourgeois mentality that it opposed, such as materialism, crassness, cowardice, inability to comprehend the heroic ideal of the fascist “warrior”; and associations with liberalism, individualism and parliamentarianism.[210]¬†In 1918, Mussolini defined what he viewed as the proletarian character, defining proletarian as being one and the same with producers, a¬†productivist¬†perspective that associated all people deemed productive, including entrepreneurs, technicians, workers and soldiers as being proletarian.[211]¬†He acknowledged the historical existence of both bourgeois and proletarian producers, but declared the need for bourgeois producers to merge with proletarian producers.[211]

While fascism denounced the mainstream internationalist and Marxist socialisms, it claimed to economically represent a type of nationalist productivist socialism that while condemning parasitical capitalism, it was willing to accommodate productivist capitalism within it.[205]¬†This was derived from¬†Henri de Saint Simon, whose ideas inspired the creation of¬†utopian socialism¬†and influenced other ideologies, that stressed solidarity rather than class war and whose conception of productive people in the economy included both productive workers and productive bosses to challenge the influence of the aristocracy and unproductive financial speculators.[212]¬†Saint Simon’s vision combined the traditionalist right-wing criticisms of the French Revolution combined with a left-wing belief in the need for association or collaboration of productive people in society.[212]¬†Whereas Marxism condemned capitalism as a system of exploitative property relations, fascism saw the nature of the control of credit and money in the contemporary capitalist system as abusive.[205]¬†Unlike Marxism, fascism did not see class conflict between the Marxist-defined proletariat and the bourgeoisie as a given or as an engine of historical materialism.[205]¬†Instead, it viewed workers and productive capitalists in common as productive people who were in conflict with parasitic elements in society including: corrupt political parties, corrupt financial capital and feeble people.[205]¬†Fascist leaders such as Mussolini and Hitler spoke of the need to create a new managerial elite led by engineers and captains of industry‚ÄĒbut free from the parasitic leadership of industries.[205]¬†Hitler stated that the Nazi Party supported¬†bodenst√§ndigen Kapitalismus(“productive capitalism”) that was based upon profit earned from one’s own labour, but condemned unproductive capitalism or loan capitalism, which derived profit from speculation.[213]

Fascist economics supported a state-controlled economy that accepted a mix of private and public ownership over the means of production.[214] Economic planning was applied to both the public and private sector and the prosperity of private enterprise depended on its acceptance of synchronizing itself with the economic goals of the state.[215] Fascist economic ideology supported the profit motive, but emphasized that industries must uphold the national interest as superior to private profit.[215]

While fascism accepted the importance of material wealth and power, it condemned materialism which identified as being present in both¬†communism¬†and¬†capitalism¬†and criticized materialism for lacking acknowledgement of the role of the¬†spirit.[216]¬†In particular, fascists criticized capitalism not because of its competitive nature nor support of private property, which fascists supported‚ÄĒbut due to its materialism, individualism, alleged bourgeois decadence and alleged indifference to the nation.[217]¬†Fascism denounced Marxism for its advocacy of materialist internationalist class identity, which fascists regarded as an attack upon the emotional and spiritual bonds of the nation and a threat to the achievement of genuine national solidarity.[218]

In discussing the spread of fascism beyond Italy, historian Philip Morgan states:

Since the Depression was a crisis of laissez-faire capitalism and its political counterpart, parliamentary democracy, fascism could pose as the ‘third-way’ alternative between capitalism and Bolshevism, the model of a new European ‘civilization’. As Mussolini typically put it in early 1934, “from 1929…fascism has become a universal phenomenon… The dominant forces of the 19th century, democracy, socialism, liberalism have been exhausted…the new political and economic forms of the twentieth-century are fascist'(Mussolini 1935: 32).[160]

Fascists criticized¬†egalitarianism¬†as preserving the weak, and they instead promoted social Darwinist views and policies.[219][220]¬†They were in principle opposed to the idea of¬†social welfare, arguing that it “encouraged the preservation of the degenerate and the feeble.”[221]¬†The Nazi Party condemned the welfare system of the Weimar Republic, as well as private charity and philanthropy, for supporting people whom they regarded as racially inferior and weak, and who should have been weeded out in the process of natural selection.[222]¬†Nevertheless, faced with the mass unemployment and poverty of the¬†Great Depression, the Nazis found it necessary to set up charitable institutions to help racially-pure Germans in order to maintain popular support, while arguing that this represented “racial self-help” and not indiscriminate charity or universal social welfare.[223]¬†Thus, Nazi programs such as the¬†Winter Relief of the German People¬†and the broader¬†National Socialist People’s Welfare¬†(NSV) were organized as quasi-private institutions, officially relying on private donations from Germans to help others of their race‚ÄĒalthough in practice those who refused to donate could face severe consequences.[224]¬†Unlike the social welfare institutions of the Weimar Republic and the Christian charities, the NSV distributed assistance on explicitly racial grounds. It provided support only to those who were “racially sound, capable of and willing to work, politically reliable, and willing and able to reproduce.” Non-Aryans were excluded, as well as the “work-shy”, “asocials” and the “hereditarily ill.”[225]¬†Under these conditions, by 1939, over 17 million Germans had obtained assistance from the NSV, and the agency “projected a powerful image of caring and support” for “those who were judged to have got into difficulties through no fault of their own.”[225]¬†Yet the organization was “feared and disliked among society’s poorest” because it resorted to intrusive questioning and monitoring to judge who was worthy of support.[226]


Fascism emphasizes¬†direct action, including supporting the legitimacy of¬†political violence, as a core part of its politics.[17][227]¬†Fascism views violent action as a necessity in politics that fascism identifies as being an “endless struggle”.[228]¬†This emphasis on the use of political violence means that most fascist parties have also created their own private¬†militias¬†(e.g. the Nazi Party’s¬†Brown shirts¬†and Fascist Italy’s¬†Blackshirts).

The basis of fascism’s support of violent action in politics is connected to social Darwinism.[228]¬†Fascist movements have commonly held social Darwinist views of nations, races and societies.[229]¬†They say that nations and races must purge themselves of socially and biologically weak or¬†degenerate¬†people, while simultaneously promoting the creation of strong people, in order to survive in a world defined by perpetual national and racial conflict.[230]

Age and gender roles

Members of the Piccole Italiane, an organization for girls within the National Fascist Party in Italy

Members of the League of German Girls, an organization for girls within the Nazi Party in Germany

Fascism emphasizes¬†youth¬†both in a physical sense of age and in a spiritual sense as related to virility and commitment to action.[231]¬†The Italian Fascists’ political anthem was called¬†Giovinezza¬†(“The Youth”).[231]¬†Fascism identifies the physical age period of youth as a critical time for the moral development of people who will affect society.[232]

Walter Laqueur argues that:

The corollaries of the cult of war and physical danger were the cult of brutality, strength, and sexuality….[fascism is] a true counter-civilization: rejecting the sophisticated rationalist humanism of Old Europe, fascism sets up as its ideal the primitive instincts and primal emotions of the barbarian.[233]

Italian Fascism pursued what it called “moral hygiene” of youth, particularly regarding¬†sexuality.[234]¬†Fascist Italy promoted what it considered normal sexual behaviour in youth while denouncing what it considered deviant sexual behaviour.[234]¬†It condemned¬†pornography, most forms of¬†birth control¬†and contraceptive devices (with the exception of the¬†condom),¬†homosexuality¬†and¬†prostitution¬†as deviant sexual behaviour, although enforcement of laws opposed to such practices was erratic and authorities often turned a blind eye.[234]¬†Fascist Italy regarded the promotion of male sexual excitation before¬†puberty¬†as the cause of criminality amongst male youth, declared homosexuality a social disease and pursued an aggressive campaign to reduce prostitution of young women.[234]

Mussolini perceived women’s primary role as primarily child bearers and men, warriors‚ÄĒonce saying: “War is to man what maternity is to the woman”.[235]¬†In an effort to increase birthrates, the Italian Fascist government gave financial incentives to women who raised large families and initiated policies intended to reduce the number of women employed.[236]¬†Italian Fascism called for women to be honoured as “reproducers of the nation” and the Italian Fascist government held ritual ceremonies to honour women’s role within the Italian nation.[237]¬†In 1934, Mussolini declared that employment of women was a “major aspect of the thorny problem of unemployment” and that for women, working was “incompatible with childbearing”. Mussolini went on to say that the solution to unemployment for men was the “exodus of women from the work force”.[238]

The German Nazi government strongly encouraged women to stay at home to bear children and keep house.[239] This policy was reinforced by bestowing the Cross of Honor of the German Mother on women bearing four or more children. The unemployment rate was cut substantially, mostly through arms production and sending women home so that men could take their jobs. Nazi propaganda sometimes promoted premarital and extramarital sexual relations, unwed motherhood and divorce, but at other times the Nazis opposed such behaviour.[240]

The Nazis decriminalized abortion in cases where fetuses had hereditary defects or were of a race the government disapproved of, while the abortion of healthy pure German,¬†Aryan¬†fetuses remained strictly forbidden.[241]¬†For non-Aryans, abortion was often compulsory. Their¬†eugenics¬†program also stemmed from the “progressive biomedical model” of¬†Weimar Germany.[242]¬†In 1935, Nazi Germany expanded the legality of¬†abortion¬†by amending¬†its eugenics law, to promote abortion for women with hereditary disorders.[241]¬†The law allowed abortion if a woman gave her permission and the fetus was not yet viable[243][244]¬†and for purposes of so-called¬†racial hygiene.[245][246]

The Nazis said that homosexuality was degenerate, effeminate, perverted and undermined masculinity because it did not produce children.[247]¬†They considered homosexuality curable through therapy, citing modern¬†scientism¬†and the study of¬†sexology, which said that homosexuality could be felt by “normal” people and not just an abnormal minority.[248]¬†Open homosexuals were interned in Nazi concentration camps.[249]

Palingenesis and modernism

Fascism emphasizes both¬†palingenesis¬†(national rebirth or re-creation) and¬†modernism.[250]¬†In particular, fascism’s nationalism has been identified as having a palingenetic character.[187]Fascism promotes the regeneration of the nation and purging it of¬†decadence.[250]¬†Fascism accepts forms of modernism that it deems promotes national regeneration while rejecting forms of modernism that are regarded as antithetical to national regeneration.[251]¬†Fascism aestheticized modern technology and its association with speed, power and violence.[252]¬†Fascism admired advances in the economy in the early 20th century, particularly¬†Fordism¬†and¬†scientific management.[253]¬†Fascist modernism has been recognized as inspired or developed by various figures‚ÄĒsuch as¬†Filippo Tommaso Marinetti,¬†Ernst J√ľnger,¬†Gottfried Benn,¬†Louis-Ferdinand C√©line,¬†Knut Hamsun,¬†Ezra Pound¬†and¬†Wyndham Lewis.[254]

In Italy, such modernist influence was exemplified by Marinetti who advocated a palingenetic modernist society that condemned liberal-bourgeois values of tradition and psychology, while promoting a technological-martial religion of national renewal that emphasized militant nationalism.[255]¬†In Germany, it was exemplified by J√ľnger who was influenced by his observation of the technological warfare during World War I and claimed that a new social class had been created that he described as the “warrior-worker”.[256]¬†J√ľnger like Marinetti emphasized the revolutionary capacities of technology and emphasized an “organic construction” between human and machine as a liberating and regenerative force in that challenged liberal democracy, conceptions of individual autonomy, bourgeois nihilism and decadence.[256]¬†He conceived of a society based on a totalitarian concept of “total mobilization” of such disciplined warrior-workers.[256]


Fascism has been widely criticized and condemned in modern times since the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II.

Anti-democratic and tyrannical

Hitler and Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Meeting at Hendaye, on 23 October 1940

One of the most common and strongest criticisms of fascism is that it is a tyranny.[257] Fascism is deliberately and entirely non-democratic and anti-democratic.[258][259][260]

Unprincipled opportunism

Some critics of Italian fascism have said that much of the ideology was merely a by-product of unprincipled¬†opportunism¬†by Mussolini and that he changed his political stances merely to bolster his personal ambitions while he disguised them as being purposeful to the public.[261]¬†Richard Washburn Child, the American ambassador to Italy who worked with Mussolini and became his friend and admirer, defended Mussolini’s opportunistic behaviour by writing: “Opportunist is a term of reproach used to brand men who fit themselves to conditions for the reasons of self-interest. Mussolini, as I have learned to know him, is an opportunist in the sense that he believed that mankind itself must be fitted to changing conditions rather than to fixed theories, no matter how many hopes and prayers have been expended on theories and programmes”.[262]¬†Child quoted Mussolini as saying: “The sanctity of an ism is not in the ism; it has no sanctity beyond its power to do, to work, to succeed in practice. It may have succeeded yesterday and fail to-morrow. Failed yesterday and succeed to-morrow. The machine first of all must run!”.[262]

Some have criticized Mussolini’s actions during the outbreak of¬†World War I¬†as opportunist for seeming to suddenly abandon Marxist¬†egalitarianinternationalism¬†for non-egalitarian¬†nationalism¬†and note to that effect that upon Mussolini endorsing Italy’s intervention in the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary, he and the new fascist movement received financial support from foreign sources, such as¬†Ansaldo¬†(an armaments firm) and other companies[263]¬†as well as the British Security Service¬†MI5.[264]¬†Some, including Mussolini’s socialist opponents at the time, have noted that regardless of the financial support he accepted for his pro-interventionist stance, Mussolini was free to write whatever he wished in his newspaper¬†Il Popolo d’Italia¬†without prior sanctioning from his financial backers.[265]¬†Furthermore, the major source of financial support that Mussolini and the fascist movement received in World War I was from France and is widely believed to have been French socialists who supported the French government’s war against Germany and who sent support to Italian socialists who wanted Italian intervention on France’s side.[266]

Mussolini’s transformation away from Marxism into what eventually became fascism began prior to World War I, as Mussolini had grown increasingly pessimistic about Marxism and egalitarianism while becoming increasingly supportive of figures who opposed egalitarianism, such as¬†Friedrich Nietzsche.[267]¬†By 1902, Mussolini was studying¬†Georges Sorel, Nietzsche and¬†Vilfredo Pareto.[268]¬†Sorel’s emphasis on the need for overthrowing decadent¬†liberal democracy¬†and¬†capitalism¬†by the use of violence,¬†direct action,¬†general strikes¬†and¬†neo-Machiavellianappeals to emotion impressed Mussolini deeply.[269]¬†Mussolini’s use of Nietzsche made him a highly unorthodox socialist, due to Nietzsche’s promotion of elitism and anti-egalitarian views.[267]Prior to World War I, Mussolini’s writings over time indicated that he had abandoned the Marxism and egalitarianism that he had previously supported in favour of Nietzsche’s¬†√ľbermenschconcept and anti-egalitarianism.[267]¬†In 1908, Mussolini wrote a short essay called “Philosophy of Strength” based on his Nietzschean influence, in which Mussolini openly spoke fondly of the ramifications of an impending war in Europe in challenging both religion and¬†nihilism: “[A] new kind of free spirit will come, strengthened by the war, … a spirit equipped with a kind of sublime perversity, … a new free spirit will triumph over God and over Nothing”.[106]

Ideological dishonesty

Fascism has been criticized for being ideologically dishonest. Major examples of ideological dishonesty have been identified in Italian fascism’s changing relationship with German Nazism.[270][271]¬†Fascist Italy’s official foreign policy positions were known to commonly utilize rhetorical ideological¬†hyperbole¬†to justify its actions, although during¬†Dino Grandi‘s tenure as Italy’s foreign minister the country engaged in¬†realpolitik¬†free of such fascist hyperbole.[272]¬†Italian fascism’s stance towards German Nazism fluctuated from support from the late 1920s to 1934, when it celebrated Hitler’s rise to power and meeting with Hitler in 1934; to opposition from 1934 to 1936 after the assassination of Italy’s allied leader in¬†Austria,¬†Engelbert Dollfuss, by Austrian Nazis; and again back to support after 1936, when Germany was the only significant power that did not denounce¬†Italy’s invasion and occupation of Ethiopia.

After antagonism exploded between Nazi Germany and¬†Fascist Italy¬†over the assassination of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss in 1934, Mussolini and Italian fascists denounced and ridiculed Nazism’s racial theories, particularly by denouncing its¬†Nordicism, while promoting¬†Mediterraneanism.[271]¬†Mussolini himself responded to Nordicists’ claims of Italy being divided into Nordic and Mediterranean racial areas due to Germanic invasions of Northern Italy by claiming that while Germanic tribes such as the¬†Lombards¬†took control of Italy after the¬†fall of Ancient Rome, they arrived in small numbers (about 8,000) and quickly assimilated into Roman culture and spoke the¬†Latin¬†language within fifty years.[273]¬†Italian fascism was influenced by the tradition of¬†Italian nationalists¬†scornfully looking down upon Nordicists’ claims and taking pride in comparing the age and sophistication of¬†ancient Roman civilization¬†as well as the classical revival in the¬†Renaissance¬†to that of Nordic societies that Italian nationalists described as “newcomers” to civilization in comparison.[270]¬†At the height of antagonism between the Nazis and Italian fascists over race, Mussolini claimed that the Germans themselves were not a pure race and noted with irony that the Nazi theory of German racial superiority was based on the theories of non-German foreigners, such as Frenchman¬†Arthur de Gobineau.[274]¬†After the tension in¬†German-Italian relations¬†diminished during the late 1930s, Italian fascism sought to harmonize its ideology with German Nazism and combined Nordicist and Mediterranean racial theories, noting that Italians were members of the Aryan Race, composed of a mixed Nordic-Mediterranean subtype.[271]

In 1938, Mussolini declared upon Italy’s adoption of antisemitic laws that Italian fascism had always been antisemitic,[271]¬†In fact, Italian fascism did not endorse¬†antisemitism¬†until the late 1930s when Mussolini feared alienating antisemitic Nazi Germany, whose power and influence were growing in Europe. Prior to that period there had been notable¬†Jewish Italians¬†who had been senior Italian fascist officials, including¬†Margherita Sarfatti, who had also been Mussolini’s mistress.[271]¬†Also contrary to Mussolini’s claim in 1938, only a small number of Italian fascists were staunchly antisemitic (such as¬†Roberto Farinacci¬†and Giuseppe Preziosi), while others such as¬†Italo Balbo, who came from¬†Ferrara¬†which had one of Italy’s largest Jewish communities, were disgusted by the antisemitic laws and opposed them.[271]¬†Fascism scholar Mark Neocleous notes that while Italian fascism did not have a clear commitment to antisemitism, there were occasional antisemitic statements issued prior to 1938, such as Mussolini in 1919 declaring that the Jewish bankers in London and New York were connected by race to the Russian¬†Bolsheviks¬†and that eight percent of the Russian Bolsheviks were Jews.[275]

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The Manchurian Candidate – opening scene

The Manchurian Candidate Interviews(1962 film)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – Assassination Scene (12/12) | Movieclips

The Remaker: The Manchurian Candidate 1962 vs. 2004

The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Classical Film Review

The Manchurian Candidate – Film, Literature and the New World Order

Anjelica Huston-Prizzi’s Honor-“You wanna do it Charlie” scene

Prizzis Honor 1985

Prizzi’s Honor

Prizzi’s Honor scene.mov

Prizzis Honor 1985


Anjelica Huston – Prizzi’s Honor – last scene

About the Archive

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to archive_feedback@nytimes.com.

Richard Condon, the fiendishly inventive novelist and political satirist who wrote “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Winter Kills” and “Prizzi’s Honor,” among other books, died yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was 81.

Novelist is too limited a word to encompass the world of Mr. Condon. He was also a visionary, a darkly comic conjurer, a student of American mythology and a master of conspiracy theories, as vividly demonstrated in “The Manchurian Candidate.” That novel, published in 1959, subsequently became a cult film classic, directed by John Frankenheimer. In this spellbinding story, Raymond Shaw, an American prisoner of war (played in the film by Laurence Harvey), is brainwashed and becomes a Communist agent and assassin.

When the 1962 film was re-released in 1988, Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times that it was “arguably the most chilling piece of cold war paranoia ever committed to film, yet by now it has developed a kind of innocence.”

Mr. Condon was a popular novelist who earned serious critical attention, although he did not always win favorable reviews. His response: “I’m a man of the marketplace as well as an artist.” And he added, “I’m a pawnbroker of myth.” Though others made claims that his novels were prophetic, he admitted only that they were “sometimes about five and a half minutes ahead of their time.”

In “Winter Kills,” a President, evidently modeled on John F. Kennedy, is assassinated in a conspiracy involving the Central Intelligence Agency and the underworld. Obsessed by politics, Mr. Condon once said: “Every book I’ve ever written has been about the abuse of power. I feel very strongly about that. I’d like people to know how deeply their politicians are wronging them.” That abuse could be in contemporary life or as long ago as the 15th century, as in his novel “A Trembling Upon Rome.”

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Politicians like Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and President Richard M. Nixon appeared in various guises in his work, Nixon as Walter Slurrie in “Death of a Politician.” Speaking about politics and political thrillers, Mr. Condon once said, “It’s the villains that make good literature, because they’re the only ones in the story who know what they want.”

He did not write his first novel until he was 42, but, once started, he never stopped. The first, “The Oldest Confession” (1958), was filmed as “The Happy Thieves,” starring Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth. The novel was a success, but the film was a failure, whereas the second, “The Manchurian Candidate,” was popular in both forms. Eventually he wrote 26 novels and two works of nonfiction, “And Then We Moved to Rossenarra,” a memoir of the years he lived in Ireland, and “The Mexican Stove,” a cookbook he wrote with his daughter Wendy Jackson.

When asked how he knew so much about crime families, he said he first learned about the subject as a boy on the streets of Washington Heights. He was born in Manhattan and graduated from De Witt Clinton High School. Because his grades were so poor, he never went to college. He worked as an elevator operator, a hotel clerk and a waiter, then sold an article to Esquire magazine. While working as a copywriter for an advertising agency, he met a model named Evelyn Hunt, whom he married in 1938. Copywriting led him into movie publicity, with his first stop the Disney organization.

For 22 years, he was a movie publicist, working for almost every major Hollywood studio. With characteristic panache, he later described himself as “a drummer boy for the gnomes and elves of the silver screen.” During this period, he saturated himself with movies, watching eight a week. They were, he said, mostly bad films, but they taught him the art of storytelling and the need for the novelist to be entertaining.

In the late 1950’s, he left Hollywood and returned to New York to become a novelist. The idea for “The Oldest Confession” came while he was on location with “The Pride and the Passion” at El Escorial, outside Madrid. Fascinated by Old Master paintings, he wrote his book about art thievery. The consecutive success of “The Oldest Confession” and “The Manchurian Candidate” enabled him to devote himself to fiction.

In 1959, he began a series of migrations, first to Mexico, then to Switzerland, finally to Ireland. His travels added to his backlog of knowledge, but he continued to set most of his novels in the United States. Through the 1960’s and into the 70’s, his books received mixed reviews, with some of the more admiring notices going to “An Infinity of Mirrors” in 1964. “Winter Kills,” in 1974, drew favorable attention, with Christopher Lehmann-Haupt saying in his review in The Times that it was “a grand entertainment” and “the best book Mr. Condon has written since ‘The Manchurian Candidate.’ “

After writing a series of novels in Ireland, Mr. Condon moved back to the United States, settling in Dallas in 1980. In Texas, he had his next comeback, with “Prizzi’s Honor,” about the Prizzi family of mobsters in Brooklyn. John Huston turned the novel into a hit film, starring Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner and Anjelica Huston. The screenplay, by Mr. Condon and Janet Roach, was nominated for an Academy Award. Several years later, Mr. Condon completed the fictional cycle with “Prizzi’s Family,” “Prizzi’s Glory” and “Prizzi’s Money,” published in 1994.

Among his other novels are “Some Angry Angel,” “A Talent for Loving,” “Arigato” and “Emperor of America.”

Throughout his life, Mr. Condon displayed a wry, even diabolical streak. He often named his characters after real people. For example, the characters in Raymond Shaw’s infantry squad in “The Manchurian Candidate” were named for people associated with the Phil Silvers television show, “You’ll Never Get Rich.” His longest-running character, Dr. Weiler, was named after A. H. Weiler, a former film critic for The Times. In various Condon novels, Dr. Weiler turns up as an obstetrician, a cardiologist, a psychiatrist and the royal physician.

Mr. Condon is survived by his wife; two daughters, Ms. Jackson, of Dallas, and Deborah Condon, who lives near Salisbury in England, and three grandchildren.


Where the ‚ÄúManchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ came from.

Most¬†people know John Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate,‚ÄĚ which stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury in the story of an American soldier who is captured in Korea and programmed by Chinese Communists to kill on command. And most people probably think of the movie as a classic of Cold War culture, like ‚ÄúOn the Beach‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúInvasion of the Body Snatchers‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa popular work articulating the anxieties of an era. In fact, ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ was a flop. It was released in the fall of 1962, failed to recover its costs, and was pulled from distribution two years later, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It turned up a few times on television, but it was not shown in a movie theatre again until 1987, which‚ÄĒnearly the end of the Cold War‚ÄĒis the year its popularity dates from. The true artifact of Cold War culture is the novel, by Richard Condon, that the movie was based on.

Condon‚Äôs book came out in 1959 and was a best-seller. It was praised in the¬†Times¬†(‚Äúa wild, vigorous, curiously readable melange‚ÄĚ) and¬†The New Yorker¬†(‚Äúa wild and exhilarating satire‚ÄĚ);¬†Time¬†named it one of the Ten Best Bad Novels‚ÄĒwhich, from a publisher‚Äôs point of view, is far from the worst thing that might be said about a book. The novel‚Äôs success made Condon rich; he spent most of the rest of his life abroad, producing many more works in the genre that¬†Timehad identified, including ‚ÄúWinter Kills,‚ÄĚ in 1974, and, in 1982, ‚ÄúPrizzi‚Äôs Honor.‚ÄĚ His adaptation of that novel for the John Huston movie received an Academy Award nomination in 1986. He died in 1996.

Condon was a cynic of the upbeat type, not unlike Tom Wolfe: his belief that everything is basically shit did not get in the way of his pleasure in making fun of it. He learned that attitude in the finest school for it on earth, Hollywood. Before he was a novelist, Condon was a movie publicist. He began, in 1936, at Walt Disney Productions, where he promoted ‚ÄúFantasia‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúDumbo,‚ÄĚ among other animated masterpieces, and moved on to a succession of studios, finishing up at United Artists, which he left in 1957. He didn‚Äôt know what he wanted to do next; he just wanted out. ‚ÄúThe only thing I knew how to do was spell,‚ÄĚ he later explained, so he did the logical thing and became a writer. Condon claimed that his work in Hollywood had given him three ulcers. He also claimed that he had seen, during his years there, ten thousand movies, an experience that he believed gave him (his words) ‚Äúan unconscious grounding in storytelling.‚ÄĚ

Frankenheimer called ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚Ä̬†‚Äúone of the best books I ever read,‚ÄĚ but admirers of Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie have not been so gracious. Greil Marcus, in a characteristically overheated appreciation of the movie in the British Film Institute‚Äôs Film Classics series, calls the novel a ‚Äúcheaply paranoid fantasy,‚ÄĚ and he goes on, ‚ÄúThat the story would lodge in the nation‚Äôs psyche and stay there was the work of other hands.‚ÄĚ The film historian David Thomson describes it as ‚Äúa book written so that an idiot could film it.‚ÄĚ No doubt Condon wrote ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ with a movie deal in mind. It was his second novel; his first, called ‚ÄúThe Oldest Confession,‚ÄĚ was also made into a movie‚ÄĒ‚ÄúThe Happy Thieves,‚ÄĚ starring Rex Harrison (a flop that stayed a flop). But the claim that Condon‚Äôs ‚ÄúManchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is not much more than a draft for the screenplay (which was written by George Axelrod, the author of ‚ÄúThe Seven Year Itch‚ÄĚ) is peculiar. Michael Crichton writes books that any idiot can film; he practically supplies camera angles. But Condon‚Äôs is not an easy book to film, in part because its tone is not readily imitated cinematically, and in part because much of it is, or was in 1962, virtually unfilmable. Strange as the movie is‚ÄĒa thriller teetering on the edge of camp‚ÄĒthe book is stranger.

Time,¬†a magazine whose editors, after all, have daily experience with overcooked prose, was not wrong in seeing something splendid in the badness of Condon‚Äôs book. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ may be pulp, but it is very tony pulp. It is a man in a tartan tuxedo, chicken √† la king with shaved truffles, a signed LeRoy Neiman. It‚Äôs Mickey Spillane with an M.F.A., and a kind of summa of the styles of paperback fiction circa 1959. The writing is sometimes hardboiled:

The slightest touchy thing he said to her could knock the old cat over sideways with an off-key moan. But what could he do? He had elected himself Head Chump when he stepped down from Valhalla and telephoned this sweaty little advantage-taker.

Sometimes it adopts a police-blotter, ‚Äúdegree-zero‚ÄĚ mode:

‚ÄúThank you, Major. Dismiss,‚ÄĚ the general said. Marco left the office at four twenty-one in the afternoon. General Jorgenson shot himself to death at four fifty-five.

Occasionally, and usually in an inconvenient place, it drops a mot recherché:

Raymond‚Äôs mother came out of her chair, spitting langrel. [‚ÄúLangrel‚ÄĚ: irregular pieces of iron loaded into shell casings for the purpose of ripping the enemy‚Äôs sails in naval battles; obsolete.]


A Hundred Years of American Protest, Then and Now

He clutched the telephone like an osculatorium and did not allow himself to think about what lay beyond that instant. [‚ÄúOsculatorium‚ÄĚ: medieval Latin, for a tablet that is kissed during¬†the Mass. There appears to be no connotation involving clutching.]

It signals feeling by waxing poetic:

Such an instant ago he had paddled their wide canoe across that lake of purple wine toward a pin of light high in the sky which would widen and widen and widen while she slept until it had blanched the blackness.

It signals wisdom by waxing incomprehensible:

There is an immutable phrase at large in the languages of the world that places fabulous ransom on every word in it: The love of a good woman. It means what it says and no matter what the perspective or stains of the person who speaks it, the phrase defies devaluing. The bitter and the kind can chase each other around it, this mulberry bush of truth and consequence, and the kind may convert the bitter and the bitter may emasculate the kind but neither can change its meaning because the love of a good woman does not give way to arbitrage.

And, when appropriate, it salivates:

Her lithe, solid figure seemed even more superb because of her flawless carriage. She wore a Chinese dressing gown of a shade so light that it complemented the contrasting color of her eyes. Her long and extremely beautiful legs were stretched out before her on the chaise longue, and any man but her son or her husband, seeing what she had and yet knowing that this magnificent forty-nine-year-old body was only a wasted uniform covering blunted neural energy, might have wept over such a waste.

Some people like their bananas ripe to the point of blackness. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is a very ripe banana, and, for those who have the taste for it, delectable.

The magnificent forty-nine-yearold body in the last passage belongs to the mother of Raymond, the assassin, who in Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie is played by Angela Lansbury as a proper and steely middle-aged matron. For Condon, though, Raymond‚Äôs mother is no matron. She is a sexually predatory heroin addict who commits double incest. She is the serpent in the suburban garden of Cold War domesticity, and, in imagining her and her history, Condon almost certainly had in the back of his mind the book that, three years earlier, had become the first blockbuster in American publishing, Grace Metalious‚Äôs ‚ÄúPeyton Place‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa story that also had to be sanitized for the movies. The plot of ‚ÄúPeyton Place‚ÄĚ turns on incest (as, for that matter, does the plot of ‚ÄúLolita,‚ÄĚ a sensation when the American edition came out, in 1958). But the luridness of Condon‚Äôs novel did not make it to the screen. There is no equivalent in the movie, for example, of the proto-Pynchonesque sequence in which Raymond‚Äôs stepfather, Johnny Iselin, attempts to have sex with an Eskimo. Frankenheimer‚Äôs idea of satire was a lot more conventional than Condon‚Äôs. He was also a Hollywood filmmaker, of course, and obliged to observe a different decorum.

Counterintuitive as it sounds, the secret to making a successful thriller, as Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy have demonstrated, is to slow down the action occasionally with disquisitions on Stuff It Is Interesting to Know‚ÄĒhow airplanes are made, how nuclear submarines work, how to build an atomic bomb. Ideally, this information is also topical, food for the national appetite of the day. In ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate,‚ÄĚ the topic is brainwashing.

Fear of Communist brainwashing seems an example of Cold War hysteria, but in the nineteen-fifties the fear was not without basis. United Nations ground forces began military action in Korea on July 5, 1950. On July 9th, an American soldier who had been captured just two days earlier delivered a radio speech consisting of North Korean propaganda. Similar broadcasts by captured soldiers continued throughout the war. At the end of the war, the Army estimated that one out of every seven American prisoners of war had collaborated with the enemy. (The final, generally accepted estimate is one out of ten.) Twenty-one Americans refused to return to the United States; forty announced that they had become Communists; and fourteen were court-martialled, and eleven of those were convicted.

The term ‚Äúbrainwashing‚ÄĚ was coined by a journalist named Edward Hunter, who had served in the Morale Operations section of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War, which he spent mostly in Asia, and who became an outspoken anti-Communist. Hunter‚Äôs book ‚ÄúBrainwashing in Red China: The Calculated Destruction of Men‚Äôs Minds‚ÄĚ appeared in 1951. In it, he explained that ‚Äúbrainwashing‚ÄĚ was his translation of the Chinese term¬†hsi-nao, which means ‚Äúcleansing of the mind,‚ÄĚ and which he said he had heard frequently when speaking with Europeans who had been caught inside China in 1949, the year of Mao‚Äôs revolution.

In 1955, two years after the armistice ending the Korean War, the Army issued a huge report on the treatment of American prisoners called ‚ÄúPOW: The Fight Continues After the Battle.‚ÄĚ The Army had interviewed all surviving prisoners of war on the ships that brought them back across the Pacific‚ÄĒmore than four thousand soldiers‚ÄĒand had learned that many of them underwent intensive indoctrination by Chinese Communists. The Chinese had carefully segregated the prisoners they had identified as incorrigibles, sometimes housing them in separate camps, and had subjected the prisoners they judged to be potential converts to five hours of indoctrination a day, in classes that combined propaganda by the instructors with ‚Äúconfessions‚ÄĚ by the prisoners. In¬†some cases, physical torture accompanied the indoctrination, but in general the Chinese used the traditional methods of psychological coercion: repetition and humiliation. The Army discovered that a shocking number of prisoners had, to one degree or another, succumbed. Some were persuaded to accuse the United States, in signed statements, of engaging in germ warfare‚ÄĒa charge that was untrue but was widely believed in many countries.

The Army report instigated a popular obsession with brainwashing that lasted well into 1957. Stories about the experiences of American prisoners appeared in¬†The Saturday Evening Post,¬†Life, the¬†Times Magazine, and¬†The New Yorker. The term itself became a synonym for any sort of effective persuasion, and writers struggled with the question of whether aspects of contemporary American life, such as advertising and psychiatric therapy, might really be forms of brainwashing. Condon must have read much of this material; he did know Andrew Salter‚Äôs ‚ÄúConditioned Reflex Therapy‚ÄĚ (1949), a book he has the Chinese psychiatrist in his novel, Yen Lo, cite in the speech in which he announces his successful brainwashing of the American prisoners. Yen Lo names a number of other studies of hypnosis and conditioning, including ‚ÄúThe Seduction of the Innocent,‚ÄĚ by Frederic Wertham, an alarmist account of the way comic books corrupt the minds of American youth. (Yen Lo evidently has, in addition to his other exceptional powers, a crystal ball, since ‚ÄúSeduction of the Innocent‚ÄĚ was not published until 1954, after the Korean War was over.) These books and articles apparently persuaded Condon that brainwashing, or psychological conditioning using a combination of hypnosis and Pavlovian methods, was a real possibility‚ÄĒas the recent experience of the Korean P.O.W.s had persuaded many other Americans that it was.

Condon‚Äôs book played on the fear that brainwashing could be permanent, that minds could be altered forever. By the time Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie came out, though, it had become clear that most conditioning is temporary. In 1961, in ‚ÄúThought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‚ÄėBrainwashing‚Äô in China,‚ÄĚ the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, who had conducted some of the shipboard interviews with returning P.O.W.s, concluded that the indoctrination of prisoners was a long-term failure. All of the ‚Äúconverts‚ÄĚ eventually returned to the United States, and the former prisoners who had come home praising the good life to be had in North Korea soon reverted to American views.

Still, conditioning is the theme (if ‚Äútheme‚ÄĚ is not too grand a term) of Condon‚Äôs novel. Even before Raymond falls into the hands of Yen Lo, he is psychologically conditioned, by his mother‚Äôs behavior, to despise everyone. His mother is conditioned, by her early incest, to betray everyone. And the American people are conditioned, by political propaganda, to believe her McCarthy-like husband‚Äôs baseless charges about Communists in the government. It is not, in Condon‚Äôs vision, the Communist world on one side and the free world on the other. It is just the manipulators and the manipulated, the conditioners and the conditioned, the publicists and the public. In such a world, it‚Äôs probably better to be the publicist, if you can deal with the ulcers.

Frank Sinatra, who plays Marco, the only friend Raymond has, is supposed to have asked his friend Jack Kennedy for his approval before Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie was released. United Artists was apparently afraid that the assassination scene might give some nut an idea. Kennedy, as it happened, loved the movie; he was, after all, the world‚Äôs most famous Ian Fleming fan. He was killed a year after ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ came out. Did Lee Harvey Oswald see it? The problem has been examined in depth by John Loken, in a book called ‚ÄúOswald‚Äôs Trigger Films‚ÄĚ (2000). Loken concludes that although the evidence is not definitive, Oswald almost certainly did see it. ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ opened in Dallas in November, 1962, and played there for several months; Oswald, who was living in Dallas at the time, had a habit of going to the movies by himself (he was in a movie theatre when he was arrested on November 22, 1963); and Loken has determined that the bus Oswald probably took to work passed within ten yards of a theatre where the movie was playing. (Loken is much struck by the fact that references to ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ are almost nonexistent in the literature, official and otherwise, on the Kennedy assassination. He concludes, in the spirit of all scholars of that assassination, that ‚Äúthe probable Oswald connection, so utterly obvious if one but thinks about it, has been suppressed for decades by a powerful conglomerate that might aptly be called the ‚Äėmedia-entertainment complex.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ)

Immediately after Kennedy was shot, Condon got a call from a newspaper reporter asking if he felt responsible. Condon couldn‚Äôt see the relevance, and he was not being defensive. He had not introduced political assassination to popular American culture. Robert Penn Warren‚Äôs ‚ÄúAll the King‚Äôs Men‚ÄĚ was published in 1946 and was made into a movie in 1949; a version for television, directed by Sidney Lumet, was broadcast in 1958. Assassination is the subject of John Huston‚Äôs ‚ÄúWe Were Strangers‚ÄĚ (1949) and Lewis Allen‚Äôs ‚ÄúSuddenly‚ÄĚ (1954), also starring Frank Sinatra. Oswald might easily have seen those movies as well. More to the point: ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ is the story of a man programmed to kill at the command of other people. What self-respecting assassin would take such a character for¬†his role model? Either Oswald acted according to his own wishes, in which case he wasn‚Äôt imitating Condon‚Äôs killer, or he really was programmed by the Communists, in which case the question isn‚Äôt whether Oswald saw Frankenheimer‚Äôs movie but whether his Communist masters did.

United Artists withdrew ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ from theatres in 1964, although the movie could occasionally be seen on television and in art houses. In 1972, Sinatra bought the rights and, in 1975, removed it from circulation entirely. Whether or not he was motivated by guilt over Kennedy‚Äôs death is unclear. He did, however, give his daughter Tina permission to produce a remake, and it is being shot, this fall, by Jonathan Demme. (Demme‚Äôs previous movie, ‚ÄúThe Truth About Charlie,‚ÄĚ was also a remake, of Stanley Donen‚Äôs ‚ÄúCharade,‚ÄĚ of 1963. His method, judging from that effort, is to update the story and then salt it with allusions to the period of the original. ‚ÄúCharade‚ÄĚ was filmed in Paris at the time of the French New Wave, and so in Demme‚Äôs version there are appearances by Charles Aznavour, Agn√®s Varda, and the grave of Fran√ßois Truffaut‚ÄĒnone of which have anything to do with the story. Demme has reportedly set ‚ÄúThe Manchurian Candidate‚ÄĚ in the time of the Gulf War; Liev Schreiber plays Raymond, Meryl Streep is his dragon mother, and Marco is played by Denzel Washington. We can be fairly confident that at some point Denzel Washington will be seen listening to a Frank Sinatra song.)

The Kennedy assassination does not fulfill Condon and Frankenheimer’s prophecy. On the contrary, it buries it. If any assassin might plausibly have been a Communist puppet, it was Oswald, a man who had lived in the Soviet Union for three years, who had a Russian wife, and who once handed out leaflets for an outfit called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. These facts were widely known within hours of Oswald’s arrest, and yet the theory that he was an agent who was directed, wittingly or not, by Communist handlers has never been an important part of the folklore of the Kennedy assassination. Until the late nineteen-seventies, the official line (endorsed, incidentally, by Condon at the time) was that Oswald acted alone. Dissenters from that view have been drawn mainly to theories involving the Mafia and the Central Intelligence Agency, even though hooking Oswald up with those entities requires a far greater imaginative stretch than associating him with the Soviets. Almost no one thinks of Kennedy (except in some convoluted way) as a casualty of the Cold War, and his death does not represent the culmination of the national anxiety about Communist infiltration. It represents the end of that obsession, and of the panic that Condon’s novel and Frankenheimer’s movie both so happily exploit. ♦

  • Louis Menand, a staff writer since 2001, was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016.



Publication Order of Prizzi Books

Prizzi’s Honor (1982) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Family (1986) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Glory (1988) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle
Prizzi’s Money (1994) Hardcover¬†¬†Paperback¬†¬†Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Oldest Confession (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Manchurian Cadidate (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Some Angry Angel (1960) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Talent for Loving aka The Great Cowboy Race (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Infinity of Mirrors (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Any God Will Do (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ecstasy Business (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mile High (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vertical Smile (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arigato (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Winter Kills (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Star-spangled Crunch (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Money is Love (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Whisper of the Axe (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Abandoned Woman (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bandicoot (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death of A Politician (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Entwining (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Trembling Upon Rome (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Emperor of America (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Final Addiction (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Venerable Bead (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

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Before he began writing fiction stories, Richard Thomas Condon worked for Walt Disney productions as a press agent in the movie business for 20 years where he spent most of his time in the major studios. Prior his moderate success in Hollywood, Condon also worked in the US Merchant Marine. He actually started writing in 1957 in his forties. He often complained of wasting a lot of time in Hollywood when he was employed as an ad writer by United Artists. His boss, Max Youngstein later fired him after deducting amounts from Condon’s salary without his knowledge. Youngstein also offered him a house overlooking a Mexican ocean and told him to write his book, The Manchurian Candidate (1959) which was his second novel. The book was used to make a movie in 1962, making Richard Condon famous. His other book, Prizzi’s Honor (1982) was also made into a successful movie.

Richard Condon was a thriller and satirical novelist, born and raised in New York City and best known for his conspiratorial books like The Oldest Confession (1958), Some Angry Angel (1960), A Talent of Loving (1961), An Infinity of Mirrors (1964) and many more novels. Condon’s writing was famous for its fascination with trivia, complex plotting, and hatred for those in power. For instance, his most popular novel The Manchurian Candidate was highly criticized because it seemed to disturbingly overshadow the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Furthermore, several books feature a thinly disguised version of Richard Nixon. His characters were driven by family loyalty, and with obsession, usually political and sexual. His plots had elements of a typical tragedy involving protagonists who are led by their pride to places where they destroy what they love. One of his most notable books, Mile High (1969) was best defined as secret history. In the novel, And Then We Moved to Rossenara, Richard Condon gives a humorous autobiography that recounts the various places he has lived in the world and his family’s move to Rossenarra, Ireland in the 1970s.

Apart from writing novels, Richard Condon also wrote some popular book series and bestsellers including; Prizzi’s Honor (1986), Prizzi’s Family (1986), Prizzi’s Glory (1988) and Prizzi’s Money (1994). He died in 1996.

Prizzi’s Honor was Richard Condon’s first book in the Prizzi’s series. This is not an ordinary story of a boy-meets-girl. Prizzis is the most influential Mafia family in New York. Their faithful lieutenant, Charley Partanna has affections for Irene Walker who works as a tax consultant in Los Angeles. She also does freelancing which pays her more. She is also a Mob’s hit woman. She cons the Prizzis an unforgivably huge amount of money. Indeed, this is a very dangerous moonlighting which eventually conflicts Charley’s oldest loyalties with his latest one. This book mixes character and caricature easily, making it one of his best books since The Manchurian Candidate.

The second book in the Prizzi’s series is the Prizzi’s Family. Here, Charley Partanna works for the Prizzi family as a hitman by day and studies for his high school exam by night. When he is not studying, he is juggling two beautiful women, probably more than he can handle. One, Maerose, is the granddaughter of Charley’s boss and is hungry for honor, power and Charley of course. The other, Mardell, is a sensational, one-third fantasy, two-thirds legs. This is a problem to Charley, but hormones seem to keep obstructing him. This book is funny and cheerful, and foams with perversity, obsessional religious mania, rascality, greed and lust, and assault and battery, making it a good read.

The next book in the series is Prizzi’s Glory. In this successful last volume in Prizzi trilogy series, the Prizzi family cleans up the environment, immersing huge benefits. They finally appear as a cruel, vivid and comic portrait of the America’s best-run Mafia institution. For the change, a tired, bored and depressed Charley Fontana weds Maerose, but this does not help because Don Corrado has thought of a bigger change, Prizzi’s respectability. Money flows to the Prizzi’s family through dubious activities like gambling, extortion, prostitution, loan-sharking, and narcotics. Don Corrado uses the money to control a new scam, a national political power which Charley heads. This book offers an accomplished and entertaining satire for a feat of joyful reading.

The last book in the Prizzi’s series is Prizzi’s Money. Richard Condon showcases the Prizzi family’s saga of organized crime. Here, Julia Asbury outwits the Prizzis, walking away with a huge amount of their money (a billion & a quarter) to start a new life. She does this after discovering that the Prizzis and her husband had double-crossed her.

Another noticeable writing style by Richard Condon was the use of real-life names in his books. Condon used names of real people as characters in his writings, but generally minor/peripheral ones. One of the most common names used in all of his novels includes F.M. Heller, Franz Heller, F. Marx Heller, and Frank Heller which are variations of Franklin M. Heller. In real life, Heller was, in fact, a television director based in New York City from the 1950s to 1970s and first lived on Long Island before moving to a house along Rockrimmon Road, Stamford, Connecticut. Starting with Mile High, Rockrimmon House and Rockrimmon Road have been frequently mentioned in the novels. All the fictional Hellers also shared a devotion for needlework and grew a thick-white beard similar to the real-life Heller who made a needlework depiction in Condon’s manor house in Ireland. Condon also had a great actor friend, Allan Melvin, who he wrote a nightclub act. Melvin also played Cpl. Henshaw in The Phil Servers Show which Condon was publicizing. Several Condon books particularly Prizzi’s Honor showcases Melvini as a prominent hit man.

Richard Condon’s legend is not only showcased in his wonderful writings but also some popular films that were adapted from his novels. The films include; The Manchurian Candidate (1962 and 2004), The Talent of Loving (1969), Winter Kills (1979), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), and The Happy Thieves from the novel The Oldest Confession (1962). The Manchurian Candidate is recognized as one of the best films of all time. The book combined several elements including; satire, nefarious conspiracies, black humor, outrage at financial and political corruption in America, as well as breath-taking elements from spy fiction and thrillers, and grotesque and horrific violence.


Condon, Richard 1915-1996 (Richard Thomas Condon)

Condon, Richard 1915-1996 (Richard Thomas Condon)
Born March 18, 1915, in New York, NY; died April 9, 1996, in Dallas, TX; son of Richard Aloysius and Martha Irene Condon; married Evelyn Rose Hunt, January 14, 1938; children: Deborah Weldon, Wendy Jackson. Education: Graduated from high school in New York, NY.

Writer. Publicist in New York, NY, and Hollywood, CA, for Walt Disney Productions, 1936-41, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 1941-45, Richard Condon, Inc., 1945-48, and Paramount Pictures Corp., 1948-53, and in Europe and Great Britain for United Artists Corp., 1953-57; novelist. Producer, with Jose Ferrer, of Broadway shows Twentieth Century and Stalag 17, 1951-52.

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International Confederation of Book Actors (honorary life president), Dramatists Guild, Authors Guild, Authors League of America.

Writers Guild of America award, Bafta Award from British Academy of Film and Television Sciences, and Academy Award nomination, all 1986 for screen adaptation of Prizzi’s Honor,.

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And Then We Moved to Rossenarra; or, The Art of Emigrating, Dial (New York, NY), 1973.

(With daughter, Wendy Jackson) The Mexican Stove: What to Put on It and in It, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1973, reprinted, Taylor Publishing, 1988.

The Oldest Confession (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection), Appleton-Century-Crofts (New York, NY), 1958.

The Manchurian Candidate, McGraw (New York, NY), 1959, reprinted, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2003.

Some Angry Angel: A Mid-Century Faerie Tale, McGraw (New York, NY), 1960.

A Talent for Loving; or, The Great Cowboy Race, McGraw (New York, NY), 1961.

An Infinity of Mirrors, Random House (New York, NY), 1964.

Any God Will Do, Random House (New York, NY), 1965.

The Ecstasy Business, Dial (New York, NY), 1967.

Mile High (Literary Guild alternate selection), Dial (New York, NY), 1968.

The Vertical Smile (Literary Guild selection), Dial (New York, NY), 1971.

Arigato, Dial (New York, NY), 1972.

Winter Kills, Dial (New York, NY), 1974.

The Star Spangled Crunch, Bantam (New York, NY), 1974.

Money Is Love, Dial (New York, NY), 1975.

The Whisper of the Axe, Dial (New York, NY), 1976.

The Abandoned Woman: A Tragedy of Manners, Dial (New York, NY), 1977.

Bandicoot, Dial (New York, NY), 1978.

Death of a Politician, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1978.

The Entwining, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1980.

Prizzi’s Honor (second novel in trilogy; Book-of-the-Month Club joint main selection; also see below), Coward, McCann & Geoghegan (New York, NY), 1982.

A Trembling upon Rome, Putnam (New York, NY), 1983.

Prizzi’s Family (first novel in trilogy; Literary Guild joint main selection), Putnam, 1986.

Prizzi’s Glory (third novel in trilogy), Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.

The Final Addiction, Saint Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Prizzi’s Money, Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Janet Roach) Prizzi’s Honor (adaptation; see above), Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 1985.

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Also author screenplay for A Talent for Loving, 1969, and The Summer Music; author of the play Men of Distinction, produced on Broadway, 1953. Contributor to periodicals, including Holiday, Nation, Vogue, Harper’s, Gourmet, Esquire, Travel and Leisure, and Sunday Times magazine. Novels have been published in twenty-two languages and in braille.

Books have been adapted for film, including The Oldest Confession released as the film The Happy Thieves, 1962; Winter Kill, 1979; and The Manchurian Candidate, 1962, and adapted remake, Paramount Pictures, 2004.

Novelist Richard Condon began writing at age forty-two following a successful career as a movie publicist. Condon’s reputation as a writer of political thrillers was secured with his first two novels, The Oldest Confession and The Manchurian Candidate. Condon’s body of work included over twenty novels, two nonfiction books, a handful of plays and screenplays, and numerous articles on his twin passions, food and travel. This output netted him an income of about two and a half million dollars.

Condon took full advantage of his freedom as a writer. Although he resided in the United States later in life, for nineteen years Condon and his family lived in countries such as France, Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland. Condon’s focus in his novels, however, usually reflected his concerns about American society, particularly the United States government. Condon’s preoccupation with examining abuses of power made him into a cult figure of sorts to readers who shared his convictions. Condon’s novels are entertaining, despite their underlying seriousness. This assessment is compatible with Condon’s personal goals as a writer, which he discussed in a People magazine interview with Anne Maier. “I have never written for any other reason than to earn a living. This is certainly true of other writers, but some poor souls get mightily confused with art. I am a public entertainer who sees his first duty as the need to entertain himself.”

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Most of the material for Condon’s blend of reality and bizarre invention came from “the dirty linen closets of politics and money,” according to a New York Review of Books contributor Thomas R. Edwards. “His view‚ÄĒit might be called Condon’s Law‚ÄĒis that when you don’t know the whole truth, the worst you can imagine is bound to be close.” Edwards added: “[He] isn’t an analyst but an exploiter of our need to believe the worst. He does it skillfully, but his books would be less fun than they are if one didn’t suspect that he believes the worst too, that his pictures of a world of fools eternally at the mercy of knaves are also pictures of what, with anger and disgust, he takes to be the case.”

Condon’s second novel, The Manchurian Candidate, was published in 1959 and remains Condon’s most highly acclaimed novel, one that critics frequently cite as a standard of comparison for his later works. The title of the book refers to the main character, Raymond Shaw, a soldier who becomes a prisoner of war in Korea and is unknowingly brainwashed into committing crimes for his former captors after he returns to the United States. Commenting on this novel, reviewers distinguished carefully between Condon’s writing and literature. Most reviewers noted the novel’s many appeals. Michael Rogers, writing a Library Journal review of a 2003 reprint of the novel, commented that “any fan of political thrillers will enjoy this one.”

Condon followed The Manchurian Candidate with several relatively successful novels. Nevertheless, several of Condon’s subsequent novels generally fell out of favor with critics. In 1974, however, his novel Winter Kills was enthusiastically received. Winter Kills closely parallels the lives of members of the Kennedy family. The main character, Nick Thirkield, is the half-brother of John F. Kennedy analogue Tim Kegan, a young, liberal Irish president who is assassinated by a lone maniac. The assassin is caught and charged with the murder, but when Thirkield learns that another man may also have been involved, he has the case reopened.

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Several reviewers found themselves pleasantly surprised by Winter Kills. New York Times Book Review contributor Leo Braudy, for example, commented that Winter Kills is “a triumph of satire and knowledge, with a delicacy of style and a command of tone that puts Condon once again into the first rank of American novelists.” Braudy explained: “Winter Kills succeeds so brilliantly because the Kennedy assassination furnished Condon with a familiar mythic landscape through which his Gulliver-like hero can wander, simultaneously prey to Lilliputian politics, Brobdingnagian physicality, Laputan science, and Houyhnhnm moralism.” Christopher Lehmann-Haupt expressed a like opinion in the New York Times: “By the time I reached the end of the novel’s incredibly complex plot and had followed Nick Thirkield through the many blind alleys and trapdoors that eventually bring him face to face with the person behind his brother’s assassination, I was a Richard Condon fan once more.”

Extrapolation contributor Joe Sanders observed: “In Condon’s novels, politics determines the shape of society, but politics is not a voluntary, cooperative activity, entered into for some common end; it is a device by which a few clever people manipulate many others to gain their selfish ends.” Lehmann-Haupt expressed disappointment with the ending because he “caught on too early what the ultimate outcome would be,” but he found the novel’s conclusion satisfying. He wrote: “It may not be true that America is run by a small, conspiring oligarchy. It may not be true that things happen in the White House at the whim of movie stars and labor leaders, of courtesans and generals. But the possibilities are no longer inconceivable.”

Winter Kills was made into a critically acclaimed but briefly run film of the same title. Although Condon was not directly involved in the making of Winter Kills, the film’s quality drew his attention and support. After two years of filming for which most of the cast and crew were never paid, Winter Kills opened in New York in 1979 to favorable reviews. The film’s three-week run in showcase theaters was followed by disappearance from theatres, raising Condon’s conspiracy suspicions. Condon’s paranoia was further incited by the murder of one of the producers shortly after the film’s opening; two years later the second producer was sentenced to forty years in prison on a drug charge. The movie was briefly re-released in 1982 and 1983.

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Condon’s novel Prizzi’s Honor dealt with a similarly sensitive milieu: organized crime. Although this setting has been exploited by several other authors, notably Mario Puzo, reviewers believed that Condon’s novel offered a fresh outlook. Charles Champlin observed in the Los Angeles Times Book Review: “Condon, once again accepting the perceived reality as police leaks, newspaper exposes and Puzo have given it to us‚ÄĒcomplete with Sicilian litany of consiglieri, caporegimes, sottocapos, soldati, and a godfather with a lethal wheeze and a mind Machiavelli might envy‚ÄĒsteps over it to present an outrageous and original love story.” New York Times Book Review contributor Robert Asahina noted: “Richard Condon is not Mario Puzo; suspense, not the family saga, is his forte. And he winds the mainspring of the plot so tight that the surprise ending will knock your reading glasses off. Yet Prizzi’s Honor is also a sendup of the prevailing sentimental picture of the underworld. To Mr. Condon, there is honor among these thieves‚ÄĒbut it is precisely in the name of omerta that the fratellanza has been willing to ‚Äėcheat, corrupt, scam, and murder anybody who stands between them and a buck.‚Äô”

The novel’s love interest involves Charley Partanna, a gourmet cook, compulsive house cleaner, and hit man for the Prizzi family; and Irene Walker, a tax consultant and freelance killer for hire. “It is something of a challenge to a novelist to create a love interest in a story that pairs two ruthless murderers,” observed Times Literary Supplement contributor Alan Bold. “Irene is presented as a colder fish than Charley‚ÄĒshe has risen to the top of her profession on account of her ability to murder without remorse. She is as sound a psychopath as Charley. Condon suggests, however, that such creatures are capable of a great passion and Charley, for one, is sure that his love is the real thing.” New York Times contributor Susan Bolotin likewise commented on the originality of this pairing: “If boy-meets-girl/boy-gets-girl love stories seem poisonously tiresome to you, Richard Condon’s boisterous new novel may prove the perfect antidote. It’s true that Prizzi’s Honor starts off with a familiar melody, ‚Ķ but the book soon turns into a fugue with variations so intricate that the genre may never recover.”

Despite opposition from Charley’s father, Charley and Irene are wed. Condon takes the couple through a convoluted plot that includes “a kidnapping, international financial intrigue, a gangland war, police on the take, the power struggle within the family, contract killings, [and] lots of jolly sex,” wrote Bolotin. According to several reviewers, Condon’s exploration of the seamier side of organized crime is distressing. Best Sellers contributor Tony Bednarczyk wrote: “There is solid storytelling, but the subject raises disturbing questions about morals, and/or the lack thereof. It is a fast-paced, very readable story, but one feels a bit guilty for being interested in what comes next.” While Time critic Michael Demarest also believed that Prizzi’s Honor, “like most of [Condon’s] books, comes sometimes too close to the truth for comfort,” he nevertheless concluded: “Condon’s stylish prose and rich comedic gift once again spice a moral sensibility that has animated sixteen novels since The Manchurian Candidate appeared in 1962. If wit and irony could somehow neutralize villainy, the novelist would make a fine FBI director.” Other reviewers expressed similarly laudatory views. Champlin wrote: “Condon is once again the storytelling satirist with a sharp eye and a high velocity typewriter. Prizzi’s Honor may not be his best work but it ranks well up in the canon.” Concluded Asahina: “Twenty years after The Manchurian Candidate, it’s nice to know that Mr. Condon is still up to his sly tricks. In his case, at least, it’s a pleasure that‚ÄĒas he tells us an old Sicilian proverb has it‚ÄĒ‚ÄėThe less things change, the more they remain the same.‚Äô”

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Prizzi’s Honor was also made into a successful film of the same title, with Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner playing the roles of Charley Partanna and Irene Walker. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, and the screenplay, adapted by Condon and coauthor Janet Roach, received awards from the Writers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Sciences. The project was initiated and eventually directed by John Huston.

Huston and movie critics alike believed that Prizzi’s Honor was faithful to the novel, a feat they attribute to Condon and Roach’s skillfully adapted screenplay. Chi-cago Tribune contributor Gene Siskel described Prizzi’s Honor as “a classic piece of moviemaking,” and Los Angeles Times film critic Sheila Benson noted: “To say the film is the treasure of the year would be to badmouth it in this disastrous season. Prizzi’s Honor would be the vastly original centerpiece of a great year.” Benson also wrote: “In its dangerous mix of love and murder, Huston is traversing terrain that he (and certainly The Manchurian Candidate author Condon) blazed decades ago. This ’80s-version denouement may distress the squeamish, but it’s right in keeping with Prizzi honor.”

Bestsellers 90, Issue 3, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990.

Condon, Richard, Death of a Politician, Richard Marek (New York, NY), 1978.

Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume I, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1984.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume IV, 1975, Volume VI, 1976, Volume VIII, 1978, Volume X, 1979, Volume XLIV, 1987.

Newquist, Roy, Conversations, Volume I, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1967.

Best Sellers, June, 1982, Tony Bednarczyk, review of Prizzi’s Honor; December, 1986.

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1985, Gene Siskel, review of Prizzi’s Honor (film adaptation).

Daily Variety, March 8, 2002, Dana Harris and Sharon Swart, “‚ÄėCandidate‚Äô for Redo: Paramount Plans Remake of 1962 Classic,” p. 1.

Extrapolation, summer, 1984, Joe Sanders, article about author.

Library Journal, November 1, 2003, Michael Rogers, review of The Manchurian Candidate, p. 129.

Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1985, Sheila Benson, review of Prizzi’s Honor (film adaptation).

Los Angeles Times Book Review, April 25, 1982, Charles Champlin, review of Prizzi’s Honor.

Modern Language Quarterly, September, 2006, Micahel Szalay, review of The Manchurian Candidate, p. 363.

New Statesman, September 5, 1975, review of Money is Love, p. 285; August 13, 1976, review of The Whisper of the Axe, p. 216.

Newsweek, September 14, 1964, review of Manchurian Candidate; June 9, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 81.

New Yorker August 25, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 87; December 11, 1978, review of Death of a Politician, p. 206; October 28, 1991, review of The Final Addiction, p. 119.

New York Review of Books, February 8, 1979, Thomas R. Edwards, review of Death of a Politician, p. 35.

New York Times, May 24, 1974, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Winter Kills; May 21, 1976; April 20, 1982, Susan Bolotin, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 25.

New York Times Book Review, May 26, 1974, Leo Braudy, review of Winter Kills; May 25, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 12; May 23, 1976, review of The Whisper of the Axe, p. 4; April 18, 1982, Robert Asahina, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 12; September 4, 1983, John Jay Osborn, Jr., review of A Trembling upon Rome, p. 4; September 28, 1986, Jimmy Breslin, review of Prizzi’s Family, p. 13; October 9, 1988, Vincent Patrick, review of Prizzi’s Glory, p. 24; February 11, 1990, Roy Blount, Jr., review of Emperor of America, p. 14; November 17, 1991, Bill Kent, review of The Final Addiction, p. 20; December 13, 1992, Donald E. Westlake, review of The Venerable Bead, p. 9; February 6, 1994, Joe Queenan, review of Prizzi’s Money, p. 9.

People, December 8, 1986, Anne Maier, interview with author.

Spectator, September 21, 1974, review of Winter Kills, p. 372.

Texas Monthly, August, 1994, William Cobb, “The Don of Dallas,” interview with author, p. 42.

Time, June 2, 1975, review of Money Is Love, p. 72; May 17, 1982, Michael Demarest, review of Prizzi’s Honor, p. 82; September 22, 1986, John Skow, review of Prizzi’s Family, p. 95; September 19, 1988, review of Prizzi’s Glory, p. 95.

Times Literary Supplement, June 11, 1982, Alan Bold, review of Prizzi’s Honor.

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (December 4, 2006), information on author’s film work.

New York Times, April 10, 1996, Mel Gussow.

Time, April 22, 1996, p. 33.

U.S. News & World Report, April 22, 1996, p. 26.


Books by Richard Condon
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Richard Condon

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Richard Condon
Born Richard Thomas Condon
March 18, 1915
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 9, 1996 (aged 81)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Genre Fiction

Richard Thomas Condon¬†(March 18, 1915 in¬†New York City¬†‚Äď April 9, 1996 in¬†Dallas, Texas) was a prolific and popular American political novelist. Though his works were satire, they were generally transformed into thrillers or semi-thrillers in other mediums, such as cinema. All 26 books were written in distinctive Condon style, which combined fast-pace, outrage, and frequent humor while focusing almost obsessively at monetary greed and political corruption. Condon himself once said: “Every book I’ve ever written has been about abuse of power. I feel very strongly about that. I’d like people to know how deeply their politicians wrong them.”[1]¬†Condon’s books were occasionally bestsellers, and many of his books were made into films; he is primarily remembered for his 1959¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†and, many years later, a series of four novels about a family of New York gangsters named¬†Prizzi.

Condon’s writing was known for its complex plotting, fascination with trivia, and loathing for those in power; at least two of his books featured thinly disguised versions of¬†Richard Nixon.[citation needed]¬†His characters tend to be driven by obsession, usually sexual or political, and family loyalty. His plots often have elements of classical¬†tragedy, with protagonists whose pride leads them to destroy what they love. Some of his books, most notably¬†Mile High¬†(1969), are perhaps best described as¬†secret history.[citation needed]¬†And Then We Moved to Rossenarra¬†is a humorous autobiographical recounting of various places in the world where he had lived and his family’s 1970s move to Rossenarra,¬†Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.


Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, Condon attended DeWitt Clinton High School.[2]

After service in the¬†United States Merchant Marine, Condon achieved moderate success as a Hollywood publicist, ad writer and Hollywood agent. Condon turned to writing in 1957. Employed by¬†United Artists¬†as an ad writer, he complained that he was wasting time in Hollywood and wanted to write a novel. Without Condon’s knowledge, his boss,¬†Max E. Youngstein, deducted money from his salary, then fired him after a year, returning the amount of money he had deducted in the form of a Mexican bank account and the key to a house overlooking the ocean in Mexico. Youngstein told him to write his book.[3]¬†His second novel,¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†(1959), featured a dedication to Youngstein and was made into a successful film.

Basic theme throughout Condon’s books[edit]

In Mile High, his eighth novel, one primarily about how a single spectacularly ruthless gangster named Eddie West imposes Prohibition upon an unwary populace, Condon sums up the theme of all his books in a single angry cri de coeur:

“Prohibition fused the amateurism and catch-as-catch-can national tendencies of the early days of the republic with a more modern, highly organized lust for violence and the quick buck. It fused the need to massacre twelve hundred thousand American Indians and ten million American buffalo, the lynching bees, the draft riots, bread riots, gold riots and race riots, the constant wars, the largest rats in the biggest slums, boxing and football, the loudest music, the most strident and exploitative press with the entire wonderful promise of tomorrow and tomorrow, always dragging the great nation downward into greater violence and more unnecessary deaths, into newer and more positive celebration of nonlife, all so that the savage, simple-minded people might be educated into greater frenzies of understanding that power and money are the only desirable objects for this life.”[4]

“Manchurian Candidate”[edit]

Although not perhaps actually originated by Condon himself, his use of “the Manchurian Candidate” made that phrase a part of the English language.¬†Frank Rich, for example, in his column in the “Sunday Opinion” of¬†The New York Times¬†of August 17, 2008, writes about¬†Barack Obama¬†with a reference to both a well-known actress and a well-known plot element in the first movie version of Condon’s 1959 book:

“[Obama’s] been done in by that ad with¬†Britney¬†[Spears] and¬†Paris¬†[Hilton] and a new international crisis that allows [John]¬†McCain¬†to again flex his Manchurian Candidate military cred. Let the¬†neocons¬†identify a new battleground for igniting World War III… and McCain gets with the program as if¬†Angela Lansbury¬†has just dealt him¬†the Queen of Hearts“.[5]

“The fiction of information”[edit]

Condon’s works are difficult to categorize precisely: A 1971¬†Time magazine¬†review declared that, “Condon was never a satirist: he was a riot in a satire factory. He raged at Western civilization and every last one of its works. He decorticated the Third Reich, cheese fanciers, gossip columnists and the Hollywood star system with equal and total frenzy.”¬†[6]¬†The headline of his obituary in¬†The New York Times¬†called him a “political novelist”,[7]¬†but went on to say that, “Novelist is too limited a word to encompass the world of Mr. Condon. He was also a visionary, a darkly comic conjurer, a student of American mythology and a master of conspiracy theories, as vividly demonstrated in ‘The Manchurian Candidate.'”[7]¬†Although his books combined many different elements, including occasional outright fantasy and science fiction, they were, above all, written to entertain the general public. He had, however, a genuine disdain, outrage, and even hatred for many of the mainstream political corruptions that he found so prevalent in American life. In a 1977 quotation, he said that:[8]

“…people are being manipulated, exploited, murdered by their servants, who have convinced these savage, simple-minded populations that they are their masters, and that it hurts the head, if one thinks. People accept servants as masters. My novels are merely entertaining persuasions to get the people to think in other categories.”

With his long lists of absurd trivia and “mania for absolute details”, Condon was, along with¬†Ian Fleming, one of the early exemplars of those called by¬†Pete Hamill¬†in a¬†New York Times¬†review, “the practitioners of what might be called the New Novelism… Condon applies a dense web of facts to fiction…. There might really be two kinds of fiction: the fiction of sensibility and the fiction of information… As a practitioner of the fiction of information, no one else comes close to him.”[9]

Quirks and characteristics[edit]

Condon attacked his targets wholeheartedly but with a uniquely original style and wit that made almost any paragraph from one of his books instantly recognizable. Reviewing one of his works in the International Herald Tribune, playwright George Axelrod (The Seven Year Itch, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter), who had collaborated with Condon on the screenplay for the film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate, wrote:

“The arrival of a new novel by Richard Condon is like an invitation to a party…. the sheer gusto of the prose, the madness of his similes, the lunacy of his metaphors, his infectious, almost child-like joy in composing complex sentences that go bang at the end in the manner of exploding cigars is both exhilarating and as exhausting as any good party ought to be.”

Metaphors and similes[edit]

From his 1975 novel,¬†Money Is Love, comes a fine example of the “lunacy of his metaphors”: “Mason took in enough cannabis smoke to allow a Lipan Apache manipulating a blanket over it to transmit the complete works of Tennyson.”¬†[10]

The Manchurian Candidate offers:

“The effects of the narcotics, techniques, and suggestions… achieved a result that approximated the impact an entire twenty-five-cent jar of F. W. Woolworth vanishing cream might have on vanishing an aircraft carrier of the¬†Forrestal¬†class when rubbed into the armor plate.”[11]

Lists and trivia[edit]

Condon was also enamored of long lists of detailed trivia that, while at least marginally pertinent to the subject at hand, are almost always an exercise in gleeful exaggeration and joyful spirits. In An Infinity of Mirrors, for instance, those in attendance of the funeral of a famous French actor and notable lover are delineated as:

Seven ballerinas of an amazing spectrum of ages were at graveside. Actresses of films, opera, music halls, the theatre, radio, carnivals, circuses, pantomimes, and lewd exhibitions mourned in the front line. There were also society leaders, lady scientists, women politicians, mannequins, couturières, Salvation Army lassies, all but one of his wives, a lady wrestler, a lady matador, twenty-three lady painters, four lady sculptors, a car-wash attendant, shopgirls, shoplifters, shoppers, and the shopped; a zoo assistant, two choir girls, a Métro attendant from the terminal at the Bois de Vincennes, four beauty-contest winners, a chambermaid; the mothers of children, the mothers of men, the grandmothers of children and the grandmothers of men; and the general less specialized, female public-at-large which had come from eleven European countries, women perhaps whom he had only pinched or kissed absent-mindedly while passing through his busy life. They attended twenty-eight hundred and seventy strong, plus eleven male friends of the deceased.[12]

Writing about¬†The Whisper of the Axe¬†in the daily book review column of Friday, May 21, 1976, in the¬†New York Times, Richard R. Lingeman praised the book in particular and Condon in general for his “extravagance of invention unique with him.”¬†[13]

Not everyone was as exhilarated by Condon’s antics, however. In a long¬†Times¬†Sunday review just two days after Lingeman’s, Roger Sale excoriated Condon as a writer of “how-to books” in general, this book in particular, and Condon’s habit of using lists: “A lot of it is done with numbers arbitrarily chosen to falsely simulate precision.”¬†[14]

Real-life names in his books[edit]

All of Condon’s books have, to an unknown degree, the names of real people in them as characters, generally very minor or peripheral. The most common, which appears in all of his books, is some variation of Franklin M. Heller. Among them are F.M. Heller, Frank Heller, Franz Heller, and F. Marx Heller. The real-life Heller was apparently a television director in New York City in the 1950s, ’60s, and 70s, who initially lived on¬†Long Island¬†and then moved to a house on Rockrimmon Road in¬†Stamford, Connecticut.[15]¬†Beginning with¬†Mile High¬†in 1969, mentions of a Rockrimmon Road or Rockrimmon House also began to appear regularly in the novels. Late in life Heller grew a thick white beard and became a devotee of¬†needlework‚ÄĒboth traits that the fictional Hellers shared, sometimes to ludicrous effect, as when a battle-hardened Admiral Heller is depicted issuing orders while absorbed in needlework. The real-life Heller made one needlework depiction of the¬†manor house¬†in Ireland in which Condon was living at the time.

Condon was a great friend of actor¬†Allan Melvin, having written a nightclub act for him. Condon later became a publicist for¬†The Phil Silvers Show¬†(“Sgt. Bilko”), on which Melvin played Cpl. Henshaw. Melvin’s name shows up in several Condon books, most prominently as hitman Al (the Plumber) Melvini in “Prizzi’s Honor” (a play on Melvin’s “Al the Plumber” character in Liquid-Plumr commercials.) In¬†The Manchurian Candidate, with the exception of Marco, Shaw and Mavole, all of Marco’s platoon members are named for the cast/crew of “Bilko”: (Nat) Hiken, (Maurice) Gosfield, (Jimmy) Little, (Phil) Silvers, (Allan) Melvin, (Mickey) Freeman and (Harvey) Lembeck.

Career in films[edit]

For many years a Hollywood publicity man for Walt Disney and other studios, Condon took up writing relatively late in life and his first novel,¬†The Oldest Confession, was not published until he was 43. The demands of his career with United Artists‚ÄĒpromoting dreadful movies such as¬†The Pride and the Passion¬†and¬†A King and Four Queens‚ÄĒled to a series of bleeding ulcers and a determination to do something else.

His next book,¬†The Manchurian Candidate, combined all the elements that defined his works for the next 30 years: nefarious conspiracies, satire, black humor, outrage at political and financial corruption in the American scene, breath-taking elements from thrillers and spy fiction, horrific and grotesque violence, and an obsession with the minutiae of food, drink, and fast living. It quickly made him, for a few years at least, the center of a cult devoted to his works. As he rapidly produced more and more books with the same central themes, however, this following fell away and his critical reputation diminished. Still, over the next three decades Condon produced works that returned him to favor, both with the critics and the book-buying public, such as¬†Mile High,¬†Winter Kills, and the first of the Prizzi books,¬†Prizzi’s Honor.

Of his numerous books that were turned into Hollywood movies,¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†was filmed twice. The first version, in 1962, which starred¬†Frank Sinatra,¬†Laurence Harvey,¬†Janet Leigh, and¬†Angela Lansbury, followed the book with great fidelity, and is now highly regarded as a glimpse into the mindset of its era. Janet Maslin, writing already over two decades ago, said in¬†The New York Times¬†In 1996 that it was “arguably the most chilling piece of cold war paranoia ever committed to film, yet by now it has developed a kind of innocence.”[7]

The Keener’s Manual[edit]

Beginning with his first book,¬†The Oldest Confession, Condon frequently prefaced his novels with excerpts of verse from a so-called¬†Keener’s Manual; these epigraphs foreshadowed the theme of the book or, in several instances, gave the book its title.¬†The Keener’s Manual, however, was a fictional invention by Condon and does not actually exist. A “keen” is a “lamentation for the dead uttered in a loud wailing voice or sometimes in a wordless cry”¬†[16]¬†and a “keener” is a professional mourner, usually a woman in Ireland, who “utters the keen… at a wake or funeral.”¬†[17]

Five of Condon’s first six books derived their titles from the fictional manual, the only exception being his most famous book,¬†The Manchurian Candidate. The epigraph in¬†The Manchurian Candidate, however, “I am you and you are me /and what have we done to each other?” is a recurring theme in earlier Condon’s books: in various forms it also appears as dialog in both¬†The Oldest Confession¬†and¬†Some Angry Angel. Among other epigraphs, the last line of “The riches I bring you /Crowding and shoving, /Are the envy of princes: /A talent for loving.” is the title of Condon’s fourth novel. His fifth and sixth novels,¬†An Infinity of Mirrors¬†and¬†Any God Will Do, also derive their titles from excerpts of the manual.

Plagiarism charge[edit]

In 1998 a California software engineer noticed several paragraphs in¬†The Manchurian Candidate¬†that appeared nearly identical to portions of the celebrated 1934 novel¬†I, Claudius¬†by the English writer¬†Robert Graves. She wrote about the apparent¬†plagiarism¬†on her website but her discovery went unnoticed by most of the world until Adair Lara, a longtime¬†San Francisco Chronicle¬†staff writer, wrote a lengthy article about the accusation in 2003.[18]¬†Reprinting the paragraphs in question, she also solicited the opinion of a British¬†forensic linguist, who concluded that Condon had unquestionably plagiarized at least two paragraphs of Graves’s work. By this time, however, more than seven years had passed since Condon’s death and Lara’s article also failed to generate any literary interest outside the¬†Chronicle.

In¬†Some Angry Angel, the book that followed¬†The Manchurian Candidate, Condon makes a direct reference to Graves. In a long, convoluted passage on page 25 Condon reflects on “mistresses” and their relationship‚ÄĒa peripheral one, to the reader‚ÄĒto Graves’s writings about “Major Male” Deities and “Major Female” Deities. As¬†Angel¬†was published only a year after¬†Candidate, there is no question, therefore, about Condon’s familiarity with the works of Robert Graves.[19]

Condon’s familiarity with Graves is also in evidence on p.¬†127 of his first novel,¬†The Oldest Confession. One of the characters in the book purchases a copy of Graves’¬†Antigua, Penny, Puce!


All novels except as noted:

Films adapted from Condon novels[edit]


  • “‘Manchurian Candidate’ in Dallas”.¬†The Nation, December 28, 1963.


This article incorporates material from the¬†Citizendium¬†article “Richard Condon“, which is licensed under the¬†Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License¬†but not under the¬†GFDL.

  1. ^ Locus, The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, from their May, 1996, issue #424, obituary of Condon, exact page unknown
  2. ^¬†Buckley, Tom.¬†“THE LITERARY CONSPIRACIES OF RICHARD CONDON”,¬†The New York Times, September 2, 1979. Accessed September 14, 2009.
  3. ^ Max E. Youngstein РBiography
  4. ^ Mile High, The Dial Press, New York, 1969, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 77-80497, page 156
  5. ^¬†The New York Times, Sunday, August 17, 2008,¬†Sunday Opinion, “The Candidate We Still Don’t Know” at¬†[1]
  6. ^¬†Time¬†magazine, “Cheese”, March 4, 1971, at
  7. ^¬†Jump up to:a¬†b¬†c¬†The New York Times, Wednesday, April 10, 1996,¬†Obituaries, “Richard Condon, Political Novelist, Dies at 81; Wrote ‘Manchurian Candidate’ and ‘Prizzi'” at¬†[2]
  8. ^¬†Who’s Who in Spy Fiction, Donald McCormick, Sphere Books Ltd., London, 1977, page 64
  9. ^¬†“For Eddie West, power was all that mattered,” by Pete Hamill,¬†The New York Times, August 31, 1969, at
  10. ^¬†Time Magazine, “Liederkranz”, a book review by John Skow, June 2, 1975
  11. ^ The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon, paperback edition, Signet, New York, November, 1962, fifth printing, page 261
  12. ^ An Infinity of Mirrors, by Richard Condon, paperback edition, Fawcett Crest, New York, September, 1965, page 36
  13. ^¬†“A Thriller of the Condon Class”, by Richard R. Lingeman,¬†The New York Times,¬†May 21, 1976, at¬†[3]
  14. ^ Roger Sale, May 23, 1976, in The New York Times, at
  15. ^¬†Remembrance of Frank Heller,” by Ira Skutch, at
  16. ^¬†Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, 2004,¬†ISBN¬†0-87779-807-9
  17. ^¬†Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, G. & C. Merriam Co., Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1943
  18. ^¬†“Has a local software engineer unmasked ‘The Manchurian Candidate’? Menlo Park woman says author Richard Condon plagiarized”, by Adair Lara, in the¬†San Francisco Chronicle,October 4, 2003; the entire article can be read at¬†[4]
  19. ^ Some Angry Angel: A Mid-Century Faerie Tale, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 60-8826, page 25



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Philip K. Dick — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — Ridley Scott — Blade Runner — Videos

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Cover of first hardback edition
Author Philip K. Dick
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction, philosophical fiction
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 210
61,237 words[1]
OCLC 34818133
Followed by Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†(retitled¬†Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†in some later printings) is a¬†science fiction¬†novel by American writer¬†Philip K. Dick, first published in 1968. The novel is set in a¬†post-apocalyptic¬†San Francisco, where Earth’s life has been greatly damaged by¬†nuclear¬†global war. Most animal species are¬†endangered¬†or¬†extinct¬†from extreme¬†radiation poisoning, so that owning an animal is now a sign of¬†status¬†and¬†empathy, an attitude encouraged towards animals. The book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film¬†Blade Runner, and many elements and themes from it were used in its 2017 sequel¬†Blade Runner 2049.

The main plot follows¬†Rick Deckard, a¬†bounty hunter¬†who is tasked with “retiring” (i.e. killing) six escaped Nexus-6 model¬†androids, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-par IQ who aids the fugitive androids. In connection with Deckard’s mission, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human and whether empathy is a purely human ability.



In¬†post-apocalyptic¬†1992 (2021 in later editions),[2]¬†after “World War Terminus”, the Earth’s radioactively polluted atmosphere leads the United Nations to encourage mass emigrations to¬†off-world colonies¬†to preserve humanity’s genetic integrity. This comes with the incentive of free personal¬†androids: robot servants identical to humans. On Earth, owning real live animals has become a fashionable¬†status symbol, because of mass extinctions and the accompanying cultural push for greater empathy, which has coincidentally motivated a new technology-based religion called Mercerism. Mercerism uses “empathy boxes” to link users simultaneously to a¬†virtual reality¬†of collective suffering, centered on a¬†martyr-like character, Wilbur Mercer, who eternally climbs up a hill while being hit with crashing stones. In terms of the owning of live animals, poor people can only afford realistic-looking electric imitations of animals. Rick Deckard, for example, owns a robotic¬†black-faced sheep. The story also contains passing mention of “Penfield¬†mood organs”, similar to mind-altering drugs in other Dick stories, and used as a technology for inducing any desired mood among people in its vicinity.

Plot summary

Bounty hunter Rick Deckard signs on to a new police mission in order to earn enough money to buy a live animal to replace his lone electric sheep, seeking greater existential fulfillment for himself and his depressed wife, Iran. The mission involves hunting down (“retiring”) six Nexus-6 androids that violently went rogue after their creation by the Rosen Association and fled¬†Mars¬†for Earth. Deckard visits the Rosen headquarters in¬†Seattle¬†to confirm the validity of a question-and-answer empathy test: the typical method for identifying any androids posing as humans. Deckard is greeted by Rachael Rosen, who quickly fails his test. Rachael herself attempts to bribe Deckard into silence, but he verifies that she is indeed a Nexus-6 model used by Rosen to attempt to discredit the test.

Deckard soon meets a Soviet police contact who turns out to be one of the Nexus-6 renegades in disguise. Deckard retires the android, then flies off to retire his next target: an opera singer android. However, he is suddenly arrested and detained at a police department he has never heard of by a police officer whom he is surprised never to have met. At this strange station, Deckard’s worldview is shaken when an official named Garland accuses Deckard himself of being an android. After a series of mysterious revelations at the station, Deckard ponders the¬†ethical¬†and¬†philosophical questions¬†his line of work raises regarding android intelligence, empathy, and what it means to be human. Phil Resch, the station’s resident bounty hunter, retrieves testing equipment to determine if his coworkers‚ÄĒincluding Deckard and Resch himself‚ÄĒare androids or humans. Garland subsequently reveals that the entire station is a sham, staffed entirely by androids, including Garland himself. Resch shoots Garland in the head, allowing him and Deckard to escape; together, they find the opera singer, whom Resch brutally retires in cold blood. Although Resch and Deckard are now collaborators, each still worries that he (or the other) might be an android. Deckard administers the empathy test to himself and to Resch, which confirms that Resch is a human being‚ÄĒsimply a particularly ruthless one‚ÄĒand that Deckard is also human, but with a sense of empathy for the androids.

Only three of the Nexus-6 android fugitives remain, and one, Pris Stratton, moves into an apartment building whose only other inhabitant is John R. Isidore, a radioactively damaged, intellectually below-average human classified as a “special.” The lonely Isidore attempts to befriend her. Roy and Irmgard Baty, the final two rogue androids, visit the building, and together they all plan how to survive. Meanwhile, Deckard buys Iran an authentic¬†Nubian goat¬†with his reward money. After quitting, Deckard is pulled back in after being notified of a new lead and experiencing a vision of the prophet-like Mercer confusingly telling him to proceed, despite the immorality of the mission. Deckard calls on Rachael Rosen again, since her own knowledge as an android will aid his investigation. Rachael reveals that she and Pris are the same exact model, meaning that he will have to shoot down an android that looks just like her. Rachael coaxes Deckard into sex, after which they confess their love for one another. However, she reveals she has slept with many bounty hunters, having been programmed to do so in order to dissuade them from their missions. He threatens to kill her, but instead he abruptly leaves.

Isidore develops friendships with the three android fugitives, and they all watch a television program giving definitive evidence that Mercerism is a hoax. Roy Baty tells Isidore that the show was produced by androids to discredit Mercerism and blur the distinction with humans. Suddenly Deckard enters the building, with strange, supernatural premonitions of Mercer appearing to both him and Isidore. Since they attack him first, Deckard is legally justified as he shoots down all three androids without previously testing them. Isidore is devastated, and Deckard is soon rewarded for a record number of Nexus-6 kills in a single day. When Deckard returns home, he finds Iran grieving because Rachael Rosen recently showed up and killed their goat.

Deckard goes to an uninhabited, obliterated region of¬†Oregon¬†to reflect. He climbs a hill when he is hit by falling rocks and realizes this is an experience eerily similar to Mercer’s martyrdom. Rushing back to his car, he stumbles abruptly upon a¬†toad, an animal previously thought to be extinct, and one of the animals sacred to Mercer. With newfound joy, Deckard brings the toad home, where Iran quickly discovers it is just a robot. While Deckard is unhappy, he decides that he at least prefers to know the truth, making the remark that “the electrical things have their lives too, paltry as those lives are”.



In 1982,¬†Hampton Fancher¬†and¬†David Peoples¬†wrote a loose cinematic adaptation that became the film¬†Blade Runner, featuring several of the novel’s characters. It was directed by¬†Ridley Scott. Following the international success of the film,[3]¬†the title¬†Blade Runner¬†was adopted for some later editions of the novel, although the term itself was not used in the original.


As part of their Dangerous Visions dystopia series in 2014, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a two-part adaptation of the novel. It was produced and directed by Sasha Yevtushenko from an adaption by Jonathan Holloway. It stars James Purefoy as Rick Deckard and Jessica Raine as Rachael Rosen.[4] The episodes were originally broadcast on Sunday 15 June and 22 June 2014.


The novel has been released in audiobook form at least twice. A version was released in 1994 that featured Matthew Modine and Calista Flockhart.

A new audiobook version was released in 2007 by Random House Audio to coincide with the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. This version, read by Scott Brick, is unabridged and runs approximately 9.5 hours over eight CDs. This version is a tie-in, using the Blade Runner: The Final Cut film poster and Blade Runner title.[5]


A stage adaptation of the book, written by Edward Einhorn, ran from November 18 to December 10, 2010 at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York[6] and made its West Coast Premiere on September 13, playing until October 10, 2013 at the Sacred Fools Theater Company in Los Angeles.[7]

Comic books

BOOM! Studios¬†published a 24-issue¬†comic book¬†limited series¬†based on¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†containing the full text of the novel illustrated by artist Tony Parker.[8]¬†The comic garnered a nomination for “Best New Series” from the 2010¬†Eisner Awards.[9]In May 2010¬†BOOM! Studios¬†began serializing an eight issue prequel subtitled¬†Dust To Dust¬†and written by¬†Chris Roberson¬†and drawn by Robert Adler.[10]¬†The story took place in the days immediately after World War Terminus.[11]


Three novels intended to serve as sequels to both Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Blade Runner have been published:

These official and authorized sequels were written by Dick’s friend¬†K. W. Jeter.[12]¬†They continue the story of Rick Deckard and attempt to reconcile many of the differences between the novel and the 1982 film.

Critical reception

Critical reception of¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†has been overshadowed by the popularity of its 1982 film adaptation,¬†Blade Runner. Of those critics who focus on the novel, several nest it predominantly in the history of¬†Philip K. Dick‘s body of work. In particular, Dick’s 1972 speech “The Human and the Android” is cited in this connection. Jill Galvan[13]¬†calls attention to the correspondence between Dick’s portrayal of the narrative’s¬†dystopian, polluted, man-made setting and the description Dick gives in his speech of the increasingly artificial and potentially¬†sentient¬†or “quasi-alive” environment of his present. Summarizing the essential point of Dick’s speech, Galvan argues,”[o]nly by recognizing how [technology] has encroached upon our understanding of ‘life’ can we come to full terms with the technologies we have produced” (414). As a “bildungsroman¬†of the¬†cybernetic¬†age,” Galvan maintains,¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†follows one person’s gradual acceptance of the new reality. Christopher Palmer[14]¬†emphasizes Dick’s speech to bring to attention the increasingly dangerous risk of humans becoming “mechanical”.[15]¬†“Androids threaten reduction of what makes life valuable, yet promise expansion or redefinition of it, and so do aliens and gods”.[15]¬†Gregg Rickman[16]¬†cites another, earlier and lesser known Dick novel that also deals with androids,¬†We Can Build You, asserting that¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†can be read as a sequel.

In a departure from the tendency among most critics to examine the novel in relation to Dick’s other texts, Klaus Benesch[17]¬†examined¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†primarily in connection with¬†Lacan’s¬†essay on the mirror stage. There, Lacan claims that the formation and reassurance of the self depends on the construction of an Other through imagery, beginning with a double as seen in the mirror. The androids, Benesch argues, perform a doubling function similar to the mirror image of the self, but they do this on a social, not individual, scale. Therefore, human anxiety about androids expresses uncertainty about human identity and society. Benesch draws on Kathleen Woodward’s[18]¬†emphasis on the body to illustrate the shape of human anxiety about an android¬†Other. Woodward asserts that the debate over distinctions between human and machine usually fails to acknowledge the presence of the body. “If machines are invariably contrived as technological prostheses that are designed to amplify the physical faculties of the body, they are also built, according to this logic, to outdo, to surpass the human in the sphere of physicality altogether”.[19]

Awards and honors

See also


  1. Jump up^¬†“Text Stats”.¬†Amazon.com. Retrieved¬†28 November¬†2016.
  2. Jump up^ Note: This change counteracts a problem common to near-future stories, where the passage of time overtakes the period in which the story is set; for a list of other works that have fallen prey to this phenomenon, see the List of stories set in a future now past.
  3. Jump up^¬†Sammon, Paul M (1996).¬†Future Noir: the Making of Blade Runner. London: Orion Media. pp.¬†318‚Äď329.¬†ISBN¬†0-06-105314-7.
  4. Jump up^¬†“BBC Radio 4 – Dangerous Visions, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Episode 2”.¬†bbc.co.uk.¬†BBC Radio 4. 28 Jun 2014. Retrieved¬†11 May¬†2015.
  5. Jump up^ Blade Runner (Movie-Tie-In Edition) by Philip K. Dick РUnabridged Compact Disc Random House, November 27, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7393-4275-6 (0-7393-4275-4).
  6. Jump up^¬†“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. Untitled Theater Company #61. Retrieved¬†1 January¬†2014.
  7. Jump up^¬†“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.¬†Sacred Fools Theater Company. Retrieved¬†1 January¬†2014.
  8. Jump up^ Philip K. Dick Press Release РBOOM! ANNOUNCES DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? ArchivedSeptember 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. Jump up^¬†Heller, Jason (April 9, 2010).¬†“Eisner Award nominees announced”. The A.V. Club. Retrieved¬†July 24,¬†2013.
  10. Jump up^¬†Langshaw, Mark.¬†“BOOM! expands on ‘Blade Runner’ universe”. Digital Spy.
  11. Jump up^¬†“BOOM! Studios publishes ‘Electric Sheep’ prequel”. Tyrell-corporation.pp.se. Retrieved¬†July 24,¬†2013.
  12. Jump up^¬†Jeter, K. W.¬†“Summary Bibliography: K. W. Jeter”.
  13. Jump up^¬†Galvan, Jill (1997). “Entering the Postman Collective: Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.¬†Science Fiction Studies.¬†24¬†(3): 413‚Äď429.
  14. Jump up^ Palmer, Christopher (2003). Philip K. Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press. p. 259.
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b Palmer, Christopher (2003). Philip K. Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press. p. 225.
  16. Jump up^¬†Rickman, Gregg (1995).¬†“What Is This Sickness?”: “Schizophrenia” and¬†We Can Build You. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp.¬†143‚Äď157.
  17. Jump up^¬†Benesch, Klaus (1999). “Technology, Art, and the Cybernetic Body: The Cyborg as Cultural Other in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“.¬†Amerikastudien/American Studies.¬†44¬†(3 Body/Art): 379‚Äď392.
  18. Jump up^¬†Woodward, Kathleen (1997). “Prosthetic Emotions”. In Hoffman, Gerhard.¬†Emotions in the Postmodern. Heidelberg: Alfred Hornung. pp.¬†75‚Äď107.
  19. Jump up^¬†Woodward, Kathleen (1997). “Prosthetic Emotions”. In Hoffman, Gerhard.¬†Emotions in the Postmodern. Heidelberg: Alfred Hornung. p.¬†391.
  20. Jump up^¬†“1968 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†2009-09-27.

Further reading

  • Dick, Philip K. (1996) [1968].¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. New York:¬†Ballantine Books.¬†ISBN¬†0-345-40447-5.¬†First published in¬†Philip K. Dick: Electric Shepherd, Norstrilla Press.
    Zelazny, Roger¬†(1975). “Introduction”
  • Scott, Ridley (1982).¬†Blade Runner. Warner Brothers.
  • The¬†Electric Sheep¬†screensaver software is an homage to¬†Do Androids dream of electric sheep?.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†at Worlds Without End
  • Philip K. Dick,¬†The Little Black Box, 1964 – a short story depicting Mercerisms origin, published 4 years prior to “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
  • Benesch, Klaus (1999). “Technology, Art, and the Cybernetic Body: The Cyborg As Cultural Other in Fritz Lang’s¬†Metropolis¬†and Philip K. Dick’s¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep“.¬†Amerikastudien/American Studies.¬†44¬†(3): 379‚Äď392.¬†JSTOR¬†41157479.
  • Butler, Andrew M. (1991). “Reality versus Transience: An Examination of Philip K. Dick’s¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†and Ridley Scott’s¬†Blade Runner“. In Merrifield, Jeff.¬†Philip K. Dick: A Celebration¬†(Programme Book). Epping Forest College, Loughton: Connections.
  • Gallo, Domenico (2002). “Avvampando gli angeli caddero: Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick e il cyberpunk”. In Bertetti; Scolari.¬†Lo sguardo degli angeli: Intorno e oltre Blade Runner¬†(in Italian). Torino: Testo & Immagine. pp.¬†206‚Äď218.¬†ISBN¬†88-8382-075-4.
  • Galvan, Jill (1997). “Entering the Posthuman Collective in Philip K. Dick’s¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“.¬†Science-Fiction Studies.¬†24¬†(3): 413‚Äď429.¬†JSTOR¬†4240644.
  • McCarthy, Patrick A. (1999‚Äď2000). “Do Androids Dream of Magic Flutes?”.¬†Paradoxa.¬†5¬†(13‚Äď14): 344‚Äď352.
  • Niv, Tal (2014).¬†“The Return of a Terrifying and Wonderful Creation On Our Future and Our Present”.¬†Haaretz.¬†(Hebrew) Critical analysis of the 2014 edition of¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

External links


Philip K. Dick

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Philip K. Dick
Born Philip Kindred Dick
December 16, 1928
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died March 2, 1982 (aged 53)
Santa Ana, California, United States
Pen name
  • Richard Phillipps
  • Jack Dowland
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, essayist
Nationality US
Period 1952‚Äď1982
Genre Science fiction, paranoid fiction, philosophical fiction
Literary movement Postmodernism
Notable works
Children 3


Philip Kindred Dick¬†(December 16, 1928¬†‚Äď March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his work in¬†science fiction. His work explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories dominated by¬†monopolisticcorporations,¬†alternative universes,¬†authoritarian¬†governments, and¬†altered states of consciousness. His writing also reflected his interest in¬†metaphysics¬†and¬†theology, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of¬†reality,¬†identity,¬†drug abuse,¬†schizophrenia, and¬†transcendental¬†experiences.

Born in Illinois, he eventually moved to California and began publishing science fiction stories in the 1950s. His stories initially found little commercial success.[1]¬†His 1962¬†alternative history¬†novel¬†The Man in the High Castleearned Dick early acclaim, including a¬†Hugo Award for Best Novel.[2]¬†He followed with science fiction novels such as¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†(1968) and¬†Ubik¬†(1969). His 1974 novel¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†won the¬†John W. Campbell Memorial Award¬†for best novel.[3]¬†Following a series of¬†religious experiences¬†in February 1974, Dick’s work engaged more explicitly with issues of theology, philosophy, and the nature of reality, as in such novels as¬†A Scanner Darkly¬†(1977) and¬†VALIS¬†(1981).[4]¬†A collection of his non-fiction writing on these themes was published posthumously as¬†The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick¬†(2011). He died in 1982, at age 53, due to complications from a stroke.

Dick’s writing produced 44 published novels and approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in¬†science fiction magazines¬†during his lifetime.[5]

A variety of popular films based on Dick’s works have been produced, including¬†Blade Runner¬†(1982),¬†Total Recall¬†(adapted twice:¬†in 1990¬†and¬†in 2012),¬†Minority Report¬†(2002),¬†A Scanner Darkly¬†(2006),¬†The Adjustment Bureau¬†(2011), and¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†(2017).

In 2005, Time named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923.[6] In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.[7][8][9][10]

Early life

Philip Kindred Dick and his¬†twin¬†sister, Jane Charlotte Dick, were born six weeks prematurely on December 16, 1928, in¬†Chicago, Illinois, to Dorothy (n√©e Kindred; 1900‚Äď1978) and Joseph Edgar Dick (1899‚Äď1985), who worked for the¬†United States Department of Agriculture.[11][12]¬†His paternal grandparents were Irish.[13]¬†The death of Jane six weeks later, on January 26, 1929, profoundly affected Philip’s life, leading to the recurrent¬†motif¬†of the “phantom twin” in his books.[11]

His family later moved to the¬†San Francisco Bay Area. When Philip was five, his father was transferred to¬†Reno, Nevada; when Dorothy refused to move, she and Joseph divorced. Both parents fought for custody of Philip, which was awarded to the mother. Dorothy, determined to raise Philip alone, took a job in Washington, D.C., and moved there with her son. Philip was enrolled at John Eaton Elementary School (1936‚Äď1938), completing the second through fourth grades. His lowest grade was a “C” in Written Composition, although a teacher remarked that he “shows interest and ability in story telling”. He was educated in¬†Quaker¬†schools.[14]¬†In June 1938, Dorothy and Philip returned to California, and it was around this time that he became interested in science fiction.[15]¬†Dick stated that he read his first science fiction magazine,¬†Stirring Science Stories¬†in 1940 at the age of 12.[15]

Dick attended¬†Berkeley High School¬†in¬†Berkeley, California. He and fellow science fiction author¬†Ursula K. Le Guin¬†were members of the same graduating class (1947) but did not know each other at the time. After graduation, he briefly attended the¬†University of California, Berkeley, (September 1949 to November 11, 1949) with an honorable dismissal granted January 1, 1950. Dick did not declare a major and took classes in history, psychology, philosophy, and zoology. Through his studies in philosophy, he believed that existence is based on internal human perception, which does not necessarily correspond to external reality; he described himself as “an acosmic¬†panentheist,” believing in the universe only as an extension of God.[16]¬†After reading the works of¬†Plato¬†and pondering the possibilities of¬†metaphysical¬†realms, Dick came to the conclusion that, in a certain sense, the world is not entirely real and there is no way to confirm whether it is truly there. This question from his early studies persisted as a theme in many of his novels. Dick dropped out because of ongoing¬†anxiety¬†problems, according to his third wife Anne’s memoir. She also says he disliked the mandatory¬†ROTC¬†training. At Berkeley, Dick befriended poet¬†Robert Duncan¬†and poet and¬†linguist¬†Jack Spicer, who gave Dick ideas for a Martian language. Dick claimed to have hosted a classical music program on¬†KSMO¬†Radio in 1947.[17]¬†From 1948 to 1952, Dick worked at Art Music Company, a record store on¬†Telegraph Avenue.


Early writing

Dick’s novelette “The Defenders” was the cover story for the January 1953 issue of¬†Galaxy Science Fiction, illustrated by¬†Ed Emshwiller

Dick’s short story “The World She Wanted” took the cover of the May 1953 issue of¬†Science Fiction Quarterly

Dick’s novel¬†The Cosmic Puppetsoriginally appeared in the December 1956 issue of¬†Satellite Science Fictionas “A Glass of Darkness”

Dick sold his first story in 1951, and from then on wrote full-time. During 1952 his first speculative fiction publications appeared in July and September numbers of¬†Planet Stories, edited by Jack O’Sullivan, and in¬†If¬†and¬†The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction¬†that year.[18]¬†His debut novel was¬†Solar Lottery, published in 1955 as half of¬†Ace Double¬†#D-103 alongside¬†The Big Jump¬†by¬†Leigh Brackett.[18]¬†The 1950s were a difficult and impoverished time for Dick, who once lamented, “We couldn’t even pay the late fees on a library book.” He published almost exclusively within the science fiction genre, but dreamed of a career in mainstream fiction.[19]¬†During the 1950s he produced a series of non-genre, relatively conventional novels. In 1960 he wrote that he was willing to “take twenty to thirty years to succeed as a literary writer”. The dream of mainstream success formally died in January 1963 when the Scott Meredith Literary Agency returned all of his unsold mainstream novels. Only one of these works,¬†Confessions of a Crap Artist, was published during Dick’s lifetime.

In 1963, Dick won the Hugo Award for The Man in the High Castle.[2] Although he was hailed as a genius in the science fiction world, the mainstream literary world was unappreciative, and he could publish books only through low-paying science fiction publishers such as Ace. Even in his later years, he continued to have financial troubles. In the introduction to the 1980 short story collection The Golden Man, Dick wrote:

Several years ago, when I was ill,¬†Heinlein¬†offered his help, anything he could do, and we had never met; he would phone me to cheer me up and see how I was doing. He wanted to buy me an electric¬†typewriter, God bless him‚ÄĒone of the few true gentlemen in this world. I don’t agree with any ideas he puts forth in his writing, but that is neither here nor there. One time when I owed the¬†IRS¬†a lot of money and couldn’t raise it, Heinlein loaned the money to me. I think a great deal of him and his wife; I dedicated a book to them in appreciation. Robert Heinlein is a fine-looking man, very impressive and very military in stance; you can tell he has a military background, even to the haircut. He knows I’m a flipped-out freak and still he helped me and my wife when we were in trouble. That is the best in humanity, there; that is who and what I love.

Flight to Canada and suicide attempt

In 1971, Dick’s marriage to Nancy Hackett broke down, and she moved out of their house in¬†Santa Venetia, California. Having struggled with¬†amphetamine¬†abuse for much of the past decade (stemming in part from his need to maintain a prolific writing regimen due to the financial exigencies of the science fiction field), he allowed other drug users to move into the house. Following the release of 21 novels between 1960 and 1970, these developments were exacerbated by unprecedented periods of¬†writer’s block, with Dick ultimately failing to publish new fiction until 1974.[20]

One day in November, Dick returned to his home to discover that it had been burglarized, with his safe blown open and personal papers missing. The police were unable to determine the culprit, and even suspected Dick of having done it himself.[21]¬†Shortly afterwards, he was invited to be guest of honor at the¬†Vancouver Science Fiction Convention¬†in February 1972. Within a day of arriving at the conference and giving his speech¬†The Android and the Human, he informed people that he had fallen in love with a woman named Janis whom he had met there and announced that he would be remaining in Vancouver.[21]¬†An attendee of the conference,¬†Michael Walsh, movie critic for local newspaper¬†The Province, invited Dick to stay in his home, but asked him to leave two weeks later due to his erratic behavior. This was followed by Janis ending her and Dick’s relationship and moving away. On March 23, 1972, Dick attempted suicide by taking an overdose of the sedative¬†potassium bromide.[21]¬†Subsequently, after deciding to seek help, Dick became a participant in X-Kalay (a Canadian¬†Synanon-type recovery program), and was well enough by April to return to California.[21]

Upon relocating to¬†Orange County, California¬†at the behest of¬†California State University, Fullerton¬†professor Willis McNelly (who initiated a correspondence with Dick during his X-Kalay stint), he donated¬†manuscripts, papers and other materials to the University’s Special Collections Library, where they are archived in the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Collection in the Pollak Library. During this period, Dick befriended a circle of Fullerton State students that encompassed several aspiring science fiction writers, including¬†K. W. Jeter,¬†James Blaylock¬†and¬†Tim Powers.

Dick returned to the events of these months while writing his 1977 novel¬†A Scanner Darkly,[22]¬†which contains fictionalized depictions of the burglary of his home, his time using amphetamines and living with addicts, and his experiences of X-Kalay (portrayed in the novel as “New-Path”). A factual account of Dick’s recovery program participation was portrayed in his posthumously released book¬†The Dark Haired Girl, a collection of letters and journals from the period.

Paranormal experiences

On February 20, 1974, while recovering from the effects of¬†sodium pentothal¬†administered for the extraction of an impacted¬†wisdom tooth, Dick received a home delivery of¬†Darvon¬†from a young woman. When he opened the door, he was struck by the beauty of the dark-haired girl and was especially drawn to her golden necklace. He asked her about its curious fish-shaped design. “This is a sign used by the early Christians,” she said, and then left. Dick called the symbol the “vesicle pisces”. This name seems to have been based on his conflation of two related symbols, the Christian¬†ichthys¬†symbol (two intersecting arcs delineating a fish in profile) which the woman was wearing, and the¬†vesica piscis.[23]

Dick recounted that as the sun glinted off the gold pendant, the reflection caused the generation of a “pink beam” of light that mesmerized him. He came to believe the beam imparted wisdom and clairvoyance, and also believed it to be intelligent. On one occasion, Dick was startled by a separate recurrence of the pink beam. It imparted the information to him that his infant son was ill. The Dicks rushed the child to the hospital, where his suspicion was confirmed by professional diagnosis.[24][verification needed]

After the woman’s departure, Dick began experiencing strange hallucinations. Although initially attributing them to side effects from medication, he considered this explanation implausible after weeks of continued hallucinations. “I experienced an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane,” Dick told¬†Charles Platt.[25]

Throughout February and March 1974, Dick experienced a series of hallucinations, which he referred to as “2-3-74”,[19]¬†shorthand for February‚ÄďMarch 1974. Aside from the “pink beam”, Dick described the initial hallucinations as¬†geometric¬†patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and¬†ancient Rome. As the hallucinations increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live two parallel lives, one as himself, “Philip K. Dick”, and one as “Thomas”, a Christian persecuted by Romans in the first century AD. He referred to the “transcendentally rational mind” as “Zebra”, “God” and “VALIS“. Dick wrote about the experiences, first in the semi-autobiographical novel¬†Radio Free Albemuth¬†and then in¬†VALIS,¬†The Divine Invasion¬†and the unfinished¬†The Owl in Daylight¬†(the¬†VALIS trilogy).

In 1974, Dick wrote a letter to the¬†FBI, accusing various people, including¬†University of California, San Diego¬†professor¬†Frederic Jameson, of being foreign agents of¬†Warsaw Pact¬†powers.[26]¬†He also wrote that¬†StanisŇāaw Lem¬†was probably a false name used by a composite committee operating on orders of the¬†Communist party¬†to gain control over public opinion.[27]

At one point Dick felt that he had been taken over by the spirit of the prophet¬†Elijah. He believed that an episode in his novel¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†was a detailed retelling of a biblical story from the¬†Book of Acts, which he had never read.[28]¬†Dick documented and discussed his experiences and faith in a private journal he called his “exegesis”, portions of which were later published as¬†The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. The last novel Dick wrote was¬†The Transmigration of Timothy Archer; it was published shortly after his death in 1982.

Personal life

Dick was married five times:

  • Jeanette Marlin (May to November 1948)
  • Kleo Apostolides (June 14, 1950 to 1959)
  • Anne Williams Rubinstein (April 1, 1959 to October 1965)
  • Nancy Hackett (July 6, 1966 to 1972)
  • Leslie (Tessa) Busby (April 18, 1973 to 1977)

Dick had three children, Laura Archer (February 25, 1960), Isolde Freya (now Isa Dick Hackett) (March 15, 1967), and Christopher Kenneth (July 25, 1973).

In 1955, he and his second wife, Kleo Apostolides, received a visit from the¬†FBI, which they believed to be the result of Kleo’s¬†socialist¬†views and¬†left-wing activities. The couple briefly befriended one of the FBI agents.[29]

He was physically abusive with his third wife; after one argument in 1963, he attempted to push her off a cliff in a car, then later claimed she was trying to kill him, and convinced a psychiatrist to commit her involuntarily. After filing for divorce in 1964, he moved to Oakland to live with a fan, Grania Davis. Shortly after, he attempted suicide by driving off the road while she was a passenger.[30]

Dick tried to stay out of the political scene because of high societal turmoil from the¬†Vietnam War; however, he did show some¬†anti-Vietnam War¬†and anti-governmental sentiments. In 1968, he joined the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest“,[16][31]¬†an anti-war pledge to pay no U.S.¬†federal income tax, which resulted in the¬†confiscation¬†of his car by the¬†IRS.


On February 17, 1982, after completing an interview, Dick contacted his therapist, complaining of failing eyesight, and was advised to go to a hospital immediately, but did not. The following day, he was found unconscious on the floor of his¬†Santa Ana, California¬†home, having suffered a¬†stroke. On February 25, 1982, Dick suffered another stroke in the hospital, which led to¬†brain death. Five days later, on March 2, 1982, he was disconnected from¬†life support¬†and died. After his death, Dick’s father, Joseph, took his son’s ashes to Riverside Cemetery in¬†Fort Morgan, Colorado, (section K, block 1, lot 56), where they were buried next to his twin sister Jane, who died in infancy. Her tombstone had been inscribed with both of their names at the time of her death, 53 years earlier.[32][33][34]

Style and works


Dick’s third major theme is his fascination with war and his fear and hatred of it. One hardly sees critical mention of it, yet it is as integral to his body of work as oxygen is to water.[35]

‚ÄĒSteven Owen Godersky

Dick’s stories typically focus on the fragile nature of what is real and the construction of¬†personal identity. His stories often become surreal fantasies, as the main characters slowly discover that their everyday world is actually an illusion assembled by powerful external entities, such as the suspended animation in¬†Ubik,[36]¬†vast political conspiracies or the vicissitudes of an¬†unreliable narrator. “All of his work starts with the basic assumption that there cannot be one, single, objective reality”, writes science fiction author¬†Charles Platt. “Everything is a matter of perception. The ground is liable to shift under your feet. A protagonist may find himself living out another person’s dream, or he may enter a drug-induced state that actually makes better sense than the real world, or he may cross into a different universe completely.”[25]

Alternate universes¬†and¬†simulacra¬†are common¬†plot devices, with fictional worlds inhabited by common, working people, rather than galactic elites. “There are no heroes in Dick’s books”,¬†Ursula K. Le Guin¬†wrote, “but there are heroics. One is reminded of¬†Dickens: what counts is the honesty, constancy, kindness and patience of ordinary people.”[36]¬†Dick made no secret that much of his thinking and work was heavily influenced by the writings of¬†Carl Jung.[32][37]¬†The Jungian constructs and models that most concerned Dick seem to be the archetypes of the collective unconscious, group projection/hallucination, synchronicities, and personality theory.[32]¬†Many of Dick’s protagonists overtly analyze reality and their perceptions in Jungian terms (see¬†Lies Inc.). Dick’s self-named¬†Exegesis¬†also contained many notes on Jung in relation to theology and mysticism.[citation needed]

Dick identified one major theme of his work as the question, “What constitutes the authentic human being?”[38]¬†In works such as¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, beings can appear totally human in every respect while lacking soul or compassion, while completely alien beings such as Glimmung in¬†Galactic Pot-Healer¬†may be more humane and complex than their human peers.

Mental illness was a constant interest of Dick’s, and themes of mental illness permeate his work. The character Jack Bohlen in the 1964 novel¬†Martian Time-Slip¬†is an “ex-schizophrenic”. The novel¬†Clans of the Alphane Moon¬†centers on an entire society made up of descendants of lunatic asylum inmates. In 1965 he wrote the essay titled “Schizophrenia and the Book of Changes”.[39]

Drug use (including¬†religious,¬†recreational, and¬†abuse) was also a theme in many of Dick’s works, such as¬†A Scanner Darkly¬†and¬†The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Dick himself was a drug user for much of his life. According to a 1975 interview in¬†Rolling Stone,[40]Dick wrote all of his books published before 1970 while on¬†amphetamines. “A Scanner Darkly¬†(1977) was the first complete novel I had written without speed”, said Dick in the interview. He also experimented briefly with¬†psychedelics, but wrote¬†The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, which¬†Rolling Stone¬†dubs “the classic¬†LSD¬†novel of all time”, before he had ever tried them. Despite his heavy amphetamine use, however, Dick later said that doctors told him the amphetamines never actually affected him, that his liver had processed them before they reached his brain.[40]

Summing up all these themes in¬†Understanding Philip K. Dick, Eric Carl Link discussed eight themes or ‘ideas and motifs’:[41]¬†Epistemology and the Nature of Reality, Know Thyself, The Android and the Human, Entropy and Pot Healing, The Theodicy Problem, Warfare and Power Politics, The Evolved Human, and ‘Technology, Media, Drugs and Madness’.[42]

Pen names

Dick had two professional stories published under the¬†pen names¬†Richard Phillipps and Jack Dowland. “Some Kinds of Life” was published in October 1953 in¬†Fantastic Universe¬†under byline Richard Phillipps, apparently because the magazine had a policy against publishing multiple stories by the same author in the same issue; “Planet for Transients” was published in the same issue under his own name.[43]

The short story “Orpheus with Clay Feet” was published under the pen name Jack Dowland. The protagonist desires to be the¬†muse¬†for fictional author Jack Dowland, considered the greatest science fiction author of the 20th century. In the story, Dowland publishes a short story titled “Orpheus with Clay Feet” under the pen name Philip K. Dick.

The surname Dowland refers to¬†Renaissance¬†composer¬†John Dowland, who is featured in several works. The title¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†directly refers to Dowland’s best-known composition, “Flow My Tears”. In the novel¬†The Divine Invasion, the character Linda Fox, created specifically with¬†Linda Ronstadt¬†in mind, is an intergalactically famous singer whose entire body of work consists of recordings of John Dowland compositions.

Selected works

The Man in the High Castle (1962) is set in an alternate history in which the United States is ruled by the victorious Axis powers. It is the only Dick novel to win a Hugo Award. Most recently this has been adapted into a television series provided by Amazon and available through Amazon Prime video.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch¬†(1965) utilizes an array of science fiction concepts and features several layers of reality and unreality. It is also one of Dick’s first works to explore religious themes. The novel takes place in the 21st century, when, under UN authority, mankind has colonized the¬†Solar System‘s every¬†habitable¬†planet¬†and¬†moon. Life is physically daunting and psychologically monotonous for most colonists, so the UN must draft people to go to the colonies. Most entertain themselves using “Perky Pat”¬†dolls¬†and accessories manufactured by Earth-based “P.P. Layouts”. The company also secretly creates “Can-D”, an illegal but widely available hallucinogenic drug allowing the user to “translate” into Perky Pat (if the drug user is a woman) or Pat’s boyfriend, Walt (if the drug user is a man). This recreational use of Can-D allows colonists to experience a few minutes of an idealized life on Earth by participating in a collective hallucination.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?¬†(1968) is the story of a bounty hunter policing the local android population. It occurs on a dying, poisoned Earth de-populated of almost all animals and all “successful” humans; the only remaining inhabitants of the planet are people with no prospects off-world. The 1968 novel is the literary source of the film¬†Blade Runner¬†(1982).[44]¬†It is both a conflation and an intensification of the pivotally Dickian question: What is real, what is fake? What crucial factor defines humanity as distinctly “alive”, versus those merely alive only in their outward appearance?

Ubik¬†(1969) employs extensive psychic telepathy and a suspended state after death in creating a state of eroding reality. A group of psychics is sent to investigate a rival organisation, but several of them are apparently killed by a saboteur’s bomb. Much of the following novel flicks between different equally plausible realities; the “real” reality, a state of half-life and psychically manipulated realities. In 2005,¬†Time¬†magazine listed it among the “All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels” published since 1923.[6]

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†(1974) concerns Jason Taverner, a television star living in a dystopian near-future¬†police state. After being attacked by an angry ex-girlfriend, Taverner awakens in a dingy Los Angeles hotel room. He still has his money in his wallet, but his identification cards are missing. This is no minor inconvenience, as security checkpoints (manned by “pols” and “nats”, the police and National Guard) are set up throughout the city to stop and arrest anyone without valid ID. Jason at first thinks that he was robbed, but soon discovers that his entire identity has been erased. There is no record of him in any official database, and even his closest associates do not recognize or remember him. For the first time in many years, Jason has no fame or reputation to rely on. He has only his innate charm and social graces to help him as he tries to find out what happened to his past while avoiding the attention of the pols. The novel was Dick’s first published novel after years of silence, during which time his critical reputation had grown, and this novel was awarded the¬†John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.[3]¬†It is the only Philip K. Dick novel nominated for both a Hugo and a¬†Nebula Award.

In an essay written two years before his death, Dick described how he learned from his Episcopal priest that an important scene in¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†‚Äď involving its other main character, the eponymous Police General Felix Buckman, was very similar to a scene in¬†Acts of the Apostles,[28]¬†a book of the¬†New Testament. Film director Richard Linklater discusses this novel in his film¬†Waking Life, which begins with a scene reminiscent of another Dick novel,¬†Time Out of Joint.

A Scanner Darkly (1977) is a bleak mixture of science fiction and police procedural novels; in its story, an undercover narcotics police detective begins to lose touch with reality after falling victim to the same permanently mind-altering drug, Substance D, he was enlisted to help fight. Substance D is instantly addictive, beginning with a pleasant euphoria which is quickly replaced with increasing confusion, hallucinations and eventually total psychosis. In this novel, as with all Dick novels, there is an underlying thread of paranoia and dissociation with multiple realities perceived simultaneously. It was adapted to film by Richard Linklater.

The Philip K. Dick Reader[45]¬†is an introduction to the variety of Dick’s short fiction.

VALIS¬†(1980) is perhaps Dick’s most¬†postmodern¬†and¬†autobiographical novel, examining his own unexplained experiences. It may also be his most academically studied work, and was adapted as an opera by¬†Tod Machover.[46]¬†Later works like the¬†VALIS trilogy¬†were heavily autobiographical, many with “two-three-seventy-four” (2-3-74) references and influences. The word¬†VALIS¬†is the acronym for¬†Vast Active Living Intelligence System. Later, Dick theorized that VALIS was both a “reality generator” and a means of extraterrestrial communication. A fourth VALIS manuscript,¬†Radio Free Albemuth, although composed in 1976, was posthumously published in 1985. This work is described by the publisher (Arbor House) as “an introduction and key to his magnificent VALIS trilogy”.

Regardless of the feeling that he was somehow experiencing a divine communication, Dick was never fully able to rationalize the events. For the rest of his life, he struggled to comprehend what was occurring, questioning his own sanity and perception of reality. He transcribed what thoughts he could into an eight-thousand-page, one-million-word¬†journal¬†dubbed the¬†Exegesis. From 1974 until his death in 1982, Dick spent many nights writing in this journal. A recurring theme in¬†Exegesis¬†is Dick’s hypothesis that history had been stopped in the first century AD, and that “the¬†Empire¬†never ended”. He saw Rome as the pinnacle of¬†materialism¬†and¬†despotism, which, after forcing the¬†Gnostics¬†underground, had kept the population of Earth enslaved to worldly possessions. Dick believed that VALIS had communicated with him, and anonymous others, to induce the¬†impeachment¬†of U.S. President¬†Richard Nixon, whom Dick believed to be the current Emperor of Rome incarnate.

In a 1968 essay titled “Self Portrait”, collected in the 1995 book¬†The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick, Dick reflects on his work and lists which books he feels “might escape World War Three”:¬†Eye in the Sky,¬†The Man in the High Castle,¬†Martian Time-Slip,¬†Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb,¬†The Zap Gun,¬†The Penultimate Truth,¬†The Simulacra,¬†The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch¬†(which he refers to as “the most vital of them all”),¬†Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and¬†Ubik.[47]¬†In a 1976 interview, Dick cited¬†A Scanner Darkly¬†as his best work, feeling that he “had finally written a true masterpiece, after 25 years of writing”.[48]



Several of Dick’s stories have been made into films. Dick himself wrote a screenplay for an intended film adaptation of¬†Ubik¬†in 1974, but the film was never made. Many film adaptations have not used Dick’s original titles. When asked why this was, Dick’s ex-wife Tessa said, “Actually, the books rarely carry Phil’s original titles, as the editors usually wrote new titles after reading his manuscripts. Phil often commented that he couldn’t write good titles. If he could, he would have been an advertising writer instead of a novelist.”[49]¬†Films based on Dick’s writing had accumulated a total revenue of over US $1¬†billion by 2009.[50]

Future films based on Dick’s writing include an animated adaptation of¬†The King of the Elves¬†from¬†Walt Disney Animation Studios, which was set to be released in the spring of 2016 but is currently still in preproduction; and a film adaptation of¬†Ubik¬†which, according to Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, is in advanced negotiation.[53]¬†Ubik was set to be made into a film by¬†Michel Gondry.[54]¬†In 2014, however, Gondry told French outlet Telerama (via Jeux Actu), that he was no longer working on the project.

The Terminator series prominently features the theme of humanoid assassination machines first portrayed in Second Variety. The Halcyon Company, known for developing the Terminator franchise, acquired right of first refusal to film adaptations of the works of Philip K. Dick in 2007. In May 2009, they announced plans for an adaptation of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.[55]


It was reported in 2010 that Ridley Scott would produce an¬†adaptation¬†of¬†The Man in the High Castle¬†for the BBC, in the form of a mini-series.[56]¬†A pilot episode was released on Amazon Prime in January 2015 and¬†Season 1¬†was fully released in ten episodes of about 60 minutes each on November 20, 2015.[57]¬†Premiering in January 2015, the pilot was Amazon’s “most-watched since the original series development program began.” The next month Amazon ordered episodes to fill out a ten-episode season, which was released in November, to positive reviews. A second season of ten episodes premiered in December 2016, with a third season announced a few weeks later to be released in 2018.

In late 2015,¬†Fox¬†aired¬†Minority Report, a television series sequel adaptation to the¬†2002 film of the same name¬†based on Dick’s 1956 short story “The Minority Report“. The show was cancelled after one 10 episode season.

In May 2016, it was announced that a 10-part¬†anthology series¬†was in the works. Titled¬†Philip K. Dick‚Äôs Electric Dreams, the series will be distributed by¬†Sony Pictures Television¬†and premiered on¬†Channel 4¬†in the United Kingdom and¬†Amazon Video¬†in the United States.[58]¬†It was written by executive producers¬†Ronald D. Moore¬†and¬†Michael Dinner, with executive input from Dick’s daughter¬†Isa Dick Hackett, and stars¬†Bryan Cranston, also an executive producer.[59]

Stage and radio

Four of Dick’s works have been adapted for the stage.

One was the opera VALIS, composed and with libretto by Tod Machover, which premiered at the Pompidou Center in Paris on December 1, 1987, with a French libretto. It was subsequently revised and readapted into English, and was recorded and released on CD (Bridge Records BCD9007) in 1988.

Another was¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, adapted by Linda Hartinian and produced by the New York-based avant-garde company¬†Mabou Mines. It premiered in Boston at the Boston Shakespeare Theatre (June 18‚Äď30, 1985) and was subsequently staged in New York and Chicago. Productions of¬†Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said¬†were also staged by the Evidence Room¬†[60]¬†in¬†Los Angeles¬†in 1999[61]¬†and by the Fifth Column Theatre Company at the¬†Oval House Theatre¬†in London in the same year.[62]

A play based on Radio Free Albemuth also had a brief run in the 1980s.

In November 2010, a production of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, adapted by Edward Einhorn, premiered at the 3LD Art and Technology Center in Manhattan.[63]

A radio drama adaptation of Dick’s short story “Mr. Spaceship” was aired by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yleisradio) in 1996 under the name¬†Menolippu Paratiisiin. Radio dramatizations of Dick’s short stories¬†Colony¬†and¬†The Defenders[64]¬†were aired by¬†NBC¬†in 1956 as part of the series¬†X Minus One.

In January 2006, a The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (English for Trzy stygmaty Palmera Eldritcha) theatre adaptation premiered in Stary Teatr in Cracov, with an extensive use of lights and laser choreography.[65][66]

In June 2014 the BBC broadcast a two part adaptation of ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ on Radio 4, starring James Purefoy as Rick Deckard.[67]


Marvel Comics¬†adapted Dick’s short story “The Electric Ant” as a¬†limited series¬†which was released in 2009. The comic was produced by writer¬†David Mack¬†(Daredevil) and artist Pascal Alixe (Ultimate X-Men), with covers provided by artist¬†Paul Pope.[68]¬†“The Electric Ant” had earlier been loosely adapted by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow in their 3-issue mini-series¬†Hard Boiled¬†published by¬†Dark Horse Comics¬†in 1990-1992.[69]

In 2009, BOOM! Studios started publishing a 24-issue miniseries comic book adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?[70] Blade Runner, the 1982 film adapted from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, had previously been adapted to comics as A Marvel Comics Super Special: Blade Runner.

In 2011, Dynamite Entertainment published a 4-issue miniseries “Total Recall,” a sequel to the 1990 film¬†Total Recall, inspired by Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale“.[71]¬†In 1990,¬†DC Comics¬†published the official adaptation of the original film as a¬†DC Movie Special: Total Recall.[72]

Alternative formats

In response to a 1975 request from the¬†National Library for the Blind¬†for permission to make use of¬†The Man in the High Castle, Dick responded, “I also grant you a general permission to transcribe any of my former, present or future work, so indeed you can add my name to your ‘general permission’ list.”[73]¬†Some of his books and stories are available in¬†braille¬†and other specialized formats through the NLS.[74]

As of December 2012, thirteen of Philip K. Dick’s early works in the¬†public domain¬†in the United States are available in ebook form from¬†Project Gutenberg. As of April 4, 2012,¬†Wikisource¬†has one of Philip K. Dick’s early works in the public domain in the United States available in ebook form which is not from Project Gutenberg.

Influence and legacy

Lawrence Sutin‘s 1989 biography of Dick,¬†Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick, is considered the standard biographical treatment of Dick’s life.[39]

In 1993, French writer Emmanuel Carrère published Je suis vivant et vous êtes morts which was first translated and published in English in 2004 as I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K. Dick, which the author describes in his preface in this way:

The book you hold in your hands is a very peculiar book. I have tried to depict the life of Philip K. Dick from the inside, in other words, with the same freedom and empathy ‚Äď indeed with the same truth ‚Äď with which he depicted his own characters.[32]

Critics of the book have complained about the lack of fact checking, sourcing, notes and index, “the usual evidence of deep research that gives a biography the solid stamp of authority.”[75][76][77]¬†It can be considered a¬†non-fiction novel¬†about his life.

Dick has influenced many writers, including¬†Jonathan Lethem[78]¬†and¬†Ursula K. Le Guin.[79]¬†The prominent literary critic¬†Fredric Jameson¬†proclaimed Dick the “Shakespeare¬†of Science Fiction”, and praised his work as “one of the most powerful expressions of the society of¬†spectacle¬†and pseudo-event”.[80]¬†The author¬†Roberto Bola√Īo¬†also praised Dick, describing him as “Thoreau plus the death of the American dream”.[81]¬†Dick has also influenced filmmakers, his work being compared to films such as the¬†Wachowskis‘¬†The Matrix,[82]¬†David Cronenberg‘s¬†Videodrome,[83]¬†eXistenZ,[82]¬†and¬†Spider,[83]¬†Spike Jonze‘s¬†Being John Malkovich,[83]¬†Adaptation,[83]¬†Michel Gondry‘s¬†Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,[84][85]¬†Alex Proyas‘s¬†Dark City,[82]¬†Peter Weir‘s¬†The Truman Show,[82]¬†Andrew Niccol‘s¬†Gattaca,[83]In Time,[86]¬†Terry Gilliam‘s¬†12 Monkeys,[83]¬†Alejandro Amen√°bar‘s¬†Open Your Eyes,[87]¬†David Fincher‘s¬†Fight Club,[83]¬†Cameron Crowe‘s¬†Vanilla Sky,[82]¬†Darren Aronofsky‘s¬†Pi,[88]¬†Richard Kelly‘s¬†Donnie Darko[89]¬†and¬†Southland Tales,[90]¬†Rian Johnson‘s¬†Looper,[91]¬†Duncan Jones‘¬†Source Code, and¬†Christopher Nolan‘s¬†Memento[92]¬†and¬†Inception.[93]

The Philip K. Dick Society was an organization dedicated to promoting the literary works of Dick and was led by Dick’s longtime friend and music journalist¬†Paul Williams. Williams also served as Dick’s¬†literary executor¬†for several years after Dick’s death and wrote one of the first biographies of Dick, entitled¬†Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick.

The Philip K. Dick estate owns and operates the production company Electric Shepherd Productions,[94] which has produced the films Adjustment Bureau (2011) and the upcoming Walt Disney Company film King of the Elves, the TV series The Man in the High Castle[95]and also a Marvel Comics 5-issue adaptation of Electric Ant.[96]

Dick was recreated by his fans in the form of a¬†simulacrum¬†or remote-controlled¬†android¬†designed in his likeness.[97][98][99]¬†Such simulacra had been themes of many of Dick’s works. The Philip K. Dick simulacrum was included on a discussion panel in a¬†San Diego Comic Con¬†presentation about the film adaptation of the novel,¬†A Scanner Darkly. In February 2006, an¬†America West Airlines¬†employee misplaced the android’s head, and it has not yet been found.[100]¬†In January 2011, it was announced that Hanson Robotics had built a replacement.[101]


  • BBC2¬†released in 1994 a biographical documentary as part of its¬†Arena¬†arts series called¬†Philip K. Dick: A Day in the Afterlife.[102]
  • The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick¬†was a documentary film produced in 2001.[103]
  • The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick¬†was another biographical documentary film produced in 2007.[104]
  • The 1987 film¬†The Trouble with Dick, in which¬†Tom Villard¬†plays a character named “Dick Kendred” (cf. Philip Kindred Dick), who is a science fiction author[105]
  • The dialogue of¬†Nikos Nikolaidis‘ 1987 film¬†Morning Patrol¬†contains excerpts taken from published works authored by Philip K. Dick.
  • The¬†Spanish¬†feature film¬†Pr√≥xima¬†(2007) by¬†Carlos Atanes, where the character¬†Felix Cadecq¬†is based on Dick[citation needed]
  • A 2008 film titled¬†Your Name Here, by¬†Matthew Wilder, features¬†Bill Pullman¬†as science fiction author William J. Frick, a character based on Dick[106][107][108][109]
  • The 2010 science fiction film¬†15 Till Midnight¬†cites Dick’s influence with an “acknowledgment to the works of” credit.[110]
  • The¬†Prophets of Science Fiction¬†episode, Philip K Dick. 2011 Documentary[111]
  • In 2013, a¬†Kickstarter¬†campaign was set up for a short film called¬†The Crystal Crypt, based on Dick’s¬†short story of the same name.[112]

In fiction

  • Michael Bishop‘s¬†The Secret Ascension¬†(1987; currently published as¬†Philip K. Dick Is Dead, Alas), which is set in an alternative universe where his non-genre work is published but his science fiction is banned by a totalitarian United States in thrall to a demonically possessed¬†Richard Nixon.
  • The¬†Faction Paradox¬†novel¬†Of the City of the Saved…¬†(2004) by¬†Philip Purser-Hallard
  • The short story “The Transmigration of Philip K” (1984) by¬†Michael Swanwick¬†(to be found in the 1991 collection¬†Gravity’s Angels)
  • In¬†Ursula K. Le Guin‘s 1971 novel¬†The Lathe of Heaven, whose characters alter reality through their dreams. Two made-for-TV films based on the novel have been made:¬†The Lathe of Heaven¬†(1980) and¬†Lathe of Heaven¬†(2002)
  • In¬†Thomas M. Disch‘s¬†The Word of God¬†(2008)[113]
  • The comics magazine¬†Weirdo¬†published “The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick” by artist¬†R. Crumb¬†in 1986. Though this is not an adaptation of a specific book or story by Dick, it incorporates elements of Dick’s experience which he related in short stories, novels, essays, and the¬†Exegesis. The story parodies the form of a¬†Chick tract, a type of¬†evangelical¬†comic, many of which relate the story of an epiphany leading to a conversion to¬†fundamentalist Christianity.
  • In the¬†Batman Beyond¬†episode “Sentries of the Last Cosmos”, the character Eldon Michaels claims a typewriter on his desk to have belonged to Philip K. Dick.
  • In the 1976 alternate history novel¬†The Alteration¬†by¬†Kingsley Amis, one of the novels-within-a-novel depicted is¬†The Man in the High Castle¬†(mirroring¬†The Grasshopper Lies Heavy¬†in the real-life novel), still written by Philip K. Dick.[114]¬†Instead of the novel being set in 1962 in an alternate universe where the¬†Axis Powers won the Second World War¬†and named for Hawthorne Abendsen, the author of its novel-within-a-novel, it depicts an alternate universe where the¬†Protestant Reformation¬†occurred (events including the continuation of Henry VIII’s Schismatic policies by his son, Henry IX, and the creation of an independent North America in 1848), with one character speculating that the titular character was a wizard.
  • In the Japanese science fiction¬†anime¬†Psycho-Pass, Dick’s works are referred to as recommended reading material to help reflect on the current state of affairs of those characters world.
  • The 2016 video game¬†Californium¬†was developed as a tribute to Philip K. Dick and his writings to coincide with an¬†Arte‘s documentary series.[115]
  • The short film trilogy¬†Code 7¬†written and directed by¬†Nacho Vigalondo¬†starts with the line “Philip K. Dick presents”. The story also contains some other references to Philip K. Dick’s body of work.[116]


  • “Flow My Tears” is the name of an instrumental by bassist¬†Stuart Hamm, inspired by Dick’s novel of the same name. The track is found on his album¬†Radio Free Albemuth, also named after a Dick novel.[117]
  • “Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said” and other seminal Ph. K. Dick novels inspired the electronic music concept album “The Dowland Shores of Philip K. Dick’s Universe[118]¬†by Levente
  • “Flow My Tears the Spider Said” is the final song on¬†They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, the second album by experimental Los Angeles punk-rock outfit¬†Liars.
  • “Listen to the Sirens”, the first song on¬†Tubeway Army‘s 1978¬†debut album¬†has as its first line “flow my tears, the new police song”.
  • American rapper and producer¬†El-P¬†is a noted fan of Dick and other science fiction, as many of Dick’s themes, such as¬†paranoia¬†and questions about the nature of reality, feature in El-P’s work.[119]¬†A song on the 2002 album¬†Fantastic Damage¬†is titled “T.O.J.” and the chorus makes reference to the Dick work¬†Time Out of Joint.
  • English singer¬†Hugh Cornwell¬†included an instrumental called “Philip K. Ridiculous” on his 2008 album “Hooverdam”.[120]
  • The World/Inferno Friendship Society‘s 2011 album¬†The Anarchy and the Ecstasy¬†includes a song entitled “Canonize Philip K. Dick, OK”.
  • Bloc Party‘s 2012 album¬†Four¬†contains several references to Dick’s work, including a song entitled “V.A.L.I.S.”.
  • German singer¬†Pohlmann¬†included a song called “Roy Batty (In Tribute to Philip K. Dick)” on his 2013 album¬†Nix ohne Grund.
  • Sister, a¬†Sonic Youth¬†album, “was in part inspired by the life and works of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick”.[121]
  • “What You See” is a song by¬†Faded Paper Figures¬†that pays homage to the literary work of Dick.
  • The first song on¬†Japancakes‘ debut album¬†If I Could See Dallas¬†is titled ‘Now Wait For Last Year’.
  • Janelle Mon√°e‘s song “Make the Bus” in her album¬†The ArchAndroid¬†has the lyrics “You’ve got ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ under your pillow” at the end of the first stanza.
  • Blind Guardian‘s song “Time What is Time” from the 1992 album “Somewhere Far Beyond” is loosely based on the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.[122]


  • In June 2014,¬†BBC Radio 4¬†broadcast¬†The Two Georges¬†by Stephen Keyworth, inspired by the FBI’s investigation of Phil and his wife Kleo in 1955, and the subsequent friendship that developed between Phil and FBI Agent Scruggs.[123]


  • The short play¬†Kindred Blood in Kensington Gore¬†(1992) by¬†Brian W. Aldiss
  • A 2005 play,¬†800 Words: the Transmigration of Philip K. Dick¬†by Victoria Stewart, which re-imagines Dick’s final days.[124]

Contemporary philosophy

Postmodernists¬†such as¬†Jean Baudrillard,¬†Fredric Jameson,¬†Laurence Rickels¬†and¬†Slavoj ŇĹiŇĺek¬†have commented on Dick’s writing’s foreshadowing of postmodernity.[125]¬†Jean Baudrillard offers this interpretation:

It is hyperreal. It is a universe of simulation, which is something altogether different. And this is so not because Dick speaks specifically of simulacra. SF has always done so, but it has always played upon the double, on artificial replication or imaginary duplication, whereas here the double has disappeared. There is no more double; one is always already in the other world, an other world which is not another, without mirrors or projection or utopias as means for reflection. The simulation is impassable, unsurpassable, checkmated, without exteriority. We can no longer move “through the mirror” to the other side, as we could during the golden age of transcendence.[126]

For his anti-government skepticism, Philip K. Dick was afforded minor mention in Mythmakers and Lawbreakers, a collection of interviews about fiction by anarchist authors. Noting his early authorship of The Last of the Masters, an anarchist-themed novelette, author Margaret Killjoy expressed that while Dick never fully sided with anarchism, his opposition to government centralization and organized religion has influenced anarchist interpretations of gnosticism.[127]

Awards and honors

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Dick in 2005.[128]

During his lifetime he received numerous annual literary awards and nominations for particular works.[129]

Philip K. Dick Award

The Philip K. Dick Award is a¬†science fiction award¬†that annually recognizes the previous year’s best SF¬†paperback original¬†published in the U.S.[135]¬†It is conferred at¬†Norwescon, sponsored by the¬†Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, and since 2005 supported by the Philip K. Dick Trust. Winning works are identified on their covers as¬†Best Original SF Paperback. It is currently administered by¬†David G. Hartwell¬†and¬†Gordon Van Gelder.[135]

The award was inaugurated in 1983, the year after Dick’s death. It was founded by¬†Thomas Disch¬†with assistance from David G. Hartwell, Paul S. Williams, and Charles N. Brown. Past administrators include Algis J. Budrys and David Alexander Smith.[citation needed]

See also


  1. Jump up^¬†Liukkonen, Petri.¬†“Philip K. Dick”.¬†Books and Writers¬†(kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland:¬†Kuusankoski¬†Public Library. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 25, 2007.
  2. ^¬†Jump up to:abc¬†“1963 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  3. ^¬†Jump up to:abcd¬†“1975 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  4. Jump up^¬†Behrens, Richard; Allen B. Ruch (March 21, 2003).¬†“Philip K. Dick”.¬†The Scriptorium. The Modern Word. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 12, 2008. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  5. Jump up^¬†Kimbell, Keith.¬†“Ranked: Movies Based on Philip K. Dick Stories”. Metacritic. Retrieved¬†November 20,¬†2013.
  6. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†Grossman, Lev (October 16, 2005).¬†“Ubik ‚Äď ALL-TIME 100 Novels”.¬†Time. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  7. Jump up^¬†Stoffman, Judy¬†“A milestone in literary heritage”Toronto Star(February 10, 2007)¬†Archived¬†October 6, 2012, at the¬†Wayback Machine.
  8. Jump up^ Library of America Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s
  9. Jump up^ Library of America H.P. Lovecraft: Tales
  10. Jump up^¬†Associated Press¬†“Library of America to issue volume of Philip K. Dick”USA Today¬†(November 28, 2006)
  11. ^ Jump up to:ab Kucukalic, Lejla (2008). Philip K. Dick: canonical writer of the digital age. Taylor and Francis. p. 27. ISBN0-415-96242-0.
  12. Jump up^¬†Sutin, Lawrence (2003).¬†“Philip K. Dick”.¬†Author ‚Äď Official Biography. Philip K. Dick Trust. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 10, 2008. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  13. Jump up^ The Search for Philip K Dick by Anne R Dick, Tachyon Publications 2010
  14. Jump up^¬†Vitale, Joe.¬†“Interview with Philip K. Dick”.¬†Philip K. Dick ‚Äď Official Site. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 8, 2012. Retrieved¬†May 6,¬†2012.
  15. ^ Jump up to:ab Sutin p.3
  16. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†Dick, Philip K. “An Interview With America’s Most Brilliant Science-Fiction Writer” Interview by Joe Vitale. Interview With Philip K Dick. Print Interviews. Web. October 22, 2011.
  17. Jump up^ Sutin, p. 53
  18. ^ Jump up to:ab Philip K. Dick at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database(ISFDB). Retrieved April 23, 2013. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  19. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†O’HARA, HELEN.¬†“Philip K. Dick: The Man And His Movies”.¬†Empire.
  20. Jump up^ Butler, Andrew M. (May 24, 2012). The Pocket Essential Philip K. Dick. Oldcastle Books. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  21. ^¬†Jump up to:abcd¬†Cameron, R. Graeme (June 20, 2014).¬†“Mad Flight of a Manic Phoenix, or: Philip K. Dick in Vancouver (1972)”.¬†Amazing Stories. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2015.
  22. Jump up^¬†Purser-Hallard, Philip (August 11, 2006).¬†“The drugs did work”‚Äď via The Guardian.
  23. Jump up^¬†Admin, System (March 30, 2012).¬†“Philip K Dick and the Vesica Piscis ¬ę¬†From Around The Web ¬ę¬†Mindscape magazine”. Mindscapemagazine.com. Retrieved¬†November 12,¬†2013.
  24. Jump up^¬†“Prophets of Science Fiction: Philip K. Dick”. The Science Channel. Aired Wednesday, November 17, 2011.
  25. ^ Jump up to:ab Platt, Charles (1980). Dream Makers: The Uncommon People Who Write Science Fiction. Berkley Publishing. ISBN0-425-04668-0.
  26. Jump up^¬†Dick, Philip K. ‘The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick: 1974’, Underwood-Miller, 1991, p. 235
  27. Jump up^¬†“Philip K. Dick: StanisŇāaw Lem is a Communist Committee”, Matt Davies, April 29, 2015
  28. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†“The Religious Affiliation of Science Fiction Writer Philip K. Dick”.¬†Famous Science Fiction Writers / Famous Episcopalians. Adherents.com. July 25, 2005. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  29. Jump up^¬†Sutin, pp. 83‚Äď84
  30. Jump up^¬†Arnold, Kyle (2016-05-02).¬†The Divine Madness of Philip K. Dick. Oxford University Press. pp.¬†53‚Äď56.¬†ISBN0190498315. Retrieved¬†2018-06-16.
  31. Jump up^¬†“Writers and Editors War Tax Protest”.¬†New York Post. January 30, 1968.
  32. ^ Jump up to:abcd Carrère, Emmanuel (2004). I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey Into the Mind of Philp K. Dick. New York: Metropolitan Books. ISBN0-8050-5464-2.
  33. Jump up^ Sutin, pg.289
  34. Jump up^¬†“Find A Grave: Philip K. Dick”.
  35. Jump up^ The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick, Volume 1, The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford, (1990), Citadel Twilight, p. xvi, ISBN0-8065-1153-2
  36. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†“Criticism and analysis”. Gale Research. 1996. Archived from¬†the original¬†on March 7, 2007. Retrieved¬†April 20,¬†2007.
  37. Jump up^ A Conversation With Philip K. DickArchived May 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  38. Jump up^ Dick, Philip K. (1985). I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon. Doubleday. p. 2. ISBN0-385-19567-2.
  39. ^ Jump up to:ab Sutin, npg
  40. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†Williams, Paul (November 6, 1975).¬†“The Most Brilliant Sci-Fi Mind on Any Planet: Philip K. Dick”(PDF).¬†Rolling Stone. Retrieved¬†November 10,¬†2014.
  41. Jump up^ Link, Eric Carl (2010). Understanding Philip K. Dick. University of South Carolina Press. p. 48. ISBN978-1-57003-855-6.
  42. Jump up^¬†Link, Eric Carl (2010).¬†Understanding Philip K. Dick. University of South Carolina Press. pp.¬†48‚Äď101.¬†ISBN978-1-57003-855-6.
  43. Jump up^ Levack, Daniel (1981). PKD: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, Underwood/Miller, pp. 116, 126 ISBN0-934438-33-1
  44. Jump up^ ^ Sammon, Paul M. (1996). Future Noir: the Making of Blade Runner. London: Orion Media. p. 49. ISBN0-06-105314-7.
  45. Jump up^ Dick, Philip K. (1997). Philip K. Dick Reader, The. New York, NY: Citadel Press. ISBN0-8065-1856-1.
  46. Jump up^¬†Machover, Tod.¬†“Valis CD”.¬†MIT Media Lab. Archived from¬†the original¬†on March 12, 2008. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  47. Jump up^¬†Philip K. Dick, “Self Portrait”, 1968, (The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick, 1995)
  48. Jump up^ AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP K. DICKArchived May 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Daniel DePerez, September 10, 1976, Science Fiction Review, No. 19, Vol. 5, no. 3, August 1976
  49. Jump up^¬†Knight, Annie; John T Cullen; the staff of Deep Outside SFFH (November 2002).¬†“About Philip K. Dick: An interview with Tessa, Chris, and Ranea Dick”.¬†Deep Outside SFFH. Far Sector SFFH. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  50. Jump up^¬†“Philip K. Dick Films”. Philip K. Dick Trust. August 11, 2009. Archived from¬†the original¬†on August 22, 2010. Retrieved¬†September 3,¬†2010.
  51. Jump up^ Kermode, Mark (July 15, 2000). On the Edge of Bladerunner(TV documentary). UK: Channel 4.
  52. Jump up^¬†Dick, Philip K.¬†“Letter to Jeff Walker regarding “Blade Runner. Archived from¬†the original¬†on December 13, 2003. Retrieved¬†May 31,¬†2016.
  53. Jump up^¬†Roberts, Randall.¬†“calendarlive.com”. calendarlive.com. Archived from¬†the original¬†on December 11, 2007. Retrieved¬†November 12,¬†2013.
  54. Jump up^¬†“Ubik (2010) – Preview”. Sci-Fi Movie Page. Retrieved¬†November 12,¬†2013.
  55. Jump up^¬†Philip K. Dick’s ‘Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said’ Being Adapted¬†Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net, May 12, 2009
  56. Jump up^¬†Sweney, Mark (October 7, 2010).¬†“Ridley Scott to return to work of sci-fi icon for BBC mini-series: Blade Runner director to executive produce four-part BBC1 adaptation of Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle”.¬†The Observer.
  57. Jump up^¬†“Amazon.com: The Man In The High Castle ‚Äď Season 1: Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Joel De La Fuente, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Rufus Sewell, David Semel, Daniel Percival, Ken Olin, Michael Rymer, Bryan Spicer, Nelson Mccormick, Brad Anderson, Karyn Kusama, Michael Slovis, Frank Spotnitz, Thomas Schnauz, Evan Wright, Jace Richdale, Rob Williams, Emma Frost, Walon Green, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Isa Dick Hackett, Christopher Tricarico, Stewart Mackinnon, Chrtistian Baute, Richard Heus, Dan Percival, Jordan Sheehan, Kalen Egan, Erin Smith, Philip K. Dick”.
  58. Jump up^¬†Cynthia Littleton.¬†“Amazon Grabs U.S. Rights to Bryan Cranston’s ‘Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ Anthology Series”.¬†Variety.
  59. Jump up^¬†Lodderhose, Diana (May 10, 2016).¬†“Bryan Cranston to Star in Philip K. Dick Series From ‘Outlander’s’ Ron Moore”.¬†variety.com. Retrieved¬†May 11,¬†2016.
  60. Jump up^¬†“evidEnce room ‚Äď past productions”. Archived from¬†the original¬†on February 7, 2012.
  61. Jump up^¬†Foley, Kathleen (April 22, 1999).¬†Flow My Tears’ Has Hallucinatory Style”.¬†Los Angeles Times. Retrieved¬†May 28,2012.
  62. Jump up^¬†“Archived NTK email newsletter from 11 June 1999”. Ntk.net. Retrieved¬†November 12,¬†2013.
  63. Jump up^¬†Zinoman, Jason (December 3, 2010).¬†“A Test for Humanity in a Post-Apocalyptic World”.¬†The New York Times.
  64. Jump up^¬†“The Defenders”.¬†Project Gutenberg.
  65. Jump up^¬†“Przedstawienie Trzy stygmaty Palmera Eldritcha”. encyklopediateatru.pl. Retrieved¬†October 10,¬†2016.
  66. Jump up^¬†“Trzy stygmaty Palmera Eldritcha ‚Äď Stary Teatr”. krakow.wyborcza.pl. Retrieved¬†October 10,¬†2016.
  67. Jump up^¬†“Episode 1, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Dangerous Visions – BBC Radio 4”.¬†BBC.
  68. Jump up^¬†“MARVEL BRINGS PHILIP K DICK’S ELECTRIC ANT TO LIFE IN NEW SERIES”. philipkdick.com. July 24, 2008. Archived from¬†the original¬†on August 12, 2012.
  69. Jump up^ SDCC 08: PHILIP K. DICK COMES TO MARVELhttp://www.ign.com
  70. Jump up^¬†Philip K. Dick Press Release ‚Äď BOOM! ANNOUNCES DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?ArchivedSeptember 20, 2012, at the¬†Wayback Machine.
  71. Jump up^ TOTAL RECALL #1 (OF 4) www.dynamite.com
  72. Jump up^ Total Recall #1 www.comicvine.com
  73. Jump up^¬†The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1975‚Äď1976. Novato, California¬†: Underwood-Miller, 1993 (Trade edition)¬†ISBN0-88733-111-4¬†p. 240
  74. Jump up^¬†“Home Page of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)”. Loc.gov. October 28, 2013. Retrieved¬†November 12,¬†2013.
  75. Jump up^¬†O’Hagen, Sean (June 12, 2005).¬†“What a clever Dick”.¬†The Observer. UK. Retrieved¬†April 15,¬†2008.
  76. Jump up^¬†Taylor, Charles (June 20, 2004).¬†“Just Imagine Philip K. Dick”.¬†The New York Times. Retrieved¬†April 15,¬†2008.
  77. Jump up^¬†Berry, Michael (July 4, 2004).¬†“The dead no longer lie in grave silence”.¬†San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved¬†April 15,¬†2008.
  78. Jump up^¬†Middlehurst, Charlotte.¬†“Jonathan Lethem to Appear in ShanghaiTime Out Shanghai¬†(September 26, 2011)
  79. Jump up^ The SF Site Featured Review: The Lathe of Heaven, SF Site
  80. Jump up^ Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions, London and New York: Verso, 2005, p. 345; p. 347.
  81. Jump up^¬†Biography and Memoir Reviews.¬†“Between Parentheses by Roberto Bola√Īo: review”. Telegraph. Retrieved¬†November 12,2013.
  82. ^¬†Jump up to:abcde¬†“Scriptorium ‚Äď Philip K. Dick”. Themodernword.com. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 12, 2008.
  83. ^ Jump up to:abcdefg How Hollywood woke up to a dark genius, The Daily TelegraphArchived November 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  84. Jump up^¬†Sal Cinquemani (September 25, 2004).¬†“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.¬†Slant Magazine.
  85. Jump up^¬†Peter Bradshaw.¬†“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.¬†the Guardian.
  86. Jump up^¬†“SDCC TRAILER: Timberlake and Seyfried on the run in IN TIME”. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 5, 2012. Retrieved¬†July 22,¬†2011.
  87. Jump up^¬†“Alejandro Amen√°bar Fernando Cantos”. Retrieved¬†January 9,¬†2011.
  88. Jump up^¬†Philip K. Dick’s Future Is Now,¬†Washington PostArchivedJune 4, 2011, at the¬†Wayback Machine.
  89. Jump up^ Donnie Darko, Salon.comArchived July 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  90. Jump up^ Richard Kelly’s Revelations: Defending Southland Tales., Cinema Scope Archived September 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  91. Jump up^¬†Bryan Bishop (August 30, 2012).¬†“Noir to near-future: ‘Looper’ director Rian Johnson talks sci-fi, Twitter, and the fate of film”.¬†The Verge. Vox Media.
  92. Jump up^¬†Frank Rose (December 1, 2003).¬†“The Second Coming of Philip K. Dick”.¬†WIRED.
  93. Jump up^ Could Inception trigger a new wave of sci-fi cinema?, Den of Geek
  94. Jump up^¬†“Boom! to Collect ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. publishersweekly.com. July 7, 2015. Retrieved¬†November 28,2015.
  95. Jump up^¬†“Amazon’s ‘Man in the High Castle’ TV series has made Philip K. Dick’s original book a bestseller”. businessinsider.com. November 20, 2015. Retrieved¬†November 28,¬†2015.
  96. Jump up^¬†“Dee Rees To Adapt Philip K. Dick’s ‘Martian Time-Slip. deadline.com. October 17, 2013. Retrieved¬†November 28,¬†2015.
  97. Jump up^¬†“About The Philip K. Dick Android Project: A Note from Laura and Isa”¬†(Press release). Philip K. Dick Trust. June 24, 2005. Archived from¬†the original¬†on August 12, 2012. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  98. Jump up^¬†Nova ScienceNow,¬†“Next Big Thing”
  99. Jump up^¬†“PKD Android”.
  100. Jump up^¬†Waxman, Sharon (June 24, 2006).¬†“A Strange Loss of Face, More Than Embarrassing”.¬†The New York Times. Retrieved¬†April 14,¬†2008.
  101. Jump up^¬†Lamar, Cyriaque (January 12, 2011).¬†“The Lost Robotic Head of Philip K Dick Has Been Rebuilt”.¬†io9. Retrieved¬†January 12,2011.
  102. Jump up^¬†timotheyido (April 9, 1994).¬†Arena” Philip K Dick: A Day in the Afterlife (TV Episode 1994)”.¬†IMDb.
  103. Jump up^ The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick on IMDb
  104. Jump up^ The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick on IMDb
  105. Jump up^ The Trouble With Dick on IMDb
  106. Jump up^¬†Koehler, Robert (July 7, 2008).¬†“Review: ‘Your Name Here.¬†Variety. Retrieved¬†April 3,¬†2014.
  107. Jump up^¬†Fischer, Martha (August 8, 2006).¬†“Another Dick Biopic!”.¬†Moviefone. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 7, 2014. Retrieved¬†April 3,¬†2014.
  108. Jump up^¬†Buchanan, Jason.¬†“Your Name Here (2008)”.¬†AllMovie. Retrieved¬†April 2,¬†2014.
  109. Jump up^¬†Kemp, Cal (June 17, 2008).¬†“CineVegas X: Matthew Wilder Interview ‚Äď ‘Your Name Here.¬†Collider. Retrieved¬†April 2,2014.
  110. Jump up^¬†IMDB¬†“Full credits”
  111. Jump up^¬†Prophets of Science Fiction” Philip K. Dick (TV Episode 2011)”.¬†IMDb. November 23, 2011.
  112. Jump up^¬†“The Crystal Crypt”. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved¬†November 12,2013.
  113. Jump up^ Disch, Thomas M. The Word of God. San Francisco:Tachyon, 2008
  114. Jump up^¬†“What if? Alternative history’s butterfly moments reach lift-off”.¬†TheGuardian.com. Retrieved¬†13 September¬†2017.
  115. Jump up^¬†Kraw, Cassandra (November 13, 2015).¬†“Californium: A game about the many (sur)realities of Philip K. Dick”.¬†Ars Technica. Retrieved¬†May 12,¬†2016.
  116. Jump up^¬†“C√≥digo 7”. February 8, 2018 ‚Äď via http://www.imdb.com.
  117. Jump up^¬†“Stuart Hamm “Radio Free Albemuth” ‚Äď In Review ‚Äď Guitar Nine”.
  118. Jump up^¬†“The Dowland Shores of Philip K. Dick’s Universe”.¬†CD and digital download album release.
  119. Jump up^¬†“Interviews”.¬†Pitchfork.
  120. Jump up^¬†“Hugh Cornwell ‚Äď Interview”.¬†http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk.
  121. Jump up^¬†Foege, Alec (1994).¬†Confusion Is Next: The Sonic Youth Story. St. Martin’s Griffin. p.¬†163.
  122. Jump up^¬†“Blind Guardian Interview”.
  123. Jump up^¬†“Stephen Keyworth – The Two Georges – BBC Radio 4 Extra”.¬†BBC.
  124. Jump up^¬†“Core Member Profile Victoria Stewart”. The Playwrights’ Center. May 20, 2008. Archived from¬†the original¬†on May 20, 2008. Retrieved¬†March 4,¬†2010.
  125. Jump up^ Myriam Díaz-Diocaretz, Stefan Herbrechter (2006). The Matrix in theory. Rodopi. p. 136. ISBN978-90-420-1639-2.
  126. Jump up^ Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Science Fiction. Science Fiction Studies. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  127. Jump up^ Killjoy, Margaret (2009). Mythmakers and Lawbreakers. Stirling: AK Press. p. 209. ISBN978-1-84935-002-0. OCLC318877243.
  128. Jump up^¬†It’s Official! Inductees Named for 2005 Hall of Fame Class. Archived from¬†the original¬†on March 26, 2005. Retrieved¬†August 19,¬†2016.. Press release March 24, 2005. Science Fiction Museum (sfhomeworld.org). Archived March 26, 2005. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  129. Jump up^¬†“Philip K. Dick”Archived¬†March 27, 2015, at the¬†Wayback Machine..¬†The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees.¬†Locus Publications. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  130. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†“1965 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  131. Jump up^¬†“1968 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  132. Jump up^¬†“1974 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  133. Jump up^¬†“1982 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  134. Jump up^¬†“1978 Award Winners & Nominees”.¬†Worlds Without End. Retrieved¬†June 26,¬†2009.
  135. ^¬†Jump up to:ab¬†“Philip K. Dick Award”.¬†The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Awards. Locus Publications. Archived from¬†the original¬†on April 12, 2009. Retrieved¬†March 22,¬†2013.

Further reading

Primary bibliography
  • Precious Artifacts¬†: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, United States of America and United Kingdom Editions, 1955 ‚Äď 2012. Compiled by Henri Wintz and David Hyde. (Wide Books 2012). http://www.wide-books.com
  • Precious Artifacts 2: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, The Short Stories, United States, United Kingdom and Oceania, 1952 ‚Äď 2014. Compiled by Henri Wintz and David Hyde (Wide Books 2014). http://www.wide-books.com
Secondary bibliography

External links



Ridley Scott

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Ridley Scott
NASA Journey to Mars and “The Martian" (201508180030HQ).jpg

Scott in 2015
Born 30 November 1937 (age 80)
South Shields, County Durham, England
Residence London, England, United Kingdom
Paris, France
Los Angeles, California, United States
Alma mater West Hartlepool College of Art
Royal College of Art
  • Film director
  • film producer
Years¬†active 1965‚Äďpresent
Felicity Heywood
(m. 1964; div. 1975)
Sandy Watson
(m. 1979; div. 1989)
Giannina Facio
(m. 2015)
Children Jake Scott
Luke Scott
Jordan Scott
Family Tony Scott (brother; deceased)

Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), further works include the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner, historical drama Gladiator (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), and science fiction film The Martian.

Scott’s work has an atmospheric, highly concentrated visual style.[1][2]¬†Though his films range widely in setting and period, they frequently showcase memorable imagery of urban environments, whether 2nd century Rome (Gladiator), 12th century¬†Jerusalem¬†(Kingdom of Heaven),¬†Medieval England¬†(Robin Hood), contemporary¬†Mogadishu¬†(Black Hawk Down), the future cityscapes of¬†Blade Runner, or the distant planets in¬†Alien,¬†Prometheus,¬†The Martian¬†and¬†Alien: Covenant. His films are also known for their strong female characters.[3]

Scott has been nominated for three¬†Academy Awards for Directing¬†(for¬†Thelma & Louise,¬†Gladiator¬†and¬†Black Hawk Down).[1]¬†In 1995, both Ridley and his brother¬†Tony¬†received a¬†BAFTA¬†for Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema.[4]¬†In 2003, Scott was¬†knighted¬†for his “services to the British film industry”.[5]¬†In a 2004 BBC poll Scott was named the tenth most influential person in¬†British culture.[6]¬†In 2015 he received an honorary doctorate from the¬†Royal College of Art¬†in London. In 2018 Scott received the¬†BAFTA Fellowship¬†for lifetime achievement.[7]

Early life and career

“My mum brought three boys up: my dad was in the army and so he was frequently away. During the war (World War II) and post-war, we tended to travel following him around so my mum was the boss. She laid down the law and the law was God. We just said ‘Yup, okay’ ‚Äď we didn’t argue. I think that’s where the respect has come from, because she was tough.”

‚ÄĒ A supporter of¬†heroines¬†in his work, Scott credits his mother Elizabeth as his first female role model.[8]

Scott was born in¬†South Shields, County Durham, North East England,[9]¬†to Elizabeth (Williams) and Colonel Francis Percy Scott.[10][11]¬†Born shortly before the Second World War, he was brought up in an army family. His father¬†‚Äď an officer in the¬†Royal Engineers¬†‚Äď was absent for most of his early life. His elder brother, Frank, joined the¬†British Merchant Navy¬†when he was still young, and the pair had little contact.[12]¬†During this time the family moved around, living in (among other areas)¬†Cumberland¬†in North West England, Wales and Germany. He had a younger brother,¬†Tony, who also became a film director. After¬†World War II, the Scott family moved back to their native North East, eventually settling on Greens Beck Road in¬†Hartburn, County Durham, whose industrial landscape would later inspire similar scenes in¬†Blade Runner.[13]¬†His interest in science fiction began by reading the works of¬†H. G. Wells¬†a