A. James Gregor

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A. James Gregor
A. James Gregor lecturing at UC Berkeley in 2004
Born (1929-04-02) April 2, 1929 (age 91)
New York City, New York
Residence Berkeley, California
Citizenship United States
Fields Fascism
Political Science
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Marine Corps University
University of Texas
University of Hawaii
Alma mater Columbia University, B.A., Ph.D
Notable awards Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Guggenheim Fellowship (1973)

Anthony James Gregor (born April 2, 1929) is a Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley who is well known for his research on fascism, Marxism, and national security. According to Griffin (2000), Gregor was part of a movement of young scholars in the 1960s who rejected the traditional interpretation of fascism as an ideologically empty, reactionary, antimodern dead end. He demonstrated the major debt Italian Fascism owed to European ideological currents in sociology and political theory. Gregor stressed fascism's coherence as a serious theory of state and society, and argued that it played a revolutionary and modernizing role in European history. His theory of generic fascism portrayed it as a form of "developmental dictatorship." Gregor wrote an influential early comprehensive survey of existing theoretical models of fascism.[1] Professor Zeev Sternhell has said of him "Professor Gregor is one of the rare specialists in Italian Fascism to have made a truly original contribution to the study of the subject."

Early life

He was born Anthony Gimigliano in New York City. His father, Antonio, was a machine operator, factory worker and a nonpolitical anarchist. During World War II, his mother, an Italian citizen who, until that time, had not taken American citizenship, was classified as an "enemy alien". Gregor served as a volunteer in the U.S. Army. He attended and graduated from Columbia University in 1952 and thereafter served as a high school social science teacher while working for his advanced degrees. During this period, he commenced publishing articles in political journals on both the "Right" (The European"] and the "Left" (Science and Society and Studies on the Left). In 1958, his writing appeared in an academic journal for the first time with "The Logic of Race Classification" published in Genus, a journal edited by Corrado Gini, a leading Italian sociologist. Gregor's article was a defense of Gini's theories and he subsequently became a friend and collaborator of Gini's until Gini's death in 1965.

In 1961 Gregor completed his work for his doctorate at Columbia as an Irwin Edman Scholar and with Distinction in History.

Work and thought

In 1959, A. James Gregor was a founding director of the International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics IAAEE, a group whose members occupied themselves wiith the intersection of science and public policy. In 1960, he obtained employment as a philosophy instructor at Washington College. He received his PhD from Columbia in 1961 with his dissertation on Giovanni Gentile. Gregor became assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii from 1961 to 1964.He became an associate professor of philosophy at the universities of Kentucky and Texas between 1964 and 1967. Gregor joined the Political Science Department at the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 where he remained until his retirement.

Since the 1970s, Gregor spent most of his academic research on the study of fascism and it is for this that he is best known. In 1974, he wrote The Fascist persuasion in radical politics. Since then he had published major works on the subject, including "Mussolini's Intellectuals", "The Search for Neofascism", and "Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism". It was largely as a consequence of this work that he was made a national Guggenheim Fellow and, subsequently, a Knight of the Order of Merit by the Italian Government. During this period, Gregor published in major philosophical, political science, and security journals.

Gregor has argued that scholars are very far from a consensus on what fascism really is, noting that "Almost every specialist has his own interpretation."[2] Gregor limits the paradigmatic form to that of Mussolini's Italy.

He has argued that apart from the superficial old-fashioned Marxist rhetoric, Marxist movements of the 20th century discarded Marx and Engels and instead in practice adopted theoretical categories and political methods much like those of Mussolini.[3]

He has argued that while many revolutionary movements have assumed features of paradigmatic Fascism, none are its duplicate. He has suggested that post-Maoist China displays many of it traits. He has denied that paradigmatic Fascism can be responsibly identified as a "right-wing extremism." .[4] He argues that Fascism is to be seen as a radical, reactive nationalist, statist, party-centered developmental dictatorship.

In a number of his books on Italian Fascism, Gregor asserts that the original “Fascists were almost all Marxists—serious theorists who had long been identified with Italy’s intelligentsia of the Left.” [5] In Young Mussolini, Gregor demonstrates a philosophical thread that establish Fascism as “a variant of classical Marxism, a belief system that pressed some themes argued by both Marx and Engels until they found expression in the form of ‘national syndicalism’ that was to animate the first Fascism.” [6]

Gregor himself informs us as to his intellectual objectives:

"My decision a life time ago, to become an academic was imbued with irrepressible optimism. To this day, despite my years, and my many disappointments, I remain convinced that intellectual disagreements can ultimately be resolved through patience, good will, and right reason. It is in terms of the confidence that I, once again, ask the indulgence of my colleagues in allowing me to address the complex issue of how terms like "German Nazism", "Neo-Nazis", "New Right", "German fascism", "Fascism", "fascist", "nazi", and "right-wing" have been used, and continue to be used to, what I take to be, the disservice of everyone. I remain convinced that one day, although perhaps not in the lifetime of anyone now living, the question of how both Fascism [that transpired in Italy] and fascism [in general] are to be understood will be resolved." [7]

Democratic liberalism and teaching

Gregor continued to define himself as committed to a specific form of the values and convictions of democratic liberalism, consistently arguing that the American brand of democracy has proven the most effective system of government and the most likely to endure.

In the 1960s, Gregor held numerous workshops and lectures to convince policymakers and academics of the exigencies of U.S. support for securing victory over North Vietnam. Gregor has continued to demonstrate an interest in maintaining anti-Communist and U.S. interests in Southeast Asia. During the 1970s and 1980s, in what he understood to be U.S. interests, Gregor served as an uncompensated adviser to Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos.

He has also conducted inquiries into American security issues in Asia particularly in reference to Sino-American relations in the form of his 1986 book The China Connection: U.S. Policy and the People's Republic of China and his 1987 follow-up, Arming the Dragon: U.S. Security Ties with the People's Republic of China. In 1989 he wrote In the Shadow of Giants: The Major Powers and the Security of Southeast Asia. As result of his work, Gregor was named to the Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy 1996–1997 at the Marine Corps University in Quantico. In recent years he has translated a major political essay written by the Italian Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile into English together with a commentary on Gentile's political thought. Until his recent retirement in 2009 he taught a very popular series of political science courses on revolutionary change, Marxism, and Fascism at UC Berkeley. In 2014, Gregor published "Marxism and the Making of China." In 2016, his work, "Reflections on Italian Fascism" was published in an English and Italian edition. His present project is an analytic study of the transformative revolution that shaped the twentieth century. In 2014, Princeton University Press incorporated his volumes,"Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship," and "The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics," among the books in their "Princeton Legacy Library."


  • A survey of Marxism: problems in philosophy and the theory of history, New York : Random House, 1965
  • Contemporary Radical Ideologies: Totalitarian Thought in the Twentieth Century,New York: Random House, 1969
  • The ideology of fascism : the rationale of totalitarianism, New York: Free Press, 1969. "L'Ideologia del fascismo", Rome: Edizioni del Borghese, 1974; reprint "L'Ideologia del fascismo: Il fondamento razionale del totalitarismo," Rome: Lulu, 2013.
  • An Introduction to Metapolitics: A Brief Inquiry into the Conceptual Language of Political Science. New York: Free Press, 1971; reprinted as "Metascience and Politics: An Inquiry into the Conceptual Language of Political Science" With a new preface and postscript by the author. New Brunswick: Transaction, 2003.
  • The Fascist persuasion in radical politics, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974
  • Interpretations of Fascism, Morristown: General Learning, 1974; Revised reprint New Brunswick: Transaction, 2000, with a new introduction by the author; "Il Fascismo: Interpretazioni e giudizi" Rome: Antonio Pellicani Editore, 1997.
  • "Sergio Panunzio: Il sindacalismo ed il fondamento razionale del fascismo," Rome: Volpe, 1978, New, enlarged edition, Rome: Lulu, 2014.
  • "Roberto Michels e l'ideologia del fascismo," Rome: Volpe, 1979, reprint, Rome: Lulu, 2015.
  • Young Mussolini and the intellectual origins of Fascism, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.
  • Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979. Reprinted in the Princeton Legacy Library in 2014.
  • "The Taiwaa Relations Act and the Defense of the Republic of China", Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1980.
  • Ideology and development: Sun Yat-sen and the economic history of Taiwan, with Maria Hsia Chang and Andrew B. Zimmerman, China research monographs, Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, no. 23, 1981.
  • "Essays on U.S.-Phiiippine Relations," Editor. Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 1983.
  • "The Iron Triangle: A U.S. Security Policy for Northeast Asia," Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1984.
  • "The Phiiippine Bases: U.S. Security at Risk", Washington D.C.: Ethics and Public Pollcy, 1987.
  • The China Connection: U.S. policy and the People's Republic of China, 1986
  • Arming the dragon: U.S. security ties with the People's Republic of China, 1987
  • In the shadow of giants: the major powers and the security of Southeast Asia, 1989
  • "Land of the Morning Calm: U.S. Interests and the Korean Peninsula", Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy, 1989
  • Marxism, China, & Development: Reflections on Theory and Reality, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publisher, 1995
  • Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time. New Brunswick: Transaction, 1999.
  • The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. Spanish edition, "Los Rostros de Jano: Marxismo y Fascismo en el siglo XX", Universitat de Valencia, 2002.
  • Giovanni Gentile : philosopher of fascism, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001; Italian edition, "Giovanni Gentile: Il filosofo del fascismo", Lecce: Pensa, 2014.
  • A Place in the Sun: Marxism and Fascism in China's Long Revolution, Westview Press, 2000
  • Translation from the Italian: Origins and Doctrine of Fascism: Giovanni Gentile, Transaction Publishers, 2nd ed. 2004
  • The Search for Neofascism, Cambridge University Press, 2006
  • Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought, Princeton University Press, new ed. 2006
  • Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism, Stanford University Press, 2008
  • Totalitarianism and Political Religion: An Intellectual History, Stanford University Press, 2012. Czech edition,"Totalitarismus a politickḕ náboženstvi" Brno: Center for the Study of Democracy and Culture, 2015
  • "Marxism and the Making of China: A Doctrinal History", Palgrave-Macmillan, 2014
  • "Reflections on Italian Fascism: An Interview with Antonio Messina", Berlin: Logos Verlag, 2015; Italian edition, "Riflessioni sul fascismo italiano", Florence: Apice Libri, 2016.


  1. Roger Griffin, "Old Hat, New Bird," Review of Politics (2000), 62: 844-847 doi:10.1017/S0034670500042868
  2. A. James Gregor, Interpretations of Fascism (1997) p 19.
  3. Gregor, The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics (1974)
  4. Gregor, The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science (2006)
  5. Gregor, The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century, (2000) p. 20.
  6. Gregor, Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism, (1979) p. xi.
  7. http://www.academia.edu/174269/Dugin_Not_a_Fascist_A_Debate_with_A._James_Gregor_6_texts_