Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Book, The Greater Britain

This is a Book. It was designed by E. McKnight Kauffer. It is dated 1932. Its medium is letterpress halftone. It is a part of the department.

The Rise of Fascism in Great Britain
Kauffer’s work challenged and communicated messages of radical politics and social upheaval in 1930s Britain. In this era, the power of modernism amplified both revolutionary propaganda and a vision of a better future amid disorder and strife. In the early 1930s, the ideology of fascism and its activity in Italy and Germany provoked debate and intrigue among the British public, including within Kauffer’s circle. But as fascist leader Oswald Mosley gained power in England, strong opposition soon mobilized against his demands for total government control and the suppression of individuality. By 1934, Kauffer began regularly lending his talents to antifascist and peace organizations.

The Greater Britain was the foundational text for the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Why Kauffer was chosen to illustrate the cover is unknown. Oswald Mosley, the leader of the BUF, socialized in the same circles as Kauffer in the early 1930s. Kauffer’s aggressive design features a fasces—a bundle of twigs with a protruding axe—an ancient Roman symbol of power. Mosley adopted this imagery directly from the founder of Italy’s National Fascist Party, Benito Mussolini (1883–1945).

It is credited Exhibition purchase.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 19.1 × 13.3 × 2.5 cm (7 1/2 in. × 5 1/4 in. × 1 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318805240/ |title=Book, The Greater Britain |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>