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1938: Hitler's Gambleby Giles MacDonogh
"1938 is a good overview of a very important year in history. It is aimed at more of a general audience than folks who have already read a fair amount of Third Reich history. The accounts of the Austrian Anschluss and the Munich Conference where Czechoslovakia was carved up get solid coverage, both the events themselves and the events leading up to them. Most eye-opening for the casual reader, though, will likely be learning that Hitler and his staff did not have a rock-solid plan that they unerringly moved towards; they were making it up as they went." Doug Brown, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
In this masterful narrative, acclaimed historian Giles MacDonogh chronicles Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power over the course of one year. Until 1938, Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem to Germany alone; after 1938 he was clearly a threat to the entire world.
It was in 1938 that Third Reich came of age. The Fuhrer brought Germany into line with Nazi ideology and revealed his plans to take back those parts of Europe lost to Greater Germany after the First World War. From the purging of the army in January through the Anschluss in March, from the Munich Conference in September to the ravages of Kristallnacht in November, MacDonogh offers a gripping account of the year Adolf Hitler came into his own and set the world inexorably on track to a cataclysmic war.
"Might-have-beens haunt this insightful narrative of a watershed in the history of Nazi Germany. MacDonogh (After the Reich) chronicles milestones in the development of a radicalized, expansionist Third Reich in the year 1938: the forcible annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland, the Kristallnacht pogrom and the purging of opposition figures in the government, army and church. He portrays these events not as an unfolding master plan but as a series of gambles by a sometimes chaotic Nazi regime plagued by infighting among Hitler's satraps, Wehrmacht coup plots, a collapsing economy (the Anschluss was motivated partly by a need to plunder Austria's treasury and raw materials), and jitters about foreign reaction. The Fhrer perseveres with theatrical bullying and nervy improvisations that are matched by the Western powers' appeasement; a tragic theme of MacDonogh's story is how easily a determined resistance, from within Germany or without, might have derailed Hitler's initiatives. Another is the callousness of the international community; much of the book follows the travails of Jews who faced closed doors when the Reich was eager to expel them. This well-researched, fine-grained study sketches the moral rot that made possible Hitler's rise. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The acclaimed author of After the Reich narrates the events of 1938, the year that the Third Reich comes of age and Hitler graduates from ruthless dictator to international menace.
The Third Reich came of age in 1938. Hitler began the year as the leader of a right-wing coalition and ended it as the sole master of a belligerent nation. Until 1938 Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem for Germany alone; after 1938 he was a threat to the whole of Europe and had set the world on a path toward cataclysmic war. Using previously unseen archival material, acclaimed historian Giles MacDonogh breathtakingly chronicles Adolf Hitler's rise to international infamy over the course of this single year.
About the Author
Giles MacDonogh is the author of several books on German history, including The Last Kaiser: A Life of Wilhelm II and Frederick the Great as well as histories of Berlin and Prussia. A graduate of Oxford University, MacDonogh has written for the Financial Times, the Times (London), the Guardian, and the Evening Standard. He lives in London with his family.
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