Synopses & Reviews
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.
Sunday Times (UK)
MacDonoghs narrative of the events of 1938 makes compelling but painful reading. The month-by-month format he has adopted emphasizes the improvisation that was at the heart of Hitlers strategy, and highlights more cruelly the opportunities that were lost, even a year before the start of the war, to call his bluff and thrust events onto a different path. What if?” remains the most tantalizing of historical questions, but this absorbing book obliges us to ask it.”
[A] compelling survey of a tumultuous year.... Giles MacDonogh has repeatedly shown himself to be in the front rank of British scholars of German history. The depth of his human understanding, the judiciousness of his pickings from source material and the quality of his writing make this a book at once gripping and grave.”
Sunday Telegraph (UK)
As Giles MacDonogh convincingly argues, 1938 was Hitlers annus mirabilis.... [His] account of the Anschluss and its aftermath is a masterpiece of extreme emotion held in check. His level tone as he reels off appalling atrocities and such chilling statistics as the steadily rising suicide rate among Jews trapped in Vienna somehow makes the tragedy of the destruction of a whole community even more telling.... Moving and searing.”
BBC History Magazine
A fine book.... Well-written, combining its diverse sources with elegance and skill, and painting an engaging canvas of the disaster that was developing in Germany and was soon to engulf Europe as a whole.... [Giles MacDonoghs] searing descriptions of the fate endured by Austrian Jewry from expropriation, casual cruelty and exile, to calculated persecution and murder are especially impassioned and moving.... It ably conveys the growing desperation and alarm felt by many that year, as Germany began to flex its muscles internationally and stepped up its persecution of its perceived enemies.”
[MacDonogh] is able to mine dozens of sources in German...[which] help us understand the roots of genocide. The book is excellent on the details of how the Nazis turned on the Jews.”
A chilling examination of a critical year in European history.”
Edinburgh Evening News
Adolf Hitler was a natural gambler, and this book graphically describes the critical year of 1938 when his winning streak took off.... Harrowing.”
A powerful, disturbing and invaluable analysis of the events in 1938 that enabled Hitler to unleash the full force of his insanity and destruction on the world.”
The Daily Beast
It would be difficult to attribute Hitlers ascent to any single event, but historian Giles MacDonogh makes a convincing case that 1938 is the crucial year to understanding his reign and brutal hold on power.”
This is not a traditional history based on dry archival sources or details about who said or did what and when.... Interesting and easy to read, this is recommended for avid general readers of World War II history.”
New York Post
Theres no real answer to MacDonoghs What if? question, but one thing is clear: Hitlers extremism grew steadily stronger each time the rest of the world feigned blindness and looked the other way.”
Books and Culture
[MacDonogh] has the gift for drawing on his research unobtrusively while maintaining a strong narrative pull. His book kept me up quite late one night because, once into it, I didnt want to stop until th
The acclaimed author of After the Reich narrates the events of 1938, the year that the Third Reich came of age, and Hitler graduated from ruthless dictator to international menace.
About the Author
A graduate of Oxford University, Giles MacDonogh is the author of several books on German history and has written for the Financial Times, the Times (London), the Guardian, and the Evening Standard. He lives in London.