Synopses & Reviews
From one of the world's most distinguished historians, a magisterial new reckoning with Hitler's rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany.
In 1900 Germany was the most progressive and dynamic nation in Europe, the only country whose rapid technological and social growth and change challenged that of the United States. Its political culture was less authoritarian than Russia's and less anti-Semitic than France's; representative institutions were thriving, and competing political parties and elections were a central part of life. How then can we explain the fact that in little more than a generation this stable modern country would be in the hands of a violent, racist, extremist political movement that would lead it and all of Europe into utter moral, physical, and cultural ruin?
There is no story in twentieth-century history more important to understand, and Richard Evans has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans's history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as he shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. With many people angry and embittered by military defeat and economic ruin; a state undermined by a civil service, an army, and a law enforcement system deeply alienated from the democratic order introduced in 1918; beset by the growing extremism of voters prey to panic about the increasing popularity of communism; home to a tiny but quite successful Jewish community subject to widespread suspicion and resentment, Germany proved to be fertile ground in which Nazism's ideology of hatred could take root.
The first book of what will ultimately be a complete three-volume history of Nazi Germany, The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian's art and the book by which all others on this subject will be judged.
"[A] gripping if overwhelmingly detailed study....Evans...broadens the historic perspective to demythologize how morbidly fertile the years before WWI were as an incubator for Hitler." Publishers Weekly
"Richard J. Evans's The Coming of the Third Reich...gives the clearest and most gripping account I've read of German life before and during the rise of the Nazis." A. S Byatt, Times Literary Supplement
"[H]ighly readable and comprehensive....[A] first-rate narrative history that informs and educates and may inspire readers to delve even deeper into the subject." Jay Freeman, Booklist
"A brilliant synthesis of German history....A peerless work....Of immense importance to general readers and even some specialists seeking to understand the origins of the Nazi regime." Kirkus Reviews
"[A]n enormous work of synthesis knowledgeable and reliable, and playing to the author's strengths....This is a vivid although familiar account of why the Weimar Republic collapsed." Mark Mazower, The New York Times
"Evans...has published the first of a projected three volumes that when finished will long remain the definitive English-language account....An always reliable, often magisterial synthesis of a vast body of scholarship, and a frequently deft blend of narrative and interpretation, Evans's book is an impressive achievement." Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic Monthly review
From one of the world's most distinguished historians comes a magisterial new reckoning with Hitler's rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. The first of what will ultimately be a complete, three-volume history of Nazi Germany. 32 pages of photo inserts.
There is no story in twentieth-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.
About the Author
Richard J. Evans was educated at Oxford, has taught at Columbia and the University of London, and is currently the Professor of Modern History at Cambridge. His books include Death in Hamburg (winner of the Wolfson Literary Award for History), In Hitler's Shadow, Rituals of Retribution (winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History), In Defense of History, and Lying About Hitler.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Diagrams
1. The Legacy of the Past
Gospels of Hate
The Spirit of 1914
Descent Into Chaos
2. The Failure of Democracy
The Weaknesses of Weimar
The Great Inflation
The Fit and the Unfit
3. The Rise of Nazism
The Beer-Hall Purtsch
Rebuilding the Movement
The Roots of Commitment
4. Towards the Seizure of Power
The Great Depression
The Crisis of Democracy
The Victory of Violence
5. Creating The Third Reich
The Terror Begins
Fire in the Reichstag
Bringing Germany Into Line
6. Hitler's Cultural Revolution
The Purge of the Arts
'Against the Un-German Spirit'
A 'Revolution of Destruction'?