Synopses & Reviews
The definitive account of Germany's malign transformation under Hitler's total rule and the implacable march to war.
By the middle of 1933, the democracy of the Weimar Republic had been transformed into the police state of the Third Reich, mobilized around the cult of the leader, Adolf Hitler. If this could happen in less than a year, what would the future hold? Only the most fervent Nazi party loyalists would have predicted how radical the transformation ahead would be.
In The Third Reich in Power, Richard J. Evans tells the story of Germany's radical reshaping under Nazi rule. Every area of life, from literature, culture, and the arts to religion, education, and science, was subordinated to the relentless drive to prepare Germany for war. His book shows how the Nazis attempted to penetrate and reorder every aspect of German society, encountering many kinds and degrees of resistance along the way but gradually winning the acceptance of the German people in the long run.
Those who were seen as unfit to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms. The Nazi regime took more and more radical measures against the racially "unfit," including Germany's Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill, "asocial" and "habitual" criminals. After six years of foreign policy brinkmanship that took the Nazi regime from success to success, Hitler's drive to prepare Germany for the war he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939. The war he unleashed was to plunge the world into a maelstrom of genocide and destruction. The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.
"The second volume of Cambridge historian Evans's trilogy on the Third Reich (after The Coming of the Third Reich) is a major achievement. No other recent synthetic history has quite the range and narrative power of Evans's work. There are no surprises here. Instead, the reader will find careful, detailed analyses of all the major issues relating to the Third Reich between Hitler's assumption of power on January 31, 1933, and the start of WWII on September 1, 1939: the construction of the dictatorship, the propaganda, the economy, the racial policy and the planning for war. Evans shows just how difficult it was for Hitler to secure his power in Germany (it required unabashed terror to defeat the Nazis' many opponents), but also how successful was the establishment of the Volksgemeinschaft, the racial community. Once Hitler had successfully consolidated his power, every other aspect of Nazi policy, from education to the economy, became subordinated to the preparation for war. The war, Evans emphasizes, was never simply an effort to redraw the map of Europe. The vast, overarching aim of establishing a racial utopia, a newly modern, German-dominated Europe cleansed of Jews and other undesirables, could only be accomplished through war. When complete, Evans's trilogy will take its place alongside Ian Kershaw's monumental two-volume biography of Hitler as the standard works in English. Illus. and maps not seen by PW. (On sale Oct. 24)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Examining the populace more than the dictator, Evans expertly surveys Nazidom's precepts and criminality." Booklist
"This second volume in Evans's trilogy on the rise and demise of Nazi Germany is a welcome addition to the series." Library Journal
"Fluidly narrated, tightly organized and comprehensive....Mr. Evans manages to weave a wealth of statistical information into a smooth narrative enlivened by eyewitness commentary from diaries, Gestapo reports and observations by Social Democratic opponents of the regime." William Grimes, New York Times
"This is a work drawn from a mountain of scholarship by a generation of other historians. As a readable, compelling synthesis of the period, Evans's second volume, like its predecessor, is a major achievement." Boston Globe
"At this point, the field of Third Reich history has been turned over countless times, so it should not be surprising that these books have not yielded anything noticeably new. What sets them apart...is the narrative command Evans exercises over the innumerable components of the history and the breadth and depth of his synthesis." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"[T]his book is a definite contribution to the history of National Socialist Germany." Washington Post
"A superb account of the growth and day-to-day functioning of the Nazi state." Kirkus Reviews
The definitive account of Germany's malign transformation under Hitler's total rule and the implacable march to war
This magnificent second volume of Richard J. Evans's three-volume history of Nazi Germany was hailed by Benjamin Schwartz of the Atlantic Monthly as "the definitive English-language account... gripping and precise." It chronicles the incredible story of Germany's radical reshaping under Nazi rule. As those who were deemed unworthy to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms, Hitler's drive to prepare Germany for the war that he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939. The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.
About the Author
Richard J. Evans is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 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, Lying About Hitler, and The Coming of the Third Reich. He was educated at Oxford University.