The Nazi Menace: Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and the Road to War

Holt. Aug. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781250205230. $29.99. HIST
In this follow-up to his acclaimed book on the Weimar Republic, Hett (history, Hunter Coll.; Graduate Ctr., City Univ. of New York; The Death of Democracy) looks at the Nazi regime that followed. In the preface, Hett states that his objective is not to provide a comprehensive narrative of the era; but rather, to portray the exemplary events in four major powers (Germany, Britain, the United States, and the USSR) from late 1937 through the first two years of World War II. Despite a recent democratic wave after the First World War, democracy was in peril as totalitarianism proliferated around the world, most notably in Germany. Initially, the world’s democracies were slow to respond to Nazism. That shifted in 1941, with the Atlantic Charter, signed by the United States and Britain, which set aims for peace. Thought provokingly, Hett notes that commonalities between the 1930s and today, with an increase in nationalism along with media used by skilled politicians to manipulate the masses. Moreover, he suggests that lessons learned by dealing with the Nazi regime could be applied today.
VERDICT This compelling work is highly recommended for those interested in World War II or in the history of fascism.

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