The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

S. & S. Oct. 2017. 672p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451651133. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781451651157. HIST
OrangeReviewStarNot since William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has a comprehensive single-volume history of the regime been released. Historian Childers (history emeritus, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Soldiers from the War Returning) does a magnificent job of balancing many details within an overarching narrative of the Nazis rise to power. Based partly on rarely seen primary documents, Childers's work focuses on the crucial decades of the 1920s and 1930s and touches on several themes. He asserts that Hitler's ascent as leader of the Third Reich was not inevitable and suffered several setbacks, any of which could have ended the Nazi movement. Hitler's anti-Semitism and racial philosophy were the abiding and constant principles of the party's policies. Although the Nazis were repeatedly defeated in the East, the annihilation of Jewish communities continued and even grew in momentum, ending only as Allied forces were within miles of the concentration camps.
VERDICT Essential reading for World War II enthusiasts and those interested in the origins of the Nazi Party and the resulting Holocaust. [See Prepub Alert, 5/1/17.]
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