The only reason I don't give this book a 5-Star rating is because it is somewhat of a dry read, more along the lines of what a policy wonk would enjoy, with detailed descriptions of laws and statutes. While I highly appreciated those as a researcher, in the back of my head I kept on thinking that what this author was describing one of the liveliest generations of European actors, painters, musicians, and performers. In fact, I would recommend reading this book and watching the movie Swing Kids in order to get a more personal account of a subject matter that demands an emotional connection.
Art, Ideology, and Economics in Nazi Germany: The Reich Chambers of Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts by Alen Steinweiss provides an in-depth account of how German artists and their trade unions were amongst Hitler's most ardent and enthusiastic supporters, namely because of the income redistribution policies that supported their personal desires. I would also highly recommend that if the reader is interested in the political and economic aspect of Hitler's National Socialism that they also pick up Guenter Reinmann's Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism, The. Reinmann and Steinweiss provided me with a highly detailed account of economic life in Hitler's Germany while I was researching my own book. I was also able to get an idea of what it was like to survive the Third Reich on a daily basis by reading Architects of Fortune: Mies Van Der Rohe and the Third Reich, which gives a history of the famous German architect, Mies Van Der Rohe, but does so by telling his trials and tribulations as the president of the famous BAUHAUS School of Design during the Third Reich. The BAUHAUS was the epicenter of student activism, with half of the faculty and student body split between Communism and National Socialism.
Together, these books and movies fit like puzzle pieces, providing the street-level and insider point-of-views. Unfortunatly, we have a reverse view of the Third Reich, thinking that the end result was apparent from the beginning. These books provide the reader a view of the catastrophe of Hitler's Germany as it developed, evolved, and in many cases was improvised by the regime. These books remind us that the first country Hitler conquered was Germany. More importantly, they remind us that he did so by legal and commonplace political means. Steinweiss's book describes the way Hitler shored up an important segment of his base; the artist, the architect, the musician, and the students.