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The Coming of the Third Reich Hardcover – 30 Oct 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st Edition edition (30 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071399648X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713996487
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 482,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Richard J. Evans's "The Coming of the Third Reich" the clearest and most gripping account I've read of German life before aznd during the rise of the Nazis."--A. S Byatt, in the "Times Literary Supplement""Richard J. Evans's "The Coming of the Third Reich" is an enormous work of synthesis--knowledgable and reliable..."--Mark Mazower in the "New York Times Book Review""[A] first-rate narrative history that informs and educates and may inspire readers to delve even deeper into the subject."--"Booklist"."..Brilliant..."-"Washington Post""The generalist reader, it should be emphasized, is well served. ...The book reads briskly, covers all important areas--social and cultural--and succeeds in its aim of giving "voice to the people who lived through the years with which it deals."--"Denver Post ""One finally puts down this magnificent volume thirsty, on the one hand, for the next installment in the Nazi saga yet still haunted by the questions Evan poses and so masterfully grapples with."―Abraham Brumberg, "The Nation""This first part of what will be Evans' three-volume history of Hitler's regime is the most comprehensive and convincing work so far on the gall of Weimar and Hitler's rise to power."―"Foreign Affairs" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

RICHARD J EVANS is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. His previous books include IN DEFENCE OF HISTORY and TELLING LIES ABOUT HITLER. He lives outside Cambridge.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first installment in a promising new series on the Third Reich by Richard Evans. In this book, Evans examines the Weimar Republic and the many factors that led to the rise of Hitler and his populist National Socialist Party. Far from being a foregone conclusion, Evans shows the many vacillations in German politics during the interwar years and how for a brief while, the Weimar Republic appeared to be on the road to recovery. However, by constantly overriding the parliament by using the Enabling Act, chancellors set the stage for eventual dictatorial rule, as Germany went through violent economic upheavals.
Evans does a great job of outlining the various political parties and the antagonisms that developed after WWI. He notes the ideological origins of the Nazis in the German Nationalist Party, which refused to let go of its venerated image of Bismarck. Evans strips the veneer off this image to show how badly the Nationalists, and later Hiter, interpreted Bismarck. He gives a lot of attention to the Center and Social Democratic Parties which formed the consensus in the Reichstag, and illustrates the rise of the Communist Party, which became the whipping post of Nationalists and Nazis as the threat of Soviet expansion grew.
Evans gives special attention to the plight of the Jews, but notes that Germany would have been the last place one would have expected such a virulent form of anti-Semitism to emerge. Jews were for the most part integrated in German life prior to WWI, and continued to enjoy a relatively unfettered life through most of the Weimar period. But, the rise of the Nazi party in the rural regions would cast the Jew in an increasingly unfavorable light.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one the best history books I have ever read.
In a very well-written, page-turning, style, it sets out in a very comprehensive and fair way how the Nazis came to power. This is a fascinating era for all but even more so for my generation (like the author, I was born in 1947). How and why did it happen? Standard descriptions of the period are common but I got many extra insights some years ago when reading a History of Germany since 1789 by Olaf Mann. While no history is inevitable there are features from way before (e.g. the fact the Germany was not united till 1871 and that Parliament did not appoint the Government in the pre-1914 era) which help understand what happened later.
This book takes a similar approach and I have never got a better feeling for what life was like for the ordinary citizen in the turbulent era of the Weimar Republic. It is also very difficult to argue with any of the conclusions in the excellent final chapter giving an overall assessment.
While I know from reading much history that it is entirely correct to say that the Versailles Treaty was rejected right across the political spectrum in Germany, I was a little surprised that there was no reference to the Locarno Treaties of the mid-1920s. Maybe this was for space reasons or as not considered particularly relevant to the rise of the Nazis.
I am really looking forward to seeing the second volume of this as the author has set a high standard.
Also, while I am reasonably familiar with the German language, the approach adopted in this book of translating everything back to English, was spot-on, and should be followed by others.
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Format: Paperback
This is an incredible read. This has to be the best book I have read on this period in history. I previously had the impression that Adolf Hitler foisted his views on the German populace in his rise to power. However, this book shows that all the ingredients of Nazism (violence, racism, fascism) were in place long before the Nazis came to power. These ingredients were ruthlessly exploited by the Nazis. However, the book goes on to show how the views of the Nazis were not the views of the general population. Historians have long debated how fascist rule by the Nazis could occur in the 1930s, and this book shows how physical violence played a major part in this.

Your view of this period in German history is unlikely to reamin the same after reading this book. Excellent.
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Format: Hardcover
As Richard Evans says in his introduction he is trying to bridge the gap between a book like Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which is readable, and The Nazi Dictatorship by Bracher at the academic end of the spectrum. In this, Evans succeeds admirably. His book is eminently readable whilst at the same time having an academic slant to it.
He examines in depth the background and foundations of Nazism and the Third Reich and explains how one of the most forward looking European states became a racist dictatorship.
This volume is the first of three dealing with the vartious periods of the Third Reich and I would recommend this volume to both the informed and lay reader.
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Evans, the Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, has advanced his considerable reputation further with the publication of The Coming of the Third Reich. This is a masterly survey of the Weimar Republic from its unloved conception in 1918 through to its premature but wholly expected death in 1933. Evans has produced an outstanding synthesis of the huge historiography published in English and German over the last 30 years. The narrative is told with flair, the analysis is trenchant and perceptive. The writing is accessible and involved. For Evans, the destruction of the Weimar Republic is a tragedy made all the more unbearable by a sense of its doomed fate. In a very crowded field, this book stands out as a valuable addition for the non-specialist and the undergraduate. With two further volumes to come, it seems that Evans is set fair for promotion to the premier league of British historians writing today, alongside David Cannadine, R.R.Davies, Niall Ferguson, and Ian Kershaw.
Evans does not see the ultimate success of the Nazi Party as inevitable nor unavoidable, but he does see the chances of the Weimar Republic prospering as slim indeed. He stresses that the Republic was born of a shotgun marriage of defeat and democratic ideals that lacked legitimacy with swathes of the disorientated population. It was viewed as foreign, as thoroughly un-German. Assailed from the start by right and left wings, abandoned by an hostile army, civil service and judiciary, the Republic was pulverized by the hyper-inflationary crisis of 1923 and destroyed by the Great Depression of the early 1930s. The long arm of Wall Street delivered a knock out punch to a badly mauled polity.
The central theme of Evans' argument is the fundamental rejection of democracy across the political spectrum.
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