There have been many personal memoirs describing aspects of the second World War, however this book, although not especially well-written, is unusual in that the author did not have the benefit of hindsight. This is a personal and highly idiosyncratic description of the events leading up to the war and of conditions and attitudes in Germany during the war. Despite the title, the author managed to avoid a tone of despair, and instead conveys a passionate loathing of the regime and a fervent belief that the Hitler era would be ended, although at great cost to Germany. Reck-Malleczewen was a nationalist whose great love of his country did not blind him to the sinister use by Hitler of German pride. He remains coherent despite the realisation that he is impotent to act against the regime, and documents in great detail (sometimes, with hindsight, lacking in historical accuracy) some of the more ridiculous and darkly amusing occurrences in Germany. The book is typified by intellectual arrogance, and the assumption that the author's background and education enables him to see beyond the trappings of the Nazi structures, and to attempt to comprehend the madness engulfing his country. Nevertheless, one is left with the impression that Reck-Malleczewen was essentially a very humane and thoughtful person whose attempts to understand the flaws in his own country make for a fascinating, if somewhat macabre, read.