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Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History [Paperback]

Gerhard L. Weinberg

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Book Description

26 April 1996 Essays in Modern German and World History
Reflecting on the greatest war in human history, one cannot help but think about the terrible conflict as a whole, its leaders, its peoples, and the puzzles still open about its conduct. Leaders on both sides realised that at stake from the very beginning was a complete restructuring of the world order. More than a conflict of imperial aggression, World War II was about who would live and command the globe's resources and which peoples would disappear entirely because they were believed to be inferior or undesirable by the victor. This collection of special studies in twentieth-century German and world history illuminates the nature of the Nazi system and its impact on Germany and the world. Bringing together essays now widely scattered and several never previously published in English, this volume examines the Holocaust, the connections between the European and Pacific theatres of war, as well as the effects, leaders, and research problems of World War II. By examining the effects of World War II, its leaders, its problems, and the Holocaust, this volume provides an illuminating study of the nature of the Nazi system and its impact on Germany and the world.

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"Gerhard Weinberg delights in questioning conventional wisdom in this collection of papers written over many years on aspects of World War II....Germany, Hitler, and World War II is a thoughtful and provocative reinterpretation of many aspects of this period." Washington Post Book World

"Vigilant in distinguishing fact from inference, Mr. Weinberg clearly understands the difference between the easy answer and the last word. Lucid, accessible, provocative in the best sense, this is critical historical writing of the highest order." The Dallas Morning News

"Germany, Hitler, and World War II...[assembles] 24 essays written over the past 30 years. These are scholarly but accessible to the general reader, authoritative in their archival basis, and imaginative in raising such neglected issues as 'German Plans for Victory, 1944-1945.'" The Christian Science Monitor

"...richly informative, scholarly but accessible collection of essays....The author's thought-provoking essays question familiar assumptions." Publishers Weekly

"The freshness of [Weinberg's] interpretations derives from questioning popularly held beliefs about the causes and course of the war....Learned, balanced, sophisticated, and clinically empathetic with the consequences of the Nazi lunge for world supremacy, Weinberg is the type of fluid, sophisticated writer history collections must have." Booklist

"German-born historian Weinberg...offers a new perspective on German history in relation to Hitler and the formulation of German foreign policy....A valuable work for anyone wishing a refreshing angle on the geopolitical realities of the period and their culmination in the greatest war in human history. Recommended for diplomatic and military history collections." Library Journal

"The essays in this book represent the careful, judicious work of one of the world's greatest scholars of the Third Reich and the Second World War. These essays represent a major contribution to our understanding of the history of our century." Williamson Murray, Ohio State University

"Shrewd and incisive, most of these essays are based on archival research--an experience that leads Weinberg to end with a ringing, persuasive appeal that unless immediate steps for the preservation of various fragile records are taken, future historians will be without the traditional foundations of historical research." Foreign Affairs

"A valuable contribution to the literature, this readable volume belongs in every academic library." Donald S. Detwiler, The Journal of Militray History

"Weinberg's essays would be of significant use in an educational environment....the essays can be very helpful and interesting to students....skillfully argued and written they would serve as an excellent tool to illustrate to students how the historical discipline works....Weinberg is a scholar of high order abd his essays reflect this....Weinberg's book is an invaluable resource." Michael Marino, Teaching History

Book Description

By examining the effects of World War II, its leaders, its problems, and the Holocaust, this volume provides an illuminating study of the nature of the Nazi system and its impact on Germany and the world.

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In 1919 Germany and her allies were crushed in war. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scholarship, clear concise analysis backed up by evidence 15 Jun 2009
By ReasonableGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Over the past few years, I've been working my way through quite a number of works dealing with the inter-war period -- my particular interest. (Though I should point out that this book covers the period from 1918 through the end of WWII.) I would rate this as one of the most useful. Although detailed, I found it to be very readable. However, it's not a beginner's introduction. This isn't a text directed towards a mass-market audience of casual history buffs. This is for readers who really want to sink their teeth into the deeper questions of Hitler's decision-making. I found it very stimulating.

I would describe the book as roughly chronological in layout, but more subject based in concept. As such, you'll find chapters like 3) "The World Through Hitler's Eye's"; 6) "Hitler and England, 1933-1945, Pretense and Reality"; 7) "German foreign policy and Austria"; 9) "A proposed compromise over Danzig in 1939"; 15) Pearl Harbor: The German Perspective; etc.. Weinberg's analysis is thoughtful, clearly stated, and supported by evidence. There are plently of footnotes to mine as well.

The comment by another reviewer that Weinberg is anti-German is utterly absurd. I mean let's get real. How in the blue bloody blazes does one write a book on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Era without making Germany look bad??? What nonsense!

I suspect that the real reason that some people feel the need to trash Weinberg's book is that a person informed by Weinberg's arguments, and the evidence that backs them, is also a person who is well-equipped to shred their revisionist pseudo-histories and shallow, poorly-thought-out counter-factuals.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight and understanding will be gained. 11 Feb 2001
By Brian FitzGerald - Published on Amazon.com
Weinberg's short interpretations and insights make this a great book. If you are looking for a large quantity of in-depth information on the entire war then this is not the book for you. However, if you are seeking a broad overveiw of the German attitude before and during the war with regards to specific information of broad topics; this book is for you. Weinberg deals with issues such as;the European balance of power in 1918, the German generals' reaction to the planning of a war against Poland, what Germany was planning to do with their victory, the German perspective on Pearl Harbor, and many more topics. Overall this book provides great insight to areas that are not traditionally covered in other books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FOR REFERENCE 23 Sep 2010
By John M. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
This is a review of GEMANY, HITLER, AND WORLD WAR II: ESSAYS IN MODERN GERMAN AND WORLD HISTORY by Professor Gerhard L. Weinberg of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mine is the hardcover edition published by Cambridge University Press 1995.

Professor Weinberg brings a lot of qualifications to this book. Originally born in Germany, he served with the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and directed the American Historical Association's massive project of microfilming documents captured after Nazi Germany's surrender. Professor Weinberg's research led him to the unpublished manuscript of Hitler's sequel to MEIN KAMPF which eventually came out in an English language edition in 2006 as HITLER'S SECOND BOOK.

GERMANY, HITLER, AND WORLD WAR II was already published by that time, but it is not a conventional integrated narrative. It is a collection of twenty-three essays and an appendix which represent Professor Gerhard's best work. In "July 20, 1944: The German Resistance to Hitler," Gerhard reminds his readers that "opposition to the government of a totalitarian police state is no easy matter. If you make your disaproval of the government's policy known, you do not appear on the eleven o'clock news, you disappear forever. And you disappear quietly. Only a few friends and relatives learn that you are not around anymore; the controlled mass media make no reference to the event...." (p. 245). This may seem obvious to people who know about the Gestapo, but a surprising number of Americans do not. Worse, they have no concept of what it was like to live in police state with agencies like the Gestapo in power.

This is the real strength of Weinberg's book. He writes well. He understands both the German view of the world and the American and he's able to select the information needed to fill in the blanks. This collection of essays will be useful for any student of World War II, National Socialism, Hitler, the Holocaust or other subjects related to that crucial era of history.

Although the book does not include a bibliography, it does have a good index and the annotations are complete enough to permit scholars to search for additional information or verify Weinberg's research. I have found GERMANY, HITLER, AND WORLD WAR II to be a great reference book and I gave it five stars.
6 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish from a cheap trash crackpot! 21 July 2005
By Devl's Advocate - Published on Amazon.com
I have read most of Weinberg's so called works on German history and find them to be highly subjective and of dubious value to any serious understanding of the NS era, or German foreign policy in those years.

Belittling all German sources as aplogias or fakes, Weinberg has time and again proves himself to be a most unrelaible author, with axes to grind and who is prepared to go to the extreme of falsifying sources and translations to get his hate propaganda across.

This work is not worth the paper it's printed on.
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