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The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany [Paperback]

Richard J. Evans
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Aug 2004

Richard J. Evans' The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany explores how the First World War, the Weimar Republic and the Great Depression paved the way for Nazi rule.

They started as little more than a gang of extremists and thugs, yet in a few years the Nazis had turned Germany into a one-party state and led one of Europe's most advanced nations into moral, physical and cultural ruin and despair.

In this consummate and compelling history, the first book in his acclaimed trilogy on the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, Richard Evans reveals how and why it happened, questions whether the rise of Hitler was inevitable and dramatically re-creates the maelstrom of disorder, economic disaster, violence and polarization that gave rise to the terror of the Third Reich.

'Monumental ... gripping ... the definitive account of our time'
  Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph

'Impressive ... perceptive ... humane ... the most comprehensive history in any language of the disastrous epoch of the Third Reich'
  Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler

'The most gripping account I've read of German life before and during the rise of the Nazis'
  A.S. Byatt, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

Sir Richard J. Evans is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. His previous books include In Defence of History, Telling Lies about Hitler and the companions to this title, The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich at War.


Frequently Bought Together

The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany + The Third Reich in Power, 1933 - 1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation + The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster
Price For All Three: 29.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (5 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141009756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141009759
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard J. Evans is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. His previous books include In Defence of History, Telling Lies about Hitler and the companions to this title, The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power. He lives outside Cambridge.

Product Description

Review

"Richard J. Evans's "The Coming of the Third Reich"...gives 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"

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Focuses on the Weimar Republic 10 Mar 2004
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-turning account of a pivotal era 3 Mar 2004
By NMS
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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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
By going back to 1871, Evans shows us that the extent of anti-Semitism in Germany pre-dates the Third Reich by many years, probably centuries. While it is true that such anti-Semitism existed elsewhere in Europe, it seems that only defeat in World War 1 provided the uniquely fertile ground that allowed many ordinary Germans to become involved in Hitler's extermination policy.
Potential readers may have been put off buying this book following a bizarre review in the BBC's History Magazine.
Unlike their reviewer, I have actually read this book, and would ask readers of that review to treat it with the contempt it deserves.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coming of the Third Reich 6 Nov 2003
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of the period 6 Feb 2007
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows how easy it is for any politician to gain the highest ...
Shows how easy it is for any politician to gain the highest position in the country and then completely take over that country's essence and existence.
Published 6 days ago by fatmanbat46
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and Detailed History
Richard Evans was the star defence witness during David Irving's disastrous 'Holocaust denial' libel in 2001. Read more
Published 1 month ago by A. Callow
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb account of the darkest period of humanity
I have never been able to comprehend how a civilised society could change so rapidly into the beast that was the 3rd Reich. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joshua James
4.0 out of 5 stars a great history book
IIt makes for chilling reading though and was purchased purely for research purposes. If it serves no other process than to highlight how ignoring history can be devastating then... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tim Britton
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply brilliant
Highly readable, very well informed and researched, this book is utterly captivating to read. It elucidates sharply the state of Germany during the Weimar republic, the very... Read more
Published 12 months ago by ICB
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional
The other reviews below have already said much that I wanted to say about this superb work therefore there is no need to repeat what has already been said. Read more
Published 12 months ago by touchtheclouds
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scholarly work.
Part of the three volume series on the Third Reich.
A must for history buffs with an interest in the period..
Published 16 months ago by Mr. G. J. Weir
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive history of the Third Reich. Extremely informative and...
The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany

As stated before, I'm not a WW2 expert and I haven't read so much on this... Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Schotman
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Book About Early 20th Century Germany and the rise of the...
The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans is a good book analysing the history of Germany from the creation of the country in the 1870s to the 1930s, and the emergence and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by HBH
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Account
Richard Evans condenses a vast range of very interesting material into a book of manageable proportions. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2011 by J. Gordon
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