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The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945 [Paperback]

Richard J. Evans
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 926 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (23 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143116711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143116714
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,886,203 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

The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945 The final book in Evan's three-volume history of Hitler's Germany, hailed a masterpiece by "The New York Times, The Third Reich at War" lays bare the most momentous and tragic years of the Nazi regime. Full description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Richard J Evans has written a magnificent book. The structure, narrative and sources are of the highest quality and the notes make this volume a veritable encyclopedia of life in war time Germany. In particular, the way in which Evans weaves in the leadership's strategy with the experience of ordinary people is outstanding.

Although on occasion his interpretation is open to dispute and the coverage is brief, possibly because of the amount of knowledge available elsewhere, it should be remembered that the war lasted almost six years and to re-tell it in less than 800 pages is an achievement in itself. The bibliography is extensive and includes many works in German.

What is clear from the outset is that the Nazis were motivated by an anti-human racism in which they identified themselves as the master race with the absolute right of determining the individual and collective fates of those they considered inferior. This expression of social darwinism facilitated acts of extreme cruelty which were considered normal behaviour, especially amongst those soldiers who were inculcated into the army under the Nazi regime. Old soldiers had more qualms about shooting women and children.

What is also clear is that the policy of murdering all and sundry was carried out with a ruthlessness that makes one wonder just how firm the concept of civilisation is in reality. SS Task Units were "Beasts in Human Form" and it was rare (though not impossible) to find anyone prepared to deny the Nazis' philosophy of treating other races as subhuman. In so doing they managed to draw on the racial hatred against the Jews present in conquered countries, whether such hatred was based on the Jews' success in business, clannishness or desire to retain their separatist traditions.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
With this third volume, Professor Evans brings his rightfully acclaimed "History of the Third Reich" to a very fruitful end indeed. All the major developments from 1939 till 1945 are at least touched upon in a very insightful and balanced manner, blending social history, the biographies of well-known heavyweights of the Nazi regime such as Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler or Speer and the lesser known experiences of ordinary Germans into one complex but highly readable narrative, exposing a good deal of the inner workings of Hitler's dictatorship rather than taking an overly abstract bird's eye view on this disastrous epoch.

Abstaining from any form of moralising, which is unnecessary anyway in the face of the well-known enormity of the crimes committed, there is, of course, a heavy emphasis on the horrifying genocidal activities of the Nazis and the political arena, yet economic, cultural and military events are also accounted for in a convincing way. Most of the major controversies concerning the historiography of Nazi Germany like Daniel Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners" are mentioned, although Evans does not always take up a clear position and understandably refrains from making any new untested hypotheses, for which a book of this scope cannot be intended anyway.

For students of modern history the book offers a remarkably well-crafted starting-point to develop their own research interests, providing also a detailed bibliography of the major works on the Nazi era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War II history. 21 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has done an excellent job of producing a detailed account of World War II from a German perspective - what went on within Germany as well as mostly a German perspective of the invasion of Poland and the War in the East. The book engages with the extensive German archives as well as others. The book was recommmended to me by another writer; and although an extensive book is a relatively "easy" read. For anyone interested in World War II history this makes a valuable contribution.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Adam Bartleby VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Third Reich at war is the third and final installment in a trilogy of books by Richard Evans on the Third Reich, the other two being The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939. Although there have been many thousands of books and articles about the Third Reich in the second world war, this is the first book that I have read with this specific focus and so I am not in a position to say whether it adds anything 'new'.

However, coming to the subject as a relative novice, I can say that I found the book well written, informative, well paced and therefore very accessible for a layperson with a serious interest in popular history.

Firstly, the The Third Reich at War is not primarily about the German people, or Germany, in the Second World War; it is about the Nazi regime. In other words the focus is very much on the actions of state and party rather than the experiences of ordinary Germans, who feature only really in their relationship to that regime, whether as its victims (with the main emphasis on the mentally disabled and Jews) or as its passive or active supporters.

As Evans himself acknowledges, despite the best efforts of the Nazis, the German people and the Nazi regime where never one and the same entity. This was true even at the height of the regime's popularity, after the defeat of France and the reclamation of German speaking territories to the East and West in 1940-41.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book
The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans is an excellent book detailing the story of the Nazi party and Germany during the Second World War. Read more
Published 2 months ago by HBH
5.0 out of 5 stars definitive history with full detail
This is a fantastic piece of scholarship.It shows the jewish persecution in awful detail. The progress of the war is derived from the detail supplied and explains why things... Read more
Published 2 months ago by bracma
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Easily the most gripping and informative history of the Third Reich that I have ever read. Astonishing in its detail.
Published 8 months ago by spike361
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be titled "The Jews & Associated Propaganda Stories With Bits...
I think something awfully suspicious with the rating system here on Amazon when a book such as this gets so many 5 star reviews. Read more
Published 14 months ago by horoscopy
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
This was purchased for my son as a Christmas present and therefore I can not comment on the item itself. My purchae was delivered on time and well packaged.
Published 19 months ago by jotimm
5.0 out of 5 stars THE THIRD REICH AT WAR
Excellent condition, cheap price, prompt delivery. Explains how the war-machine of the Nazis led Germany to sieze power over large areas of Europe, and how they were eventually... Read more
Published 20 months ago by ROBIN EDWARDS
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, Catastrophic, Demonic; More So than Any Ficticious Work
I almost felt like I was there reading this book. So interesting particularly as it's told from an entirely German perspective (albeit from a Brit author). Read more
Published 23 months ago by Claggart's on fire
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent book behind the Marxist leanings
As with the previous two books of the trilogy Evans has written this is as well researched and a good read. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2011 by G. W. Mclean
4.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed.....
This is one of a trilogy. Ideal for someone who already knows plenty about the period, but wants to read about it in more depth. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by A. Northcote
5.0 out of 5 stars Good objective view
A fascinating and at times, quite harrowing history of the war in Europe. A good conscise account and that the historian approaches in an objective manner.
Published on 8 Feb 2011 by Cailean
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