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The Third Reich at War [Hardcover]

Richard J. Evans
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 926 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press; First Printing edition (19 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594202060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202063
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,126,798 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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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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 An Excellent Book 16 May 2014
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. It is well-written, detailed, informative and opinionated, providing details and arguments certainly on the conduct and military capabilities of the German Field Commanders and on the Battle of Kursk and other later Russian offensives that run counter to most people's perception. It is important to note that even though in this review I have mentioned military details this is not a history of Germany in the Second World War, with an obsessive focus on battles and warfare, but a more rounded and in-depth examination of that country, its people and its leaders during the conflict. Although it is still a thematic work, like the previous two volumes, it does have more of a chronological underpinning and while it is an attempt at a comprehensive history it does focus on a number of key issues and events. Overall, an excellent, sometimes unsettling to read, concluding volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grim Reading / comments on Kindle 12 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am on holiday in Poland and Germany. I downloaded the third volume after reading the previous two.

I have not finished this book but at the moment it is making very grim reading. I have the sense that the author is going into terrible detail of the crimes of the Nazis to explain the terrible punishment that occurs at the end.

In Berlin I visited the National History Museum, (Deutsches Historisches Museum);


The museum is located in the Zeughaus (armoury) on the avenue Unter den Linden. The museum was originally conceived as a celebration of Prussian military success.

I visited the special exhibition on the First World War. What has struck me from my travels is how representative Hitler was of German thought in that period. That there was nothing that Hitler did or said that was particularly original.

The German treatment of people on the Eastern Front in the Second World War was similar to their treatment in the First World War.

It is easy for me to make a blanket statement. What Richard J Evans does, is follow such statements with facts to back them up.

Some of the one and two star reviews appear to have been made by Nazi sympathisers who question Richard J Evans grip on the subject matter. I have read widely on this subject and I have found nothing that Richard J Evans says that conflict with other accounts that I have read. On the other hand, Richard J Evans presents additional information, perspective and facts.

I can see how this was a war between societies. Productive capacity and actual output was more important, than individual acts of cowardice or heroism.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good chunk of pages have come away from the binding ...
Its in ok condition. A good chunk of pages have come away from the binding which makes it very awkward to read and hold such a huge book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by paula harrington
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 6 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 11 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 17 months ago by horoscopy
5.0 out of 5 stars World War II history.
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... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dilys M Goldspink - her husband: D. Goldspink BSc, BA (Hons)
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 22 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 23 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 on 30 Aug 2012 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
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