- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 31 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Jun. 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003SFJ4AG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Third Reich in Power Audiobook – Unabridged
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I was also frustrated by the lack of discursive analysis, which I assume is deliberate, with Evans preferring to let events speak for themselves. For instance, he states that Nazism was not a religion, and quotes a speech to this effect made by Hitler in order, says Evans, to distance himself from the woolly-minded mysticism espoused by the likes of Himmler. But merely quoting Hitler doesn't close the argument. Why did Hitler feel it necessary to make the point? Was he placating the churches? Does the fact that Hitler said it make it true? I would have liked to have heard Evans's no doubt trenchant views on this and other matters.
It is probably unfair to criticise Evans for not writing the book he could have written had he wanted to, and so anyone reading this review may if they wish mentally add a fifth star. There can be no argument with the consensus that is a magisterial account. In his brilliant "In Defence of History" Evans writes that no sane person is capable of reading most history books through from beginning to end. He could write this secure in the knowledge that his own books are evidence that he is one of the few historians who can be eminently readable without being "crude".
He relies heavily on the observations of a Social Democratic source which has its obvious limitations and is particularly problematic in his section on education. But for the most part he has wide and varied sources and gives an all around picture of both the good and the bad.
He warns the reader that it is very hard for free and democratic minds to comprehend what it must have been like to live in a threatening totalitarian regime, but I think the author has to be aware that it is also difficult for Western minds, developed with ethos of individuality, self-expression, and democracy, to understand the mentality of a nation where democracy and individual expression were not the highest virtues. I think for a vast majority of Germans, the lack of freedoms and the intimidation of the Nazi regime were at most annoying, but were more likely accepted as a necessary measure to bring order and stability back to the nation. And they may have agreed with it to some extent. In later chapters Evans agrees that despite the negative aspects to many of the Nazi's policies, the benefits seemed to outweigh the disadvantages.
Most Germans were quite happy and look back fondly at the 1930s.
But what Evans shows best, and what most authors on Nazi Germany choose to ignore, is that at the heart of the Nazi's policies was the goal of ridding Germany, and eventually Europe, of its Jews. It was tied up and was a central component in creating a strong racial state and preparing the nation for war.
For anyone who wants to have a thorough understanding of how the Nazis could win over a whole nation, than this book is a definite must. It is even better than the first volume in the series. I wasn't going to, but now after reading this, I absolutely must read the last volume.