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The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster Paperback – 3 Sep 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster
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  • The Third Reich in Power, 1933 - 1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation
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  • The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany
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Product details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141015489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141015484
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'The narrative is written with the same masterly historical flair and eye for telling detail that marked the first two volumes. This will surely be the standard history for many years to come.' -- Telegraph

'With this third volume, Richard Evans has accomplished a masterpiece of historical scholarship ... [he] has produced the best and most up-to-date synthesis of the huge work carried out on the subject over the past decades.' -- Anthony Beevor, Times

'the author displays a masterly understanding of the politics and sociology of the Third Reich ... [and the] book contains much intriguing anecdotage' -- Max Hastings, Sunday Times

`Professor Evans is history's master of the Holocaust ... in his restrained but passionate way, [he] has an apprehension of times past that should warn us about the day after tomorrow ... He always strives magisterially to make us understand - and to sense the demons within ourselves.'
-- Observer

`This masterly study of the Nazi regime at war marks the welcome completion of a three-volume account of the Third Reich by one of the world's foremost experts on modern German history ... As with the previous two volumes, it is based on an immense amount of learning, but wears its learning lightly. The result is an very readable, well-paced account that is fully familiar with the huge amount of specialist scholarship in this field but never gets bogged down by excessive detail or distracted by debates which are of concern only to experts.' -- Neil Gregor, History Today --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'The narrative is written with the same masterly historical flair and eye for telling detail that marked the first two volumes. This will surely be the standard history for many years to come.' --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and as described.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent culmination of the series
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I leave the writing of a full review to those better versed in the period. I enjoyed this comprehensive and very readable text on the Nazi Germany, and an admirable successor to the volume on the Third Reich in power. If you want a thorough going introduction to the period you can do a lot worse that turn to Evans. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book because of the fine review in The London Review of Books. And because I have long been puzzled by the success of the Nazi regime in a country which I have visited a number of times and always felt at home. (Despite being a Protestant Scots-Canadian)
It was a long read and mostly heart-breaking as much for the horrors described as for the author's controlled compassion in describing them. To say nothing of his meticulous scholarship!
Enjoyable hardly seems the appropriate word to describe the experience of reading this work but worthy it certainly was! So much so that I have ordered the previous volume of his trilogy and greatly look forward to an almost life-changing pleasure of reading it.
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By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the final book in a trilogy spanning Nazi Germany right through from its origins in the years after the First World War through to the end of the war in the 1945, but it's just as good as a stand-alone read. This book deals with the war itself, purely from the pespective of the Germans. It's quite interesting to read about the book from this one angle, since most histories of the period deal with the whole thing or all of the combatants or a particular front.

What comes across very clearly is the persistant Nazi over-reaching, particularly with the invasion of the Soviet Union. The author clearly ascribes to the belief that the Nazi defeat was inevitable once that happened, that even with the resources of all the occupied countries at their disposal, the Nazis couldn't hope to defeat the combined resources and economic power of the Soviet Union, the British Empire and, later, the United States.

It also highlights Hitler's own role in Germany's downfall, in refusing to listen to his generals, in refusing to accept facts that didn't fit his view of the situation, and allowing his genocidal desire to exterminate the Jews to divert vital manpower, finances and arms away from the war itself.

This is a very very good book, one of the best on Nazi Germany I've read.
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