The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy Paperback – 2 Aug 2007
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`A remarkable and gripping revision of the history of Nazi Germany' -- New Statesman, Books of the Year
`Masterful ... smashes a gallery of preconceptions'
-- Financial Times
`This book will change the way we look at Nazi history ... nothing less than a masterpiece. Rejoice, rejoice, for a great historian is born' -- Sunday Telegraph
'Adam Tooze's Wages of Destruction is a hugely impressive narrative of the making and breaking of the Nazi economy. The drama and recklessness with which the Germans managed their economic policy are powerfully conveyed'
-- David Gilmour, Spectator Books of the Year
`This is a great book - one of the most important to be written about the Third Reich in years' -- The Times Higher Education Supplement
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2007 Longman-History Today Book of the Year PrizeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Adam Tooze has authored (I believe) the first major work on the Nazi economy since Alan Millward's of the 1960s/70s. He opposes Millward's thesis of the 'Blitzkreig' economy, geared to fight short continental wars and instead shows an economic policy that lurched from crisis to crisis, that was subverted to one man's wish to dominate the world.
Hitler started rearming Germany from the first day he took office and Tooze shows the remarkable feat that took place in such a short time. Germany, for all its ideology and violence, remained a capitalist economy and apparently the rate at which it rearmed was unprecendented. It is this sheer quantity of armaments that secured victories up to 1941.
Of course all the effort was doomed. Tooze demonstrates that all Hitler did was to start a global arms race. He also shows that Germany was constrained in how much it could rearm by critical shortages of material and workers. Although Germany started first, it would have been overtaken by Britain, France, USA and USSR by the mid-forties. Thus Hitler had no choice but to start his war in 1939. If he had delayed by even a year, then it would have taken less time to defeat him..
Tooze also shows, as have many others, that Albert Speer should have been hanged at Nuremburg.Read more ›
The book carefully explains how the Nazis built their war economy, and why it was used at the time and the way it was. Whenever it looked like Germany was losing it's advantage through early mobilisation, war was the only alternative to slow strangulation by naval blockade and air warfare.
After the entry of the US into the war in 1941 by offering aid to the UK, the Nazi leadership knew it had to win the war by 1942. (This thinking made the invasion of the USSR inevitable to the Nazi leadership, who were all to aware of the potential of strategic bombing).Read more ›
So many sacred cows are slain it's hard to keep count, and the blood loss is appalling. Yet Tooze is unperturbed. I like that fact that he humbly keeps mention of findings that overturn the work of other scholars tucked away at the back of the book in the endnotes - and there are many "victims", including famous names. Where he has overturned someone on something, Tooze also uses and praises, if it is possible, other parts of the "victim"'s oeuvre. What I'm trying to say is that this is not an immature and arrogant man who is brimming with false modesty and who enjoys blowing his own horn (unlike, say, Timothy Snyder), but rather someone who enjoys finding things out and who is simply remarking in passing that what he has discovered does not accord with what has come before, and then softens the blow in the best possible way.
The most satisfying outcome of the book is that Nazi Germany - the decisions, the reasoning, the policies - finally... well, finally make sense, and in an overarching way. In achieving this, Tooze makes significant use of Hitler's second book, which was neglected compared with 'Mein Kampf' as events jumped forward. Thanks in part to the spotlighting of the second book, for all his famous incompetence, delusion, and hubris, Hitler is partially refreshed as someone who, despite it all, also had a good grasp of events. Take a standard view, like Hobsbawm's (p.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not able to comment on the scholarship of this but I liked viewing WW2 from a different perspective. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phil Kitcing
Not as heavy going as I'd feared so don't .be put off reading this excellent book.Published 7 months ago by S. C. Bethell
Useful for those with a relevant research scope... in mind...Published 11 months ago by P. Baziotopoulos
An incredible read. The book starts from the early 1930's and continues to the disintegration of the Reich in '45. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lettydog
Exceptional title, describing the German Economy (as well as its war economy) in considerable depth without being overly confusing. Read morePublished 18 months ago by John M. Bannerman
Want to know how Germany had ...manufactured an economic miracle from nothing after the war and kept the boilers going full tilt right up to the present day then read this book and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gaarghoile
I have read hundreds of books about the history of Nazi Germany, i have read dozens of thousands of pages in articles. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Georgios Pergamalis
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