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Hitler's Thirty Days To Power: 1/1/1933: January 1933 Paperback – 26 Aug 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (26 Aug. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201328003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201328004
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., is Stille Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of the definitive German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler and Germany from Partition to Reunification, among other books. He lives in Branford, Connecticut.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in the workings of the Third Reich, this book is a must read. As the title indicates, it describes those last thirty days before Hitler became chancellor and clearly shows that Hitler's rise to power was anything but inevitable. Actually, according to Ashby Turner the Nazi party was on the decline, with serious financial problems, infighting, and loss of membership. It was really Franz von Papen who orchestrated their resurrection. Although they may have been the largest party in the Reichstag, a vote of no confidence for the Schleicher government and a new election would probably have seen further losses for the Nazis.

The most interesting chapter is the last in which he discusses whose to blame and projects what could have happened if von Schleicher had behaved in a more politically astute fashion. Most likely, the Republic would have fallen anyway, a military dictatorship installed, and possibly war; but with none of the devastation that Hitler brought to the world. It's a fascinating study, and although I usually hate those "what ifs" in history books, in this case I can't help but wish "what if." How different the world would look today. And Ashby Turner doesn't let the Germans off so easily. He makes them culpable, after all they did elect the Nazis in quite large numbers.

The book is, however, a bit complicated at times and you really need to be familiar with the characters and the issues to get the most out of it. But if you make the effort to read through, you will not be disappointed.
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It arrived on time, and as advertised
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th Century Lesson for the 21st Century 20 July 2016
By Stanley P. Santire - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To the big question of how a psychopath achieved power in a highly civilized nation, this book provides the answer. Hitler did not become Chancellor of Germany as the result of titanic social forces nor because the German people were drawn by his charisma or his grandiose ideas. In the midst of a legislative system frozen by members who placed their narrow ideological ideas above governing, a few individuals put their self interests above those of the practical interests of the nation. As this book shows, Hitler’s obstinate egomania played a vital role in achieving power despite never achieving a majority political vote by the German people. Yet, this would not have been possible without the role played by a few individuals consumed by their personal ambitions. During the thirty days covered by the book Hitler would have failed to achieve that power if not for a few individuals who disregarded what he said and who, blinded by their own ambitions, thought they could control him once they made him Chancellor. Aside from a well drafted description of a pivotal moment in the 20th century, we get a glimpse of what can happen to a powerful democracy in the 21st century if we ignore the lessons of history.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and Essential History 23 Jun. 2013
By M. J. Newhouse - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A common error is to view the present as if it were inevitable--as it all things were tending towards this moment--when, in fact, that we arrived at any particular place is the result of both planning and unplanned contingencies So it was with Hitler's accession to power. Indeed, one of the only reasons that Hitler was brought into the power structure was the common perception, which was erroneous, that he and the Nazis were actually losing ground (they had done so in the last election before Hitler became Chancellor). As this excellent history demonstrates, Hitler's road to the Chancellorship was further paved, to a large extent, by others who misunderstood and underestimated him, or overestimated themselves. In short, as Turner shows us in great detail, there was nothing certain about Hitler's rise to the leadership position in Weimar Germany: at so many points things could have turned out differently. A very well-written and straightforward history. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler played the cards he was dealt 15 Jun. 2013
By Lewis M. Weinstein - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating, day-to-day, person-by-person review of the 30 days that ended with Hitler being appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Turner's conclusions in the final chapter pull no punches. He assigns culpability and guilt, making it clear that it was the ignorance, ineptitude, personal grudges, mendacity, and ambition of the characters in power (mainly Hindenburg, Schleicher and Papen) who gave Germany to Hitler and thus Hitler to the world. Those who supported democratic government in Germany simply gave it up without much of a fight, often because they were fighting with each other. It is true, Turner asserts, that Hitler played the weaknesses of the others brilliantly, but he was only playing the cards he was dealt.

Important details for several scenes in my new novel-in-progress, tentatively titled "Choosing Hitler."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Informative, Yet ... 17 Feb. 2010
By Randy Kadish - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book fascinating and hard to put down. I believe it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the fall of the Weimar Republic.

I also strongly agree with much of Mr. Turner's conclusion that Hitler's appointment was not inevitable, but rather the result of luck and of the flaws and mistakes of a handful of men. In that respect, Mr. Taylor agrees, at least in part, with William Shirer's belief that so much of history is random.

And yet in one crucial way I found this book lacking: its portrayal of two of the principal players: Hindenburg and Schleicher, both of whom reluctantly accepted political power not to fulfill a love of power, like so many politicians do, but to save the Weimar Republic and to stop Hitler.

And so, here's my two cents:

Part of the problem is that Mr. Turner's devotes so little time to what happened before the crucial month of January 1933. For example, he hardly mentions that Germany faced very real threats from a civil war, a communist takeover and an invasion on their Easter border. (Because of the last threat, Schleicher felt he had no choice but to try to use the Nazi paramilitary to strengthen German's small military.)

Also, Mr. Turner states that Hindenburg's military career, before the World War One, was unexceptional. From what I read, Hindenburg was very well-respected in the military. Also, he was one of the few generals who predicted that, if Russia invaded, they would do so in the Masurian Lakes region. He therefore he studied the terrain, and railroads of the region and was well prepared when he arrived and took command at Tannenberg. (During the Great War he proved to be a very capable, defensive commander who, unlike other generals, cared for the lives of his men.) Furthermore, Mr. Turner ignores the reality that Hindenburg hated being forced to govern by presidential decree, which he properly felt was a threat to the republic.

Schleicher, on the other hand, hated Hitler and deeply cared about the working man and their economic plight; yet we never read about his compassion in this book. (Yes, Mr. Turner is right: Because of a lack of documentation, we know relatively little about Schleicher. I don't believe we should, therefore, assume almost the worst about him and view him in a one-dimensional light.(His plan to try to bring Strasser into the government and hopefully split the Nazis was realistic and almost worked.)

During the final years of the republic Hindenburg and Schleicher were lodged between rocks and hard places, especially because they had to work with so many petty partisan politicians.

IMHO, to truly understand history we must look beyond events and into the often complex personalities of the men and women who shaped and lived it. Settling for simple characterizations, and then for easy answers to the predicaments they faced, limits our understanding.

Yes, Hindenburg and Schleicher were flawed - like most of us - and made crucial mistakes. After all, they had no playbook to go by. So, in light of what unfolded, should they be forgiven?

Mr. Turner and most people don't think so. I'm, however, not so sure.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orange Muppet Hitler Anticipation Manual 11 Nov. 2016
By B. C Ladd - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Critical reading in anticipation of January 20. No, really. It may or may not actually help.
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