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on 13 March 2017
I came to this book looking for a summary of the events that brought the Nazis into power last century, and for an understanding about how a democracy can fall to a one party authoritarian state. Beyond Indiana Jones, Allo Allo and films such as Where Eagles Dare my knowledge of this period in history was lacking.

The book is readable, organised into an accessible format and provides significant detail around the years leading up to 1933. It also summarises briefly the first world war and how this feed into the desire for a strong man to lead Germany into a stronger economy.

I'd recommend this to anyone such as myself who wants to get an overview of the themes that lead to the Nazis existence and rise to power. I'd also recommend it more generally as a warning not to get too complacent around the defence of our democracy or free speech as many of the themes touched on by the book are recognisable from the media of today.
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on 12 January 2017
I'm re-reading this Richard Evans Third Reich trilogy in the post-Brexit and post-Trump era, prompted by a nagging question in my own head: "Could it all happen again?" This is a compelling analysis of what happened in Nazi Germany and why and how. Not surprisingly, there are profound differences with today's world - but some uncanny similarities that will make you stop and think.
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on 31 May 2014
I have never been able to comprehend how a civilised society could change so rapidly into the beast that was the 3rd Reich. No other books on the subject have provided sufficient depth to answer this question. Other books still left the fundamental questions of "how and why" lingering in the back of my mind. I simply refused to believe that the German people were "evil".

This is the first time i have felt as though this subject has been historically and chronologically explained and summarised. I can now appreciate the historical circumstances surrounding these events. It is clearly not as black and white as much of the popular media present it as being. Yes Hitler himself was deluded, evil and reprehensible but the German people at large were not. For example i did not know that even during their most popular phase the Nazi vote only accounted for 37 percent of the vote. In some ways it surprises me that this number was not much higher given the brutal suppression dished out by the storm troopers. This book should be a compulsory read for anyone entering politics. Indeed many of todays events bear a frightening similarity to those recounted in this book.

In short, anyone who possess even a vague interest in history will be captivated by this book. I will certainly be purchasing the next two volumes. A masterpiece.
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on 24 May 2011
This is the first of three volumes, this being the shortest, that focuses on The Third Reich and the rise and eventual fall. This volume focusing on the years before Hitler came to power.

I came to this with a fairly low knowledge of The Third Reich and as such need to explain that some of what I read was totally new. However, I believe that this is the start of a very thorough documentary trilogy that doesn't just chronicle the history but also goes into the thoughts and feelings at the time and the reasons for the events. And it is in that last aspect that this book really excels. Hitler's rise to power and the motives behind it are very well explored here and the rise and the various obstacles are explained and put into context excellently here. The book starts before World War I and some readers may find it quite frustrating for over 150 pages there is no direct mention of Nazi's and they are only covered after this point. But it is for exactly this reason the book works. You are able to understand (though not to sympathise or accept in any way) what happens next. The context is the key.

The key players are covered well and the writing is never to dense or heavy for the non-historian. It reads extremely well and is easy to enjoy. If the next two books in the trilogy follow this standard we may well have the new standard text for The Third Reich.
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on 25 July 2017
Big heavy detailed historical reference really. Not for light reading. Clearly a life's work for Mr Evans and probably best looked at as a reference book. Yet to start the other two parts. The content is interesting but the level of analysis slows it so much it becomes almost unreadable.
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on 21 July 2017
l can't help but wonder why; with what the Nazis were doing, alarm bells were ringing at Westminster long before they did.
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on 1 February 2014
IIt makes for chilling reading though and was purchased purely for research purposes. If it serves no other process than to highlight how ignoring history can be devastating then it will have served its purpose.
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on 12 February 2017
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on 25 November 2016
first part of a superb trilogy.if you want the third reich warts and all,here it is.
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on 12 July 2017
Bought for my niece...she thoroughly enjoyed it.
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