Filled with human and moral considerations that are missing from theoretical accounts, Michael Burleigh's book gives full weight to the experience of ordinary people who were swept up in, or repelled by, Hitler's movement. It emphasizes, as well, the international themes -- for Nazi Germany appealed to the political classes and the ordinary people of many European nations, its wartime conduct included efforts to dominate the entire continent's economy, and its murderous policies involved gigantic population transfers and exterminations, recruitment of foreign labor, and multinational armies.
What happened when many, or most, of Germany's elite as well as a majority of its citizenry chose not to think for themselves and to favor instead a politics based on faith, hope, hatred, and sentimental regard for their own race and nation? The consequences were catastrophic for Germany, Europe, and the wider world, but no more so than for European Jews. Michael Burleigh's account of the moral breakdown and transformation of an advanced industrial society in the heart of Europe is a remarkably clearheaded assessment of the dangerous consequences when, in a country still obsessed with its losses in a previous war, a political movement takes on the form of a pseudo- or substitute religion. His narrative of events in Nazi Germany, and in a world that was forced to respond to its criminal actions, is a masterpiece of great intellectual and moral courage.
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The author wishes to resist "an indiscriminate condemnation of the German people in general," but he presents a devastating examination of the "almost total moral collapse" that accompanied (and permitted) the unthinkable atrocities of Adolf Hitler.| Read Full Review of The Third Reich: A New History
After literally thousands of books have been written on the Nazis and their history, the author who attempts another one has to have a compelling reason. Burleigh, professor of history at Washington aOct 30 2000 | Read Full Review of The Third Reich: A New History
After literally thousands of books have been written on the Nazis and their history, the author who attempts another one has to have a compelling reason.| Read Full Review of The Third Reich: A New History
Evans concludes sagely: 'The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within us all…It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another...Oct 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Third Reich: A New History
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