The Third Reich
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The Third Reich

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  464 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Setting Nazi Germany in a European context, this text shows how the Third Reich's abandonment of liberal democracy, decency and tolerance was widespread in Europe at the time. It shows how a radical, pseudo-religious movement seemed to offer salvation to a Germany exhausted by war, depression and inflation.
Paperback, 965 pages
Published 2001 by Pan Books (first published November 2nd 2000)
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Jamie Rose
Finally done. This book is an immaculately researched and hugely informative study of the insanity underpinning the Nazi era. The story is even more squalid and grimy than I knew and in the parade of horrors that ensued is so staggering in scale that the overall effect is predictably quite numbing. By the time of the post-war 'reconstruction' era and the first hints of what I recognise as a modern era of globalisation the whole thing suddenly returns to seeming like an impossible nightmare. Burl...more
Lewis Weinstein
I have read the first 130+ pages, until 1930. This is an excellent history, written after most of the other standards. The author is not reluctant to express his opinion. Here are a few quotes ...

... German elites and masses of ordinary people chose to abdicate their individual critical faculties in favor of a politics based on faith, hope, hatred and sentimental collective self-regard for their own race and nation … leading to an almost total moral collapse of an advanced industrial civilizatio...more
This is not a book of detailed accounts of events, characters, and military success and failure of the Third Reich. It is neither a Hitler-centered overview of his dictatorship. This is a book of insightful interpretation on how the carefully crafted Nazi propaganda replaced religion in Germany to become the one-party regime of those convoluted 1920-30.

Michael Burleigh's main thesis is that the upcoming of Nazisms can be understood as a spurious religious movement. Nazism carefully design Hitle...more
Dočetl jsem to už dávno, ale nechtělo se mi psát ani pseudorecenzi, tak mě ta tlustá kniha zmohla. Ponechávám jeden z prvních dojmů: na autorově přístupu je trochu rozčilující, že to vzal jako kurs pro pokročilé se vším všudy: vynechává hodně hlavních událostí (nebo je připomene jednou větou) a rozebírá detaily. Tak dobrou paměť ani znalosti bohužel nemám, takže to musím číst s Wikipedií a handbuchy kolem sebe.
Stojí to za tu námahu? Přijde na to. Nic zásadně nového se nedozvíte, ani pokud jde o...more
Not for the faint of heart, a complex history of the Third Reich with an incredible amount of detail. Not for bed time reading or to just dip into. An incredibly depressing but fascinating account of man’s inhumanity to man and not just from the Nazis themselves many countries inflicted suffering on others for revenge and cultural/racial differences. It wasn’t just a case of a battle of good and evil, there were many factions fighting within countries with their own agenda. This book draws all t...more
Mike Love
I think this came out around 2000 because I remember reading it in hard back in about 2001. Ten years on just re-read it on my Kindle. that's progress for you. I still think this is one of the
very best accounts of the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. it is awe inspiring in its breadth and depth for a single volume work and is both thoughtful and insightful in the analysis of the collective slide into lunacy of a whole nation.
David Curtis
This is the best book on this topic I have read, and I have read a few. Burleigh has certainly dome his research, the scholarship is magnificent. And yet he writes in a wonderfully accessible manner and never loses sight of the bigger picture in a sea of fascinating details and insights. Highly recommended.
Brian Kenny
A very informative account of the entire history of the third Reich from its rise and fall. A book that is popular with academics and students, generally people that have an interest in this dark period. The most detailed book available which is well researched on every single aspect of Nazi Germany.
Anne Cupero
I have read a great deal about the Third Reich and I find that this book should not be your first but it is by far one of the best. Erudite language and very recent research (Fallada for example) makes it a terrific addition to Shirer, Friedlander, et al.
Long and dense, but worth it. Compelling argues how Nazism became the equivilent of a state religion.
This is one of the best histories of Nazi Germany I have ever read. The chapter on eugenics is excellent.
A worthy companion to Shirer, with additional insight and analysis
Tres Herndon
Well, this was a chore, but a row I was glad to hoe. The author felt like he had to have a thesaurus beside him as he wrote, which was a little annoying. At least it expanded my vocabulary.

The book started slow but, once the war started, became very interesting. I've read a ton of books on WW2 but I learned a lot from this one. Sometimes he lost focus in his discussions of Soviet Russia, but I agree that this material is absolutely important to an understanding of the Third Reich.

As you can imag...more
Burleigh writes an epic, sweeping history of the rise of Nazism in Germany, the Second World War, and its immediate aftermath. Though there are many books about Hitler and the War, Burleigh manages to write a new book covering Nazism as political religion and Nazi totalitarianism including eugenics, mass murder etc. He offers a chillingly comprehensive account of the programme of mass sterilisation against Gypsies, Jews, and the mentally ill. Burleigh is very good at describing this progressivel...more
Marius van Blerck
A somewhat academic but nevertheless eminently readable analysis that concentrates on the various social movements (including the breakdown of stabilising social structures) that allowed the rise of the Third Reich. This is often placed in the perspective of the similar processes in Soviet Russia. Perhaps this is best summarised by the comment in the NY Times review in December 2000 that "With his emphasis on the concept of totalitarianism, he places himself in a long line of scholars, which inc...more
Michael Pugh
The claims made on the rear cover of this book, an example being, "However familiar with the story you may think you are, this book will surprise you" were true, I found. This book is one of, if not the best book on history that I have read - its accessibility, its clarity, its interpretation and its deliberate engagement in-text with common and fashionable beliefs surrounding the Nazis make this book a must-read. If you want to better understand the Nazis and if you want to understand the Holoc...more
This was a well-written book about a terrible story. Burleigh does a good job in presenting a balanced appraisal of the Third Reich in the context of its times, and does not spare either the Western Allies or the USSR when he finds examples of their hypocrisy or shared culpability in what happened in the nightmarish 1940s. The book was a tough read at times, since the author has a predilection for long sentences, and now and then he seemed to wander from the subject at hand. Well worth a read, f...more
Frank Peters
This book continually assumes that the reader already has an excellent knowledge of the history of the 3rd Reich. For those (like me) who were hoping to learn about this history, this book is a very poor choice. After reading 800+ pages, I still do not quite know what happened in the night of a thousand knives. It was continually referred to in the book; with an attached clause that there was no need to remind the reader of what had happened. It is very possible that this book is an outstanding...more
An excellent and thorough review of the Third Reich. I especially liked the moral outlook of the history: the leading figures of Nazism are not made out to be super villians, but seen as weak and frightened and unsuccessful men, full of issues, with a new big stick to beat the world with. And the account of the early assault on civility and its importance to the whole project is wonderful - as historians until the mid 19th century knew, the manners of a people are very important. Burleigh brings...more
Burleigh approaches the Third Reich viewing it not so much as a political entity, but more as a political religion; as a result, his writing comes across more reminiscent of Oakeshott or Burke than Shirer or Bullock. It's a great book in that sense, as it gives the reader a new prism through which to view a familiar era. For the same reason, though, if this is your first book on Hitler's Germany you probably won't enjoy it; in order to make his arguments, Burleigh assumes a passing familiarity w...more
Al R
Dec 06, 2008 Al R added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Karl Rove o wait he probably knows all this lulz
Burleigh's (apparently controversial) thesis is that the Third Reich represents a peculiar kind of secular religion, and that it can be viewed largely in terms of its 'religious' features. To make this point he undertakes a comprehensive one-volume history of the Third Reich from 1918 to 1945, which is great for people like me who know virtually nothing about the period.

Learned so far:
- Weimar Germany was pretty fucked up
- The Germans had a lot of reasons to hate the French by the time WW2 ro...more
Los primeros capítulos se hacen pesados, debido al detalle pormenorizado de situaciones y personas que no son conocidos; en algún momento agobia tanta información. El análisis del autor de los acontecimientos que llevaron al Nacionalsocialismo al poder lo encuentro acertado. El gusto lo saqué principalmente en los capítulos que se refieren propiamente a la SGM.

Lectura de largo aliento.
The detailed account of the Weimar Republic is the most detailed and interesting that I've read. Some aspects of the author's treatment of how the Germans submitted to the Nazis are novel. The author makes no excuses and also does not indulge in exploring horror,but I was still unable to read some parts.
While it was very informative, I often found myself having to look up more information because the language was too advanced for me. I did however, like the sarcastic tone Burleigh would take on at times. It was only okay to me because I had to usually look up more information on what was being discussed.
Rebecca Simpson
I bought this to try and understand europe during the war. I'll stick to wikipedia I think! A real academic tome- having studied medieval history I still struggled with this book, I can only hope someone has brought out the colouring in guide to nazi germany or similar for my level.
Mauricio Chacon
Una obra monumental, muy detallada y exahustiva. Zolliker tenia razón, hay partes en que el nivel de detalle para enfatizar los argumentos de Burleigh son exagerados. DEfinitivamente un excelente libro para los que nos gusta estudiar los eventos de la WWII.
a look inside the complicated machinery of the third reich.
I need a kiddie version of this book :)
Aug 03, 2012 Ian is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Solo eh comenzado a leerlo.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN13: 9789505118472 2 20 Jun 07, 2012 02:13AM  
  • Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution
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  • The Third Reich In Power (The History of the Third Reich, #2)
  • The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle
  • Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe
  • The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942
  • Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich
  • After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
  • Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich
  • Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939
  • I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1942-1945
  • No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945
  • The Nightmare Years 1930-40
  • Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives
  • The Nuremberg Interviews
  • Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War
  • The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia
Michael Burleigh is a British author and historian.
In 1977 Michael Burleigh took a first class honours degree in Medieval and Modern History at University College London, winning the Pollard, Dolley and Sir William Mayer prizes. After a PhD in medieval history in 1982, he went on to hold posts at New College, Oxford, the London School of Economics, and Cardiff where he was Distinguished Research P...more
More about Michael Burleigh...
Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror Blood And Rage: A Cultural History Of Terrorism Moral Combat: A History of World War II Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945

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