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The Third Reich in Power (The History of the Third Reich #2)

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  3,358 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
The definitive account of Germany's malign transformation under Hitler's total rule and the implacable march to war
This magnificent second volume of Richard J. Evans's three-volume history of Nazi Germany was hailed by Benjamin Schwartz of the "Atlantic Monthly" as "the definitive English-language account... gripping and precise." It chronicles the incredible story of Ger
ebook, 960 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Penguin Books (first published October 20th 2005)
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Arghya Dutta
This is a splendid book. Without obsessing over the brutality and sadism of individual Nazi party members, this book provides a complete and unnerving account of how the Nazis, after coming in power, "won" the support of German people. It also vividly portrays the important contribution of Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Propaganda minister, in mobilizing the people to a war for the "Living space". I am simply swept away by the coherent representation of the details of the Nazi regime. I am surprised ...more
Mikey B.
Jul 21, 2013 Mikey B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany, world-war-ii
This is a detailed and sociological analysis of Hitler and the Nazi regime’s years in power prior to the outbreak of war in 1939.

The author pursues various themes: Germany as a police state, the suppression and take-over of all media, the struggle with the Churches, the appropriation of business and putting it on a war footing, the indoctrination and manipulation of the people (by the Hitler Youth, subsidized vacations…), the war against German Jews for the support of racial purification and fin
Dec 02, 2016 Sebastien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 2nd volume in Richard Evans' trilogy on the Third Reich. Comprehensive and meticulously researched. Well-written. Not quite as interesting to me as the first volume which focused on how and why German democracy devolved into a violent terrorist regime.

This volume focuses on how the Nazis consolidated power from 33-39 and the kind of policies they enacted, their coercive methods, and how they ran their police state. I've read some interesting critiques that Evans seems to overemphasize the Na
This describes Nazi Germany during the so-called "peacetime" period, picking up where the first volume left off, and going all the way up to the start of World War II in 1939.

(view spoiler)
Jan 01, 2009 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fascism
This book is a bit harder to read (though it reads well) than vol. I -- largely because of its subject matter which, until the final chapter, necessarily takes a topical approach -- and because so much of the specifics of fascist and nazi social organization (such as the educational organization, the Italian's dopolavoro and Germany's Kraft durch Freude, social policy, etc. etc.) offers this reader (at least) the picture of a vast and squalid tedium. For all that, there of much of great interest ...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Apr 13, 2010 Lazarus P Badpenny Esq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wannabee sociopath dictator-types
" 1938 it had become clear that the neglect of intellectual abilities was causing serious problems, since a large proportion of the pupils could not grasp even the fairly basic political ideas that the teachers were trying to transmit to them."

Is anti-intellectualism the designed obsolescence of totalitarianism?

"At the Belgian border crossing, huge numbers of rabbits appear one day and declare that they are political refugees. "The Gestapo wants to arrest all giraffes as enemies of the stat
The Third Reich in Power, by Richard J. Evans, is the second book in Evans Third Reich trilogy on the rise and fall of the Nazi's in Germany. The book takes place after the events of his last book, titled The Coming of the Third Reich, which focuses primarily on the ideological background and rising nationalism and fascism in Germany in the 1920's and early 1930's.

His second book focuses primarily on the Third Reich in power in Germany (as the title may suggest...) from 1933, until the outbreak
The second book in a trilogy has a hard job to fulfill: it delineates most of the "meat and bones" of its subject matter, without either the newness and excitement of the introductory volume, or the anticipation of a satisfactory conclusion, waiting to be experienced in the third. That being said, this book is indispensable to understanding how in six and a half short years, Hitler and his associates were able to transform Germany from an economically ravaged, morally, emotionally and physically ...more
I read this book and the third book of this series back to back, and so this review pertains to both to some extent. If I could, I would give this series 4.5 stars or 4.75 stars. Evans' work really is excellent. The primary strength of this trilogy is how it focuses on the experience of the Germans before and during the war. For the first time in all my reading on WWII, I have a real sense of what it was like to have lived in Nazi Germany.

My only real issue with the books is that there is a gre
James Murphy
Mar 04, 2014 James Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Third Reich in Power is the 2d volume of Richard J. Evans's comprehensive trilogy detailing the history of Nazi Germany. To say that this volume of 826 pages of text and notes covers only 6 years--1933 to 1939--gives you some idea of how thorough this history is. This volume has to concern itself with how the new Nazi government solidified its philosophical dominance over the German people, the many steps taken toward rearmament, and, late in the decade, the political maneuvering which broug ...more
May 20, 2012 Rogier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
With the same ability to avoid easy stereotyping that was evident in the first book, this book also provides a very nuanced overview of exactly how the Nazis took over the hearts and minds of the German people, but also demonstrates the limits of all that, which were a lot more evident a lot earlier than you would think.

What perhaps interests me most is the clues you get from this book in terms of how early the Nazi's did begin to lose steam. Quite evidently already by 1936 a certain level of fa
Oct 06, 2008 Themistocles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like The Coming of the Third Reich, Evans presents us with a second volume of exhaustive work. An instant reference work, it leaves no stone unturned and gives a really accurate and detailed image of the transformation of the german society from 1933 to 1939.

Where it suffers (though it's a rather heavy word) is that, because the era is arguably not as interesting as the one preceding it in the first volume of Evan's work, some times it becomes a bit tedious - unless you're a sociology scholar or
Mar 24, 2007 Conrad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, history
The second in a series of three. The first covers the Nazi Party before it came to power, this one covers prewar Germany, and the next will cover 1936-1945. I just dove right in without having read the first one; it was still good. It looks at different aspects of German society on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Particularly interesting were the chapters on law under the Nazis (which shows how arbitrarily they exercised their power, and legitimized terror by deemphasizing reason as a basis for legi ...more
Sep 29, 2009 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly the kind of book one sits around and discusses with your colleagues. My fascination with the rise of the Third Reich and how an entire nation succumbed to the total arrogance of power. How a small band of right wing radicals could wrap themselves in family values, nationalism, use fear to motivate and blame, and in a very short time take over a nation needs attention paid to it.

Every page leads me to wonder about the occurring circumstances taking place at the time. Once the inertia
Bookmarks Magazine

Fans of William Shirer's classic Rise and Fall of the Third Reich might be disappointed by Cambridge historian Richard J. Evans's ongoing history of Nazi power. This second volume is not a gripping yarn of Hitler's cult of personality but an evenhanded, intensively researched, synthesized history. That said, it's no stuffy academic tome; the New York Times Book Review dubs Evans an "Heir to a British tradition of dons who write engagingly for a broad public." A few reviewers take aesthetic umbra

Mar 15, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-wwii
Evans traces the history of the Third Reich in the years leading up to the Second World War. The book is extremely readable. In fact, it is engrossing. Evans shows the effects of the Third Reich not only on minority groups but also on the every day Germans, answering the question about how the Reich was able to do what it did.
Czarny Pies
Sep 28, 2016 Czarny Pies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-history
After a very weak opening volume to his trilogy history of the Third Reich, Richard Evans finds his top form in "The Third Reich in Power." Evans shows how the Nazi Regime affected all the many aspects of German society: music, literature, manufacturing, education, religion, architecture, banking, etc. The comprehensiveness is astounding.

In many cases the material was entirely new to me. Evans' book has a fascinating section on Nazi agricultural policy and an analysis of the Entailment Act 0f 1
Aug 09, 2014 M.J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to M.J. by: Dan Boothby
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The second book in Evans' trilogy on the Nazi regime in Germany is a worthy successor to 'The Coming of the Third Reich', providing a slightly less compelling read, but a deeper experience. The flaws—if they can be called that—rest in the great breadth of the subject matter, as the writing remains a strong point driving the reader deeper into the reign of tyranny in the 1930s.

'The Third Reich in Power' deals with the short period of time between the seizure of power in 1933 and the invasion of P
Richard J. Evans’ The Third Reich in Power, volume two of his The Third Reich Trilogy, examines the Third Reich from its acquisition of power to the outbreak of the Second World War.

This is a very good and updated reading of the Reich’s time in power before the beginning of the war. What somewhat mars the reading is a single point: the people of Germany did not, in the author’s opinion, have a deep commitment to the Nazis. The notion is that though the support was broad it was not deep. Think o
Jason Russell
Mar 28, 2012 Jason Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As one who lived in Germany for a couple years and has deep family roots in Switzerland and Germany, I have been fascinated with the question of how Hitler and National Socialism could happen. My study of the Third Reich began with Ian Kershaw's superb two-volume biography of Hitler, which as a matter of course explored the ins and outs of the NSDAP, and WWII.

Evan's three-volume exploration of the Third Reich added much to my understanding of this brief period of European history. Of the three
Let's see...Hitler's eliminated many rivals, both in and out of the party, and locked up lots of opposition. The camps are starting, but they're not up to the Jews yet. Right now, they're onto the "asocials"--if you haven't worked in a few months--during the economic depression, remember--you could be sent to the work camps at Dachau or Mauthausen, for example, to work the quarries for the stone to erect the new buildings of the fascist architecture for an indefinite period of time. That improve ...more
Jun 24, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Third Reich In Power Richard Evans abandons linear historical narrative in favor of an approach that analyzes how the Nazi regime worked to reshape government institutions, the education system, the economy, the law, medicine, religion, and the arts to build the new People's Society and prepare it for war. While the image the Nazis sought to project during the 1930s was one of uniformity and singleness of purpose, the reality was that Nazi ideology was too inconsistent and poorly conceive ...more
Aaron Crofut
Feb 01, 2015 Aaron Crofut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
An impressive and at times overwhelming read. I imagine most folks pick this book up like I did hoping to learn how the Nazis managed to set up their brutal regime in such a thorough manner. We're looking for the lynchpin that holds the whole apparatus together. We want to know there are ways of stopping a mad machine even if they somehow manage to grab legal power.

The short of it is, there was no hope for the Germans after January 30, 1933. The average German didn't particularly love the Nazis
Mar 29, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in Richard J. Evans' Third Reich trilogy, "The Third Reich in Power," covers the life of Germany from 1933 through the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Longer than its predecessor, and at times significantly drier, it nonetheless paints an intriguing portrait of daily life under the Third Reich. Most interesting are the descriptions of how the Reich was (as was not) able to leverage political and economic support from interests as varied as academia, labor, medicine, agri ...more
Sarah Finch
Oct 26, 2012 Sarah Finch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meticulously researched and lucidly presented, the second installment in Richard J. Evans' Third Reich trilogy (following "The Coming of the Third Reich") is a rigorous tour of life under the Reich up to the end of 1939. This is not for those readers who lack prior knowledge of the Third Reich or the political landscape of Europe following the Treaty of Versailles, and it should optimally be read only after reading "The Coming of the Third Reich." That said, for those readers unintimidated by it ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Nilesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-history-etc
The pre-war years are not something many like to spend much time on, but the period is critical for anyone trying to derive lessons from the sorry period of human history. The book clearly reveals how a civil society began to accept and participate in collective barbarism.

The first book provided historical context to this period. The second book shows what most societies can degenerate to in the worst case. We often see that good people do not have enough courage, guile or collective power to r
The second volume of Richard Evans' towering new history suffers a little from being the in-between place of an historical epic. The overarching focus of the book is not a historical narrative, but a more abstract ideological and political preparation for the commencement of historical events. Continuing the emphasis of the first book, Evans reveals the universal influence of Nazi totalitarian ideology by cataloging its influence in the arena of contemporary national and international politics. ...more
Sep 28, 2009 Maryellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving it five stars just for the scope of the book. Also, it covers an area of scholarship that historians haven't explored. Evans writes about the Nazi impact on everyday German life. How it worked it's way through academic life, arts, business and social networks until it reached all the way into the private lives of Germans. Every step of the way it promised one thing and did another. It was a creeping, crawling insidiousness that caught people off guard. In the end the Germans diluded t ...more
Sep 19, 2010 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most interesting look at what was for me the least well-known period of the rise and fall of Nazi German. Mr. Evans moves methodically through the six years from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until the outbreak of the war with Poland.

At the same time he touches on such lesser-known aspects of the Third Reich is how it dealt with existing institutions, art and music in Nazi Germany, the beginnings of the genocidal horrors perpetrated against various minorities (most especially of course t
Aug 31, 2009 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second volume in Evans' history of the Third Reich. I covers the period from the Nazi ascension in 1933 to the outbreak of war in 1939. Evans describes in detail how Hitler and the Nazis accumulated total power and how they implemented their policies. The one overriding goal was the preparation for war; everything else--policies to protect small farmers, the drive to force the Jews out of Germany--was secondary to war preparation.

Aimed at both amateurs (like me) and historians, it's
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He was born in London, of Welsh parentage, and is now Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville & Caius College. Evans has also taught at the University of Stirling, University of East Anglia and Birkbeck College, London. Having been a Visiting Professor in History at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is now the Gresham Professor of Rhetoric.

More about Richard J. Evans...

Other Books in the Series

The History of the Third Reich (3 books)
  • The Coming of the Third Reich (The History of the Third Reich, #1)
  • The Third Reich At War (The History of the Third Reich, #3)

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“In each of the following chapters, dealing in turn with policing and repression, culture and propaganda, religion and education, the economy, society and everyday life, racial policy and antisemitism, and foreign policy, the overriding imperative of preparing Germany and its people for a major war emerges clearly as the common thread. But that imperative was neither rational in itself, nor followed in a coherent way. In one area after another, the contradictions and inner irrationalities of the regime emerge; the Nazi's headlong rush to war contained the seeds of the Third Reich's eventual destruction. How and why this should be so is one of the major questions that run through this book and binds its separate parts together. So do many further questions: about the extent to which the Third Reich won over the German people; the manner in which it worked; the degree to which Hitler, rather than broader systematic factors inherent in the structure of the Third Reich as a whole, drove policy onward; the possibilities of opposition, resistence, and dissent or even non-conformity to the dictates of National Socialism under a dictatorship that claimed the total allegiance of all its citizens; the nature of the Third Reich's relationship with modernity; the ways in which its policies in different areas resembled, or differed from, those pursued elsewhere in Europe and beyond during the 1930s; and much more besides.” 1 likes
“Cât de oribil, fantastic, incredibil poate să fie”, spunea Chamberlain..., ”că trebuie să săpăm tranșee și să probăm măști de gaze aici din cauza unei certe dintr-o țară îndepărtată, între oameni despre care nu știm nimic.”
Cehoslovacia era în mod clar mai departe ca India, Africa de Sud sau Australia pe harta mentală a poporului britanic...”
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