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Nazism and War (Modern Library Chronicles #20)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Second World War was the defining event of the twentieth century, leaving millions dead and redrawing the political map in ways that continue to affect nearly the entire human race. What was unprecedented, however, was not simply the war’s scale, but its causes. Unlike previous territorial or political clashes, the war launched by Nazi Germany was an ideological one, w ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Modern Library (first published November 2nd 2004)
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The main idea behind this isn’t really all that surprising – it is that war was an essential condition of Nazi fascism. I’ve come to this book as I was looking for a book that would give me a comprehensive introduction to the chronology of Nazi Germany while also giving me something to think about along the way. This book certainly did both jobs well. It is quite short – and given that I’ve been reading bits and pieces of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that isn’t as silly a criterion for r ...more
An important book for anyone interested in the history between the end of WW1 to the early Cold War years as well as Nazism and WW2. With keen insight and research the author shows how Nazi ideology was formed and how it influenced German politics and its conduct of the war. Also reveals how many Germans, despite the atrocities committed by their armed forces and police state came to see themselves as victims as the war in Europe came to a close. A compelling and oftentimes chilling book.
This book was a great history lesson of the events in Germany and the culture as Hitler rose to power and the events of WWII. I have a hard time accepting the author's premise that part of the reason that Hitler rose to power was a wide spread racial hatred in the German culture, but I really have no experience with Germans so I don't really know if it is or was true or not. It is always shocking to read about the events and what actually occurred during WWII.
Shawn Thrasher
I thought this was going to be boring. How wrong I was! This was a good, very interesting look at the Nazi regime and its infatuation with war and race politics. I liked the emphasis on the war with Russia rather than the usual British/American centered view of the war. The last chapter was particularly good.
A good short read. The book is a series of essays about the Nazis ties to war. Bessel focuses on the Nazi's racial hatreds as setting them apart. I seem to be in an 20th century atrocity phase right now...
David R.
It didn't add much new to my understanding of the subject. Occasional penetrating insights were intersperced among long narratives that are very familiar to the student of WW2.
Jane Rutherford
Listened to CD but could not find in Goodreads list. Kind of dry.
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Richard Bessel is Professor of Twentieth Century History. He works on the social and political history of modern Germany, the aftermath of the two world wars and the history of policing. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of German History and History Today.

He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.
More about Richard Bessel...
Germany 1945: From War to Peace Life in the Third Reich Germany After the First World War Life After Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts

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