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The Third Reich

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,051 Ratings  ·  51 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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Mark Walker No. Muddled. Flits. Lacks structure. Functional prose.
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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
Jamie Rose
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up as a lover of modern history, I always had a permanent etching of what a Nazi solider looked like. Popular culture dictated to me an image of an imposing machine who was the embodiment of the Angel of Death. He was the tall, aquiline gazing, blond-haired and blue eyed man clad in Waffen-SS grey who obeyed every murderous order to the letter. Sort of like this:

In Michael Burleigh's tome "The Third Reich: A New History", the image of that solider and what he represented was written so
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-history
A great book that doesn't focus on the military for a change. Coming from a military obsessed scholar, it's a refreshing change. Most of the details in the book aren't shocking to me, being an avid fan of third Reich history. This book does shed light on how horrible not just Hitler is, but also the regime that he came into. A very drudging book to read, but worth every single page. I will def recommend this to anyone who is bored of the military Third Reich.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Aproximación social, política y, en cierto sentido, religiosa al asunto.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Con el subtítulo “una nueva historia”, acercamiento al Reich de Adolf Hitler, desde su gestación en la República de Weimar hasta el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, tratando de exponer cómo una sociedad abraza, en su gran mayoría, una opción totalitaria, agresiva y demagógica.

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Mike Love
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Brian Kenny
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long and dense, but worth it. Compelling argues how Nazism became the equivilent of a state religion.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best histories of Nazi Germany I have ever read. The chapter on eugenics is excellent.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A worthy companion to Shirer, with additional insight and analysis
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Germanists, European Historians, Students of the Holocaust
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
To begin with: this book is not what expected or hoped for. In my life as a reviewer and student of the Third Reich, I am often asked for a book that will serve as an introduction for interested individuals with no training in history, who want something better than the History Channel or William Shirer. This book is not that. Burleigh is not a popular history writer, and this book is no introduction. At several points, he says “much has already been written about” an aspect or that “there is no ...more
Andreas Schmidt
Da buon bibliofilo e ossessionato dalla Seconda guerra mondiale, l'ho letto, ma un sacco di tempo fa. Mi ricordo alcune citazioni e il resto fluttua in un mare nebbioso di ricordi e conoscenze intricatissime sul periodo. Posso dire soltanto che Burleigh da buon americano si diverta comunque a sparare a zero sull'eurocentrismo e sulla nostra tendenza del tutto inconcepibile di sviluppare regimi dittatoriali e sul fatto che questo *per noi* sia una cosa normale. Ma, ripeto, soltanto in alcuni pass ...more
Oct 11, 2017 marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
Recomendado como estudio dedicado al nazismo en Europa en Guerra.
Alfredo González
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. A different view o the nazi ideology.
James Spencer
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually had trouble deciding whether this was a three star or a five star effort (it is certainly too good to be less than three). The book is subtitled "A New History" but this is not a normal history of Hitler's Germany at all. Rather it is review of what the author calls the "politics of faith" and how the Nazi regime effected individual people. Richard Evans in the Preface to his three volume history of the Third Reich says explains my thoughts exactly:

[Burleigh's book] brings home to rea
Feb 17, 2017 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Super convoluted. Seems predicated by the premise that reader already has a decent knowledge of the history of Germany. Probably best suited to a researcher.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As brilliantly successful as it is staggeringly ambitious, Burleigh's "New History" of the Third Reich is rightly regarded as a classic work of history. Not for the faint of heart, both because of the material he covers and the sheer scope and resultant page count. This is no mere survey or work of "popular" history, but a serious scholarly investigation into the phenomenon of Nazism from its birth as a sordid revenge-fantasy in the post-apocalyptic chaos of post-WWI Bavaria to its grisly self-i ...more
Tres Herndon
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Timothy Taylor
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
. . . Dangerous admission for an academic prehistorian but this is (genuinely) the first really full length (almost 1000 pages with notes) history book I have ever read cover-to-cover. I have another Burleigh lined up, courtesy of my brother-in-law, so it will not be the last. In terms of sentence structure the man needed a subeditor - there are too many garbled sentences. But that's not what one reads it for, and it is actually pretty literate and expressive on the whole (the mistakes forgivab ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A very in depth read that goes into the details that other books do not.Be warned though, this assumes that the reader has prior knowledge of the main facts and then delves deeper into how things actually worked in the Third Reich.It brings up a load of forgotten heroes that history deserves to remember such as people who spoke out against the Nazis when it was not safe to do so.It shows how barbaric the Nazis were and how they went about killing people and making people go along with it.Some of ...more
Marius van Blerck
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chandy John
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I just finished reading this book the second time. The first time I read it, more than a dozen years ago, I found it cumbersome. In parts, I still find it to be the same- the only reason I haven't rated it a favorite. But it is a very scholarly book, very well written and researched.

What I probably liked most was the fact that it lives up to its claim of "A New History." After having read so much about the Nazis, (to the point where I find almost any book on them boring now) it still throws up
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-world-war
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
Michael Pugh
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
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Goodreads Librari...: please add book cover from amazon 2 14 Jun 27, 2015 04:11AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN13: 9789505118472 2 20 Jun 07, 2012 02:13AM  
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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 about Michael Burleigh...