The third and final volume in Richard J Evans’s masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, against the background of the mobilization of the ‘people’s community’ in the service of a war of conquest, racial subjugation and genocide. Interweaving a broad narrative of the war’s progress with personal testimony from a wide range of people, from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives, Richard Evans lays bare the dynamics of a society plunged into war at every level. The great battles and events of the war are here, from the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker, but just as important is the recreation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, under the growing impact of the mass bombing of Germany’s towns and cities. At the centre of the book is the Nazi extermination of Europe’s Jews, set in the context of Hitler’s genocidal plans for the racial restructuring of Europe. Blending narrative, description and analysis, The Third Reich at War creates a picture of a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking a large part of Europe with it.
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Richard J Evans is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. His previous books include In Defence of History, Telling Lies about Hitler and the companions to this title, The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power. He lives outside Cambridge.
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