Draw ing on an unprecedented range and variety of original research, Hitler's Empire sheds new light on how the Nazis designed, maintained, and lost their European dominion-and offers a chilling vision of what the world would have become had they won the war. Mark Mazower forces us to set aside timeworn opinions of the Third Reich, and instead shows how the party drew inspiration for its imperial expansion from America and Great Britain. Yet the Nazis' lack of political sophistication left them unequal to the task of ruling what their armies had conquered, despite a shocking level of cooperation from the overwhelmed countries. A work as authoritative as it is unique, Hitler's Empire is a surprising-and controversial- new appraisal of the Third Reich's rise and ultimate fall.
Many histories have focused on Hitler's costly military mistakes, particularly on the Eastern Front. Mazower largely ignores the battlefields and focuses instead on the political, racial and economic policies of the Nazi conquerors. While many parts of this story have been told before, he painstakingly examines a huge body of evidence for insights into Nazi misrule. This hardly makes for light reading, but it allows him to present a compelling case, which was best summarized by a German general at the end of the war. Addressing his fellow POWs, Ferdinand Heim argued that the German war effort would have been doomed "even if no military mistakes had been made"…all the way through, Mazower offers incisive details and insights that make Hitler's Empire a fascinating read.