The final volume in Richard J. Evans's masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a “people's community” to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler's campaign of racial subjugation and genocide
Already hailed as “a masterpiece” (William Grimes in The New York Times) and “the most comprehensive history… of the Third Reich” (Ian Kershaw), this epic trilogy reaches its terrifying climax in this volume.
Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war's progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of peoplefrom generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict's great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler's suicide in the bunker. But just as important is the re-creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, staggering under pressure from Allied bombing and their own government's mounting demands upon them. At the center 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 an engrossing pictureat once sweeping and preciseof a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. It is the culmination of a historical masterwork that will remain the most authoritative work on Nazi Germany for years to come.
Evans is clearly up on all the latest research on Nazi Germany, no mean achievement in a field in which tens of thousands of books have been published. But his goal is to appeal to the general reader rather than the professional historian, and he succeeds brilliantly, producing a book that is beautifully written and, despite its length and grim subject matter, easily digestible, even gripping…This is history in the grand style, the kind of large-scale narrative that few historians dare to write these days. It is difficult to imagine how it could be improved upon, let alone surpassed.