Berlin,1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany, in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent U.S. State Department, while Martha is drawn to the Nazis and their vision of a 'New Germany' and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as the year darkens, Dodd and his daughter find their lives transformed and any last illusion they might have about Hitler are shattered by the violence of the 'Night of the Long Knives' in the summer of 1934 that established him as supreme dictator. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler amongst others, Erik Larson's new book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history.
Two men came to personify British and German generalship in the Second World War: Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel. They fought a series of extraordinary duels across several theatres of war which established them as two of the greatest captains of their age. Our understanding of leadership in battle was altered for ever by their electrifying personal qualities. Ever since, historians have assessed their outstanding leadership, personalities and skill. The careers of both began on the periphery of the military establishment and represent the first time military commanders proactively and systematically used (and were used by) the media as they came to prominence, first in North Africa, then in Normandy. Dynamic and forward-thinking, their lives also represent a study of pride, propaganda and nostalgia. Caddick-Adams tracks and compares their military talents and personalities in battle. Each brought something special to their commands. Rommel's breathtaking advance in May-June 1940 was nothing less than inspired. Montgomery is a gift for leadership gurus in the way he took over a demoralised Eighth Army in August 1942 and led it to victory just two months later. This compelling work is both scholarly and entertaining and marks the debut of a major new talent in historical biography.
From his first visit to Berlin in 1916, Hitler was preoccupied and fascinated by Germany's great capital city. In this vivid and entirely new account of Hitler's relationship with Berlin, Thomas Friedrich explores how Hitler identified with the city, how his political aspirations were reflected in architectural aspirations for the capital, and how Berlin surprisingly influenced the development of Hitler's political ideas. A leading expert on the twentieth-century history of Berlin, Friedrich employs new and little-known German sources to track Hitler's attitudes and plans for the city. Even while he despised both the cosmopolitan culture of the Weimar Republic and the profound Jewish influence on the city, Hitler was drawn to the grandiosity of its architecture and its imperial spirit. He dreamed of transforming Berlin into a capital that would reflect his autocracy, and he used the city for such varied purposes as testing his anti-Semitic policies and demonstrating the might of the Third Reich. Illuminating Berlin's burdened years under Nazi subjection, Friedrich offers new understandings of Hitler and his politics, architectural views, and artistic opinions.
“Riveting…An elegantly composed study, important and even timely” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) history of the Third Reich—how Adolf Hitler and a core group of Nazis rose from obscurity to power and plunged the world into World War II. In “the new definitive volume on the subject” (Houston Press), Thomas Childers shows how the young Hitler became passionately political and anti-Semitic as he lived on the margins of society. Fueled by outrage at the punitive terms imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty, he found his voice and drew a loyal following. As his views developed, Hitler attracted like-minded colleagues who formed the nucleus of the nascent Nazi party. Between 1924 and 1929, Hitler and his party languished in obscurity on the radical fringes of German politics, but the onset of the Great Depression gave them the opportunity to move into the mainstream. Hitler blamed Germany’s misery on the victorious allies, the Marxists, the Jews, and big business—and the political parties that represented them. By 1932 the Nazis had become the largest political party in Germany, and within six months they transformed a dysfunctional democracy into a totalitarian state and began the inexorable march to World War II and the Holocaust. It is these fraught times that Childers brings to life: the Nazis’ unlikely rise and how they consolidated their power once they achieved it. Based in part on German documents seldom used by previous historians, The Third Reich is a “powerful…reminder of what happens when power goes unchecked” (San Francisco Book Review). This is the most comprehensive and readable one-volume history of Nazi Germany since the classic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
In this comprehensive history, John Keegan explores both the technical and the human impact of the greatest war of all time. He focuses on five crucial battles and offers new insights into the distinctive methods and motivations of modern warfare. In knowledgable, perceptive analysis of the airborne battle of Crete, the carrier battle of Midway, the tank battle of Falaise, the city battle of Berlin, and the amphibious battle of Okinawa, Keegan illuminates the strategic dilemmas faced by the leaders and the consequences of their decisions on the fighting men and the course of the war as a whole.
The Nazi regime was essentially a religious cult, relying on the hypnotic personality of one man, Adolf Hitler, and it was fated to die with him. But while it lasted, his closest lieutenants competed ferociously for power and position as his chosen successor. This deadly contest accounted for many of the regime's worst excesses, in which millions of people died, and which brought Western civilization to its knees. The Devil's Disciples is the first major book for a general readership to examine those lieutenants, not only as individuals but also as a group. It focuses on the three Nazi paladins closest to Hitler - Goring, Goebbels and Himmler - with their nearest rivals - Bormann, Speer and Ribbentrop in close attendance. Others who were removed in various ways - like Gregor Strasser, Ernst R-hm, Heydrich and Hess - play supporting roles. Perceptive and illuminating, The Devil's Disciples is above all a powerful chronological narrative, showing how the personalities of Hitler's inner circle developed and how their jealousies and constant intrigues affected the regime, the war, and Hitler himself.
As the Nazi war machine caused death and destruction throughout Europe, one man in the Fatherland began his own reign of terror. This is the true story of the pursuit and capture of a serial killer in the heart of the Third Reich. For all appearances, Paul Ogorzow was a model German. An employed family man, party member, and sergeant in the infamous Brownshirts, he had worked his way up in the Berlin railroad from a manual laborer laying track to assistant signalman. But he also had a secret need to harass and frighten women. Then he was given a gift from the Nazi high command. Due to Allied bombing raids, a total blackout was instituted throughout Berlin, including on the commuter trains—trains often used by women riding home alone from the factories. Under cover of darkness and with a helpless flock of victims to choose from, Ogorzow’s depredations grew more and more horrific. He escalated from simply frightening women to physically attacking them, eventually raping and murdering them. Beginning in September 1940, he started casually tossing their bodies off the moving train. Though the Nazi party tried to censor news of the attacks, the women of Berlin soon lived in a state of constant fear. It was up to Wilhelm Lüdtke, head of the Berlin police’s serious crimes division, to hunt down the madman in their midst. For the first time, the gripping full story of Ogorzow’s killing spree and Lüdtke’s relentless pursuit is told in dramatic detail. From the Hardcover edition.
The Munich crisis of 1938, in which Great Britain and France decided to appease Hitler's demands to annex the Sudentenland, has provoked a vast amount of historical writing. The era has been thoroughly examined from the perspectives of Germans, French, and British political establishments. But historians have had, until now, only a vague understanding of the roles played by the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, the country whose very existence was at the very center of the crisis. In Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler, Igor Lukes explores this turbulent and tragic era from the new perspective of the Prague government itself. At the center of this study is Edvard Benes, a Czechoslovak foreign policy strategist and a major player in the political machinations of the era. The work looks at the first two decades of Benes's diplomacy and analyzes the Prague Government's attempts to secure the existence of the Republic of Czechoslovakia in the treacherous space between the millstones of the East and West. It studies Benes's relationship with Joseph Stalin, outlines the role assigned to Czechoslovak communists by the VIIth Congress of the Communist International in 1935, and dissects Prague's secret negotiations with Berlin and Benes's role in the famous Tukhachevsky affair. The work also brings evidence regarding the so-called partial mobilization of the Czechoslovak army in May 1938, and focuses on Stalin's strategic thinking on the eve of the World War II. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was difficult for Western researchers to gain access to the rich archival collections of the East. Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler makes ample use of these secret archives, both in Prague and in Russia. As a result, it is an accurate and original rendition of the events which eventually sparked the Second World War.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, this is the bestselling story about a rowing team's quest for Olympic gold in Nazi Germany. Cast aside by his family at an early age, abandoned and left to fend for himself in the woods of Washington State, young Joe Rantz turns to rowing as a way of escaping his past. What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory at the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. Stroke by stroke, a remarkable young man strives to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others – and to find his way back home. Told against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat is narrative non-fiction of the first order; a personal story full of lyricism and unexpected beauty that rises above the grand sweep of history, and captures instead the purest essence of what it means to be alive. ‘I really can't rave enough about this book . . . I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes’ David Laskin, author of The Children's Blizzard and The Long Way Home