from the publisher:
Until now there has been no up-to-date, one-volume, international history of Nazi Germany, despite its being among the most studied phenomena of our time. The Third Reich restores a broad perspective and intellectual unity to issues that have become academic subspecialties and offers a brilliant new interpretation of Hitler's evil rule.
Filled with human and moral considerations that are missing from theoretical accounts, Michael Burleigh's book gives full weight to the experience of ordinary people who were swept up in, or repelled by, Hitler's movement. It emphasizes, as well, the international themes -- for Nazi Germany appealed to the political classes and the ordinary people of many European nations, its wartime conduct included efforts to dominate the entire continent's economy, and its murderous policies involved gigantic population transfers and exterminations, recruitment of foreign labor, and multinational armies.
What happened when many, or most, of Germany's elite as well as a majority of its citizenry chose not to think for themselves and to favor instead a politics based on faith, hope, hatred, and sentimental regard for their own race and nation? The consequences were catastrophic for Germany, Europe, and the wider world, but no more so than for European Jews. Michael Burleigh's account of the moral breakdown and transformation of an advanced industrial society in the heart of Europe is a remarkably clearheaded assessment of the dangerous consequences when, in a country still obsessed with its losses in a previous war, a political movement takes on the form of a pseudo- or substitute religion. His narrative of events in Nazi Germany, and in a world that was forced to respond to its criminal actions, is a masterpiece of great intellectual and moral courage.
Michael Burleigh, William R. Kenan Visiting Professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, is Distinguished Research Professor in Modern History at Cardiff University. He is the author of six well-received books on modern European history, including The Racial State and Ethics and Extermination.
"Michael Burleigh's The Third Reich deserves high praise. There is no better interpretative history of the period, nor is there likely to be one soon. His mastery of the sources, old as well as very recent, is remarkable, his judgment is sound, and the narrative could not be bettered." --Walter Laqueur
"This book is a remarkable achievement. Michael Burleigh has succeeded in presenting a comprehensive history of the criminality of the Third Reich as well as of the (very limited) efforts to resist it. Although the book concentrates on the successive phases of the growing horror, Burleigh has managed to place his narration within a general representation of Hitler's Germany, from its inception to its demise. His extraordinary mastery of an immense monographic literature, and the cogency of his overall interpretation based an the notion of political religion, give The Third Reich the status of a classic." --Saul Friedlšnder