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The Germanic sub-title -- ""A Personal Narrative of Naziism that explains the Origins of the Present World Tragedy"" is only partially definitive of the contents of this new book. In letter form (to his present compatriots- the English) Rauschning traces the forms of government which preceded Naziism, (Monarchy, the Weimar Republic), shows how each failed, and then clarifies why Germany, and he also, turned to Naziism as a potential solution. What Rauschning had envisioned was ""The Conservative Revolution"", and by Conservative he means not reaction, but conservation, remaining within the lines of existing traditions, preserving private ownership, the freedom of the individual, etc. And within these lines, achieving a synthesis of the forces of tradition, preserving ""nationalism and liberalism, rationalism and socialism"", he hoped to establish social security, prevent economic crises, and overcome national rivalries. These were his aims as President of the Danzig State; these he could not accomplish through Naziism, and therefore turned against it. As the above shows, there is much that is visionary, much that is stimulating; but there is also much that needs qualification and definition. To many this book will be difficult- not only to read- but also to understand. Much of Rauschning's writing is disconnected, too often he deals in high-order abstractions. His name assures a certain market, but I query it's paralleling the success of The Revolution of Nihilism.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1941
Publisher: Putnam