HITLER'S GERMANY by Roderick Stackelberg


Origins, Interpretations, Legacies
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paper 0-415-20115-2 A superb introduction for the general reader to the history of Nazi Germany. Discussion of Germany’s Nazi past is never far from public discourse. With the return of the German capital to Berlin on the eve of the millennium, there is likely to be a spate of books on Germany’s coming to grips with its Nazi legacy. Stackelberg (Humanities/Gonzaga Univ.; Idealism Debased: From Volkisch Ideology to National Socialism, not reviewed) has produced a clearly written, intelligible one that should be read before any others. He does well in providing the historical context which is needed to understand the rise of Nazism. The development of modern Germany is traced from its origins in 18th-century Prussia through its unification under Bismarck and growth under Kaiser Wilhelm II. Stackelberg skillfully narrates the cataclysm of the First World War and the troubled times of the Weimar Republic. He presents a well-rounded treatment of Nazi Germany in its social, economic, political, military, and ideological aspects. The Nazi persecution of the Jews and the history of the Holocaust are accorded their own chapters commensurate with their central importance. The author concludes with the painful aftermath of Nazism and gives an analytical summary of the historiographical debates on Nazi Germany that have taken place from the Second World War’s end to the present day. While stressing the authoritarian tradition that led to Hitler, Stackelberg is always careful to counterbalance this focus by noting that Nazism was not inevitable, but the result of human frailty. One of the best historical surveys on the subject to appear in many years.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1999
ISBN: 0-415-20114-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Routledge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1999


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