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1938: Hitler's Gamble

Giles MacDonogh.
Publisher Constable  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.75 x 5.1 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9781849013383
Pages/Publication Date 407/2010
Daedalus Item Code 22643
This item is not available.
Until 1938, Adolf Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem to Germany alone; by 1939 he was clearly a threat to the entire world. As historian Giles MacDonogh chronicles here, this was the year that the Third Reich came of age with Hitler's consolidation of power. The Führer brought Germany into line with Nazi ideology and revealed his plans to take back those parts of Europe lost to "Greater Germany" after the First World War. From the purging of the army in January through the Anschluss of Austria and the Sudetenland in March, from the Munich Conference in September to the ravages of Kristallnacht in November, MacDonogh offers a gripping account of the year Hitler came into his own.

"Might-have-beens haunt this insightful narrative of a watershed in the history of Nazi Germany. MacDonogh ... portrays these events not as an unfolding master plan but as a series of gambles by a sometimes chaotic Nazi regime plagued by infighting among Hitler's satraps, Wehrmacht coup plots, a collapsing economy (the Anschluss was motivated partly by a need to plunder Austria's treasury and raw materials), and jitters about foreign reaction. The Führer perseveres with theatrical bullying and nervy improvisations that are matched by the Western powers' appeasement; a tragic theme of MacDonogh's story is how easily a determined resistance, from within Germany or without, might have derailed Hitler's initiatives. Another is the callousness of the international community; much of the book follows the travails of Jews who faced closed doors when the Reich was eager to expel them. This well-researched, fine-grained study sketches the moral rot that made possible Hitler's rise."—Publishers Weekly

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