Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History

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ISBN-13: 978-0521474078
ISBN-10: 0521474078
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This richly informative, scholarly but accessible collection of essays covers such topics as the Versailles Treaty and the origins of the stab-in-the-back legend; Hitler's foreign policy views before he came to power in 1933; the miscalculations of both parties to the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939; the Nazis' early euthanasia program for the elderly, the retarded and seriously wounded WWI veterans; and the German perspective on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The author's thought-provoking essays question familiar assumptions such as the alleged reluctance of Italian soldiers to engage in combat and the supposed ugly friction between the British and American military brass. Weinberg (A World at Arms) calls for further research and investigation into such matters as the summary execution of at least 25,000 German deserters during the war. BOMC and History Book Club selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

German-born historian Weinberg (A World at Arms: A New History of World War II, LJ 11/15/93) offers a new perspective on German history in relation to Hitler and the formulation of German foreign policy. These essays explore the underlying concept that Allied and Axis leaders alike realized that a top-to-bottom reconstruction of the world order was at stake in the war. Weinberg illuminates the nature of Nazism and its impact on Germany and the world. He also examines the relationship between European and Pacific theaters and successfully outlines what he considers problems in methodology of historical research and analysis. A valuable work for anyone wishing a refreshing angle on the geopolitical realities of the period and their culmination in the greatest war in human history. Recommended for diplomatic and military history collections. [BOMC and History Book Club selections.]-Thomas G. Anton, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicag.
--Thomas G. Anton, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 24, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521474078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521474078
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ReasonableGuy on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past few years, I've been working my way through quite a number of works dealing with the inter-war period -- my particular interest. (Though I should point out that this book covers the period from 1918 through the end of WWII.) I would rate this as one of the most useful. Although detailed, I found it to be very readable. However, it's not a beginner's introduction. This isn't a text directed towards a mass-market audience of casual history buffs. This is for readers who really want to sink their teeth into the deeper questions of Hitler's decision-making. I found it very stimulating.

I would describe the book as roughly chronological in layout, but more subject based in concept. As such, you'll find chapters like 3) "The World Through Hitler's Eye's"; 6) "Hitler and England, 1933-1945, Pretense and Reality"; 7) "German foreign policy and Austria"; 9) "A proposed compromise over Danzig in 1939"; 15) Pearl Harbor: The German Perspective; etc.. Weinberg's analysis is thoughtful, clearly stated, and supported by evidence. There are plently of footnotes to mine as well.

The comment by another reviewer that Weinberg is anti-German is utterly absurd. I mean let's get real. How in the blue bloody blazes does one write a book on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Era without making Germany look bad??? What nonsense!

I suspect that the real reason that some people feel the need to trash Weinberg's book is that a person informed by Weinberg's arguments, and the evidence that backs them, is also a person who is well-equipped to shred their revisionist pseudo-histories and shallow, poorly-thought-out counter-factuals.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brian FitzGerald on February 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Weinberg's short interpretations and insights make this a great book. If you are looking for a large quantity of in-depth information on the entire war then this is not the book for you. However, if you are seeking a broad overveiw of the German attitude before and during the war with regards to specific information of broad topics; this book is for you. Weinberg deals with issues such as;the European balance of power in 1918, the German generals' reaction to the planning of a war against Poland, what Germany was planning to do with their victory, the German perspective on Pearl Harbor, and many more topics. Overall this book provides great insight to areas that are not traditionally covered in other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John M. Lane on September 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a review of GEMANY, HITLER, AND WORLD WAR II: ESSAYS IN MODERN GERMAN AND WORLD HISTORY by Professor Gerhard L. Weinberg of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mine is the hardcover edition published by Cambridge University Press 1995.

Professor Weinberg brings a lot of qualifications to this book. Originally born in Germany, he served with the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and directed the American Historical Association's massive project of microfilming documents captured after Nazi Germany's surrender. Professor Weinberg's research led him to the unpublished manuscript of Hitler's sequel to MEIN KAMPF which eventually came out in an English language edition in 2006 as HITLER'S SECOND BOOK.

GERMANY, HITLER, AND WORLD WAR II was already published by that time, but it is not a conventional integrated narrative. It is a collection of twenty-three essays and an appendix which represent Professor Gerhard's best work. In "July 20, 1944: The German Resistance to Hitler," Gerhard reminds his readers that "opposition to the government of a totalitarian police state is no easy matter. If you make your disaproval of the government's policy known, you do not appear on the eleven o'clock news, you disappear forever. And you disappear quietly. Only a few friends and relatives learn that you are not around anymore; the controlled mass media make no reference to the event...." (p. 245). This may seem obvious to people who know about the Gestapo, but a surprising number of Americans do not. Worse, they have no concept of what it was like to live in police state with agencies like the Gestapo in power.

This is the real strength of Weinberg's book. He writes well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent. Several new angles on events that I hadn't heard before.
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6 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Devl's Advocate on July 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have read most of Weinberg's so called works on German history and find them to be highly subjective and of dubious value to any serious understanding of the NS era, or German foreign policy in those years.

Belittling all German sources as aplogias or fakes, Weinberg has time and again proves himself to be a most unrelaible author, with axes to grind and who is prepared to go to the extreme of falsifying sources and translations to get his hate propaganda across.

This work is not worth the paper it's printed on.
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