List of Illustrations
Nazism and the Contemporary World: Meaningful and Dubious Historical Parallels
Part One: The Origins and Development ofNazism, 1919–1928
1 Weimar Democracy in Crisis
2 The Rise of Hitler and Nazism
3 The Historical Roots of Nazi Ideology
4 Party Structure, Propaganda, and Followers during the “Early Years of Struggle”
Part Two: The Seizure and Consolidationof Power, 1929–1934
5 Parliamentary Paralysis and the Nazi Breakthrough of 1930
6 Hitler’s Legal Path to Power
7 The Pseudolegal Revolution
Part Three: The Nazification ofGerman Society, 1934–1938
8 The Total State versus the Dual State and Polycracy
9 Political Biology, Culture, and Society
10 SS Terror, Anti-Semitism, and Resistance to Nazification
Part Four: The Rise and Fall of theNazi Empire in Europe, 1933–1945
11 The Führer as Statesman: Ideology and Foreign Policy
12 The Führer as Warrior: Victory and Conquest
13 From Domination to Retreat
14 The Holocaust, Resistance, and Defeat
Afterword: From Nuremberg to Vergangenheitsbewältigung
Appendix: The Intractable Nazi Legacy in Film: Propaganda and History
Subjects Recommended for Reading and Research
About the Author
Those looking for a concise description and explanation of Nazi Germany cannot do better than to read Joseph Bendersky’s book, with its balanced and penetrating new introduction. Bendersky decries loose and polemical analogies based on the Nazi experience. But nazism, he argues, does relate to some anti-democratic and anti-Semitic currents in the twenty-first-century world.
Widely used in university classrooms, Bendersky’sA Concise History of Nazi Germany has long been a classic text. Based on the latest scholarship, it is a reliable and a very accessible guide through the Nazi regime and its relevance to understanding contemporary challenges.
For anyone interested in how a democracy can develop into a brutal dictatorship, this book is indispensable reading. Bendersky provides not only the details but also the analysis and the historical insight that explain the weak points of democracies and the characteristics of totalitarian rule. Both thoughtful and emotionally compelling, this book illuminates with the precision of the specialist and yet the language of the casual reader the everyday decisions that led to the single greatest catastrophe of the modern world.
Those seeking to understand the hows and whys of Hitler’s Third Reich should start here with Joseph Bendersky’s masterful synthesis of the German experience during the 1930s and ‘40s.