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Richard J. Evans (1) (1947–)

Teoksen The Coming of the Third Reich tekijä

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Tietoja tekijästä

Richard J. Evans is Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University. He is the author of a trilogy on the Third Reich and, most recently, The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914. He is currently writing a biography of the historian Eric Hobsbawm.


Tekijän teokset

The Coming of the Third Reich (2003) — Tekijä — 2,150 kappaletta, 47 arvostelua
The Third Reich in Power (2005) — Tekijä — 1,541 kappaletta, 22 arvostelua
The Third Reich at War (2009) — Tekijä — 1,337 kappaletta, 26 arvostelua
In Defense of History (1997) 785 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
The Pursuit of Power : Europe 1815-1914 (2016) 617 kappaletta, 14 arvostelua
Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History (2019) 86 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History (2014) 66 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
IN HITLER'S SHADOW (1989) 58 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Feminists (1977) 35 kappaletta
The Third Reich trilogy (2008) 14 kappaletta
Society and politics in Wilhelmine Germany (1978) — Toimittaja — 11 kappaletta

Associated Works

Mitä historia on (1961) — Johdanto, eräät painokset1,993 kappaletta, 29 arvostelua
Diary of a Man in Despair (1970) — Jälkisanat, eräät painokset362 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
What Is History Now? (2002) — Avustaja — 104 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Virallinen nimi
Evans, Sir Richard John
Woodford, Essex, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Forest School, Walthamstow, London, UK
University of Oxford (Jesus College, St Antony's College)
University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, UK
Regius Professor of Modern History Emeritus
University of Cambridge (Chairman of the Faculty of History)
Royal Society of Literature (Fellow)
Learned Society of Wales (founding fellow)
Royal Historical Society (Fellow)
British Academy (Fellow)
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge
Knight Bachelor (2012)
Andrew Wylie
Lyhyt elämäkerta
In addition to his writing and teaching, Prof. Evans is also a distinguished lecturer who often speaks at international conferences, student conferences and on television and radio, which he considers part of his remit to take history to a wider audience beyond academia.



A compellingly readable narrative history of the particular parts of German history 1918-1933 (with a very brief recap of the Bismarck era that created German conservatism) that led to the rise of the Nazi Party. It's hard for me to judge if there are notable omissions as someone with only a basic understanding of the period. Obviously there are lots of parts where you could want extra information but that's the nature of a summary work.

I did wonder if there could have been more on the inter-left struggles that so doomed any SPD/KPD collaboration - the murders of Luxemburg and Liebknecht are mentioned but not even the event that led to them. There's also little on where the upper class support and funding came from - there's mention of aristocratic connections and also one little note about how the richer funders were small and medium businessmen with the big businesses preferring other parties until Hitler's ascension but minimal details unfortunately.

What stands out most is his emphasising of the Nazis as coming from continuity and the utter failure of the SPD to ever take the very real threat of the far right (including pre-nazi nationalist parties and the inherited aristocracy) seriously.

I know this book doesn't even cover a lot of things the SDP did, or at least not in detail (for example the Ruhr uprising is mentioned and the SDP moving to crush it but it's only a few sentences), but there were still things that surprised me even as someone who was exposed to a lot of communist anger about social democrats. Friedrich Ebert comes across as a particularly unpleasant figure. His interventions in the days of 1918 allowed many of the worst parts of the second Reich to carry over - the embedded aristocratic reactionaries in the army and civil service, the dominance of the Junkers, and even the more bland administrative issues like the imperfect federal system. Then as president he immediately legitimised ruling by decree instead of through the Reichstag and dissolved 2 state legislatures, paving the way for a similar move by Von Papen 10 years later for SDP governed Prussia, because although they were ruled by his party the SDP he considered them too dangerously left wing!

The SDP in general constantly failed to see the threat from the right, or at least meaningfully act on it, even as the Reichstag became dominated by anti-weimar parties. Weimar was created as a compromise to at least partly satisfy the right and it didn't stop them hating it from the start. Outside of actions against the left the SDP had a completely useless fixation on "legality" even to the very end (Sidenote: apparently in the night of the long knives Von Papen was roughed up by the SA and he just futilely protested that it was illegal to do this to him as he was vice chancellor). By the 1932 elections they were the only party that had a genuine interest in the Weimar constitution. They were reduced to the pathetic state of mobilising their party machine to vote for Hindenburg, who hated the SDP and the Weimar Republic, in order to try and desperately prop up the constitution under an authoritarian right wing chancellor from the centre party who had barely any Reichstag support and also hated the SDP. Evans points to this as the point where the SDP essentially lost any influence over the situation, demoralising their organised base and handing the state to the far right. Their later refusal to countenance a general strike or organise their paramilitary to fight back on Hitler's ascension was abysmal but almost understandable because by that point they'd failed for so long fighting back would have led to a massacre.

Evans also emphasises the long mainstream right wing ideological roots of the Nazi party. To many of the voters it attracted (predominantly middle class - workers and the unemployed overall stuck to the SDP and communists to the very end) it didn't seem that different in message from the other conservative parties, just with a new vibrancy and style. Anti semitism was just normal from all parties except the SDP and KPD (and even there the occasional party journal would use anti Semitic caricatures). The idea of an all powerful dictator and the crushing of meaningful parliamentarianism and who would lead a German militaristic reawakening to create a new German empire - this was all common imagery on the right and throughout educated society. Of the 3 major parties that formed the "Weimar coalition" at its founding - the Social Democratic Party, the Catholic Centre party, and the liberals of the democratic party - only the SDP held out to the end. The liberals quickly fell apart and declined into near irrelevance (except for 1 who became chancellor but was disliked by his party), the major part moving to the right. The centre party's Weimar supporting faction fell out of power by the time of the great depression under heavy pressure from the pope who much preferred an authoritarian far right state using the godless Reds as a bogeyman. Even if the Nazis hadn't existed in the form they did, by the 1930s there would have been some kind of authoritarian coup, most likely led by the army.

Evans focuses on the hyperinflation of the early 1920s and the great depression as the key events that made it near impossible for the republic to survive. The first destroyed the possibility of the middle class bourgeoisie reconciling themselves to the republic as they blamed it for their losses and the massive instability - also connecting it to the effects of the Versailles treaty. The great depression created massive unemployment which destroyed government budgets again and destroyed the last Reichstag coalition because there was no agreement on how to deal with it, putting government power entirely in Hindenburg's hands as chancellors were appointed by him without reference to the Reichstag and required his powers to rule by decree. The succeeding cabinets then completely failed to address the problems.

There was a sense in which the non-nazi forces just ran out of road - if there'd been another year, maybe things could have stabilised economically. In the second elections of 1932 the Nazis lost seats and could have lost momentum. But by that point things had reached crisis point and there was just not enough active support for the state as-is. There's a sort of grim inevitability to the final months of events - in the end nobody was willing to fight and just gave in. The communists may have done but they catastrophically misjudged just how urgent it was to react immediately to Hitler and assumed they could lie low under a period of repression without being destroyed. The SDP never raised a finger and let their paramilitaries and union members be disarmed without a fight. Even to the last, their deputies unanimously voted to support a Nazi motion in parliament to avoid being deemed unpatriotic before they were kicked out for good. The German aristocratic far right vastly overestimated their own strength and just assumed they could control events through legality and were anyway mostly soon reconciled to the Nazis after their parties were forcibly dissolved.

Depressing, but enlightening.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
tombomp | 46 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 31, 2023 |
This is a very readable history of living under the Third Reich up to the point that war is declared by Britain. Highly recommended.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
everettroberts | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 20, 2023 |
Very good introduction to the Third Reich for the beginner.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
everettroberts | 46 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 20, 2023 |
A very good ending to a very good series. I would recommend Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer for an introduction to WW2 but if you want to start to delve deeper I would definitely recommend this series next.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
everettroberts | 25 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 20, 2023 |



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David Blackbourn Contributor
Dick Geary Contributor
Stephen Hickey Contributor
Barbara HOCHSTEDT Translator, Traduction
Paul Chemla Translator, Traduction
Joe Montgomery Cover designer
Jason Booher Cover designer
Darren Haggar Cover designer
Philip Pascuzzo Cover designer


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