The Third Reich: Charisma and Community / Edition 1

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The twelve years of the Third Reich cast a dark shadow over history and fierce debates still rage over the reasons why the regime survived for so long. What was the secret of Hitler's extraordinary popularity? What was the appeal of National Socialism? Why did the German people stay loyal to the Reich even when it seemed that all was lost?

In this impressive and often disturbing new work Martin Kitchen shows us how ordinary people can fall prey to fanatical, irrational, even apocalyptic ideas in times of seeming desperation. In exploring such key concerns as the role of ideology in National Socialism, the co-option of elites, the descent into war over 'race and space' and the culminating horror of the holocaust, Kitchen compares Nazism to a 'secular religion' whose charismatic leader retained enormous power over the minds and bodies of an entire population even when the military and economic basis of its appeal began to erode.

Nazi Germany continues to fascinate because of its extraordinary radicalism as well as its strange and deadly mixture of the modern and the atavistic. The Third Reich: Charisma and Community is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the destructive lure of charisma and power.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405801690
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/14/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 403
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Kitchen is Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, Canada and the author of numerous books and scholarly articles on German and European history including Nazi Germany at War (Longman, 1994), Europe Between the Wars (2nd extended edition, Longman, 2006) and A World in Flames: A Concise History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia (Longman, 1990).

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations     ix
Author's acknowledgements     xi
Publisher's acknowledgements     xii
List of maps     xiii
Background     1
The origins of National Socialism     31
Hitler as chancellor     60
Reordering society and the economy     122
The churches and education     164
The arts and propaganda     180
The SA, SS and police     219
Foreign policy     272
The Shoah     304
The war     332
Notes     373
Further reading     379
Index     400
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