The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans
If you have ever pondered that great mystery of the twentieth century – how did a supposedly modern civilised western country like Germany let itself be led into the barbarities of World War Two – then this book (and indeed the trilogy of which it is the second part) is for you. Evans examines every aspect of German society and culture and shows how it was “co-ordinated” by the Nazi party as part of their thorough-going totalitarianism – their attempt to control everything about a person’s life. He covers youth groups, universities, schooling, art, music, literature, work…there was nothing too trivial for the Nazis to control, they even took over sports clubs, making them parts of the party’s apparatus serving the racial and political agenda! This mammoth book can be hard going – it is hardly pleasant subject matter after all – but it is well worth it. Masterful in its treatment, immense in breadth and depth as well as being persuasive and humane. It sets a new standard for scholarship in its field.