In this masterful narrative, acclaimed historian Giles MacDonogh chronicles Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power over the course of one year. Until 1938, Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem to Germany alone; after 1938 he was clearly a threat to the entire world.
It was in 1938 that Third Reich came of age. The Fehrer brought Germany into line with Nazi ideology and revealed his plans to take back those parts of Europe lost to "Greater Germany" after the First World War. From the purging of the army in January through the Anschluss in March, from the Munich Conference in September to the ravages of Kristallnacht in November, MacDonogh offers a gripping account of the year Adolf Hitler came into his own and set the world inexorably on track to a cataclysmic war.
About the Author
A graduate of Oxford University, Giles MacDonogh is the author of several books on German history and has written for the Financial Times, the Times (London), the Guardian, and the Evening Standard. He lives in London.
MacDonogh's narrative of the events of 1938 makes compelling but painful reading. The month-by-month format he has adopted emphasizes the improvisation that was at the heart of Hitler's strategy, and highlights more cruelly the opportunities that were lost, even a year before the start of the war, to call his bluff and thrust events onto a different path. What if?” remains the most tantalizing of historical questions, but this absorbing book obliges us to ask it.”
[A] compelling survey of a tumultuous year.... Giles MacDonogh has repeatedly shown himself to be in the front rank of British scholars of German history. The depth of his human understanding, the judiciousness of his pickings from source material and the quality of his writing make this a book at once gripping and grave.”
Sunday Telegraph (UK)
As Giles MacDonogh convincingly argues, 1938 was Hitler's annus mirabilis.... [His] account of the Anschluss and its aftermath is a masterpiece of extreme emotion held in check. His level tone as he reels off appalling atrocities and such chilling statistics as the steadily rising suicide rate among Jews trapped in Vienna somehow makes the tragedy of the destruction of a whole community even more telling.... Moving and searing.”
BBC History Magazine
A fine book.... Well-written, combining its diverse sources with elegance and skill, and painting an engaging canvas of the disaster that was developing in Germany and was soon to engulf Europe as a whole.... [Giles MacDonogh's] searing descriptions of the fate endured by Austrian Jewry from expropriation, casual cruelty and exile, to calculated persecution and murder are especially impassioned and moving.... It ably conveys the growing desperation and alarm felt by many that year, as Germany began to flex its muscles internationally and stepped up its persecution of its perceived enemies.”
[MacDonogh] is able to mine dozens of sources in German...[which] help us understand the roots of genocide. The book is excellent on the details of how the Nazis turned on the Jews.”
A chilling examination of a critical year in European history.”
Edinburgh Evening News
Adolf Hitler was a natural gambler, and this book graphically describes the critical year of 1938 when his winning streak took off.... Harrowing.”
A powerful, disturbing and invaluable analysis of the events in 1938 that enabled Hitler to unleash the full force of his insanity and destruction on the world.”