Book Review: The Third Reich in Power 1933 - 1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation

By Richard J. Evans

This book is the second in a trilogy by Evans charting almost every aspect of the effect of the Third Reich on the transformation of German society, from its conception to its destruction.

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Price: £ 10:00
Publication Date 2006
ISBN: 0141009764

Firstly, don’t be concerned if you haven’t read the companion book 'The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis destroyed democracy and Seized Power in Germany' –which mostly concerns itself with the Weimar era, as what you essentially need to know is comprehensibly summed up in the introduction. 'The Third Reich In Power' charts the social ‘development’ of the Third Reich, from when the Nazis came to power in 1933 to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, whilst giving one of the most lucid and accessible accounts of the political structure of the Nazi regime I have read since Michael Burleigh’s The Third Reich: A History (Pan Books 2001). The book’s chapters present a system of covering different aspects of Nazi rule during the period 1933 to 1939 and their corresponding social consequences. The first two cover the rudimentary installation of the police state and the suppression of the SA, the attempts made at the indoctrination of all sections of German society to embrace the Nazi ideal and the concurrent suppression of newspapers, art and literature that did not conform to the ideology. Other chapters offer the clash with the established churches, the sequestration of Jewish business, the laws regarding agriculture and inheritance, the workers 'Strength Through Joy' organisation culminating in the final chapter on 'Racial Utopia' and the 'Road to War'.
There is a hugely gratifying thoroughness in Evans’s work and a rigid analysis which permeates throughout. The level of research is always evident from page to page, and despite a great deal of figures, maps and tables it does not go too far and ruin the casual reading experience if that’s what you're after.

Sometimes I find it very refreshing to try and forget everything I previously knew about a historic topic and let the latest book in the field re-educate me, a little like putting my brain through the wash and this book accomplished this beautifully.

The depth of research is self evident but the author presents it in a broad contextual format which, though refreshing, is aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist. However if you're an academic starting a project on the Third Reich, id still recommend this book and its companions as preliminary reading to get the blood flowing to the right side of the brain (no pun intended) just make sure you have a few Hob-Nob’s to accompany it.