In This Review

Nazi Germany: A New History
Nazi Germany: A New History
By Klaus P. Fischer
Continuum, 1995, 734 pp.

This massive study by an intellectual historian is an excellent, clear, comprehensive, and sensible synthesis of all that is known about Hitler and his hideous regime. Fischer wisely emphasizes the many factors that made Germans susceptible to the totalitarian adventure and shows how skillfully and ruthlessly Hitler exploited these circumstances. His analysis of the "totalitarian racial state"--with its brutality and its confusion--is exemplary. Fischer tries hard to understand and explain Hitler's personality, and it is not his fault if his attempts are not entirely satisfactory: the man, with all his hatreds, delusions, and talent for leadership was too monstrous ever to be elucidated.