The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945

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9780143122135: The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945

SUNDAY TIMES, TLS, SPECTATOR, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, DAILY MAIL and SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY BOOKS OF THE YEAR

The last months of the Second World War were a nightmarish time to be alive. Unimaginable levels of violence destroyed entire cities. Millions died or were dispossessed. By all kinds of criteria it was the end: the end of the Third Reich and its terrible empire but also, increasingly, it seemed to be the end of European civilization itself.

In his gripping, revelatory new book Ian Kershaw describes these final months, from the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945. The major question that Kershaw attempts to answer is: what made Germany keep on fighting? In almost every major war there has come a point where defeat has loomed for one side and its rulers have cut a deal with the victors, if only in an attempt to save their own skins. In Hitler's Germany, nothing of this kind happened: in the end the regime had to be stamped out town by town with a level of brutality almost without precedent.

Both a highly original piece of research and a gripping narrative, The End makes vivid an era which still deeply scars Europe. It raises the most profound questions about the nature of the Second World War, about the Third Reich and about how ordinary people behave in extreme circumstances.

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Review:

A remarkable feat of historical scholarship and intelligent analysis (Jonathan Sumption Spectator )

Masterly ... Kershaw's gripping and boldly intelligent work of scholarship ... will surely become the standard popularly accessible account of the Nazi system's terrible final phase ( Financial Times )

Gripping yet scholarly ... the best attempt by far to answer the complex question of why Nazi Germany carried on fighting to total self-destruction. Kershaw, the author of the best biography of Hitler, is the finest sort of academic, for he combines impeccable scholarship with an admirable clarity of thought and prose (Antony Beevor Telegraph )

Brilliant ... nuanced and sophisticated ... undoubtedly a masterpiece ( Mail on Sunday )

Well-written, penetrating ... and ground-breaking (Andrew Roberts Evening Standard )

Magisterial ... distinguished ( Daily Mail, Book of the Week )

Kershaw is a sure-footed guide through the Hades of the final dark months of the war in Europe ... his is a thoughtful and thought-provoking account, which admirably combines analysis, historiography and commentary within a very readable narrative ( Independent on Sunday )

No one is better qualified to tell this grim story than Kershaw ... A master of both the vast scholarly literature on Nazism and the extraordinary range of its published and unpublished record, Kershaw combines vivid accounts of particular human experiences with wise reflections on big interpretive and moral issues ... No one has written a better account of the human dimensions of Nazi Germany's end ( New York Times Book Review )

A compelling account of the bloody and deluded last days of the Third Reich ... this is far from being of mere academic interest ... The greatest strength of Kershaw's narrative is that he gives us much more than the view from the top ... Interwoven are insights into German life and death at all levels of society ( The Times )

Kershaw says that his book is not a military history. Nevertheless he offers an admirably clear, coherent discussion of the military situation and insightful portraits of the leading figures in the German armed forces ... The End is sober, judicious, clearly written and superbly well researched - a definitive history of the last months of the Third Reich (Richard Bessel History Today )

Kershaw ... understands as well as any man alive the complex power structure that existed in Nazi Germany ... gripping ... arguably the most convincing portrait of Germany's Götterdämmerung we have seen so far ( Wall Street Journal )

Britain's most feted and prolific historian of the Third Reich ( Sunday Times )

Author of a magisterial biography of Hitler, [Kershaw] is among the foremost western scholars of Nazi Germany. Although this book pursues a narrative of events between June 1944 and May 1945, its real business is to explore the psychology of the German people (Max Hastings Sunday Times )

An insightful study of how the Führer held his grip over the German people for so long ( Telegraph )

Comprehensive ... it generates real power ( Observer )

About the Author:

IAN KERSHAW is the author of Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris; Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis; Making Friends with Hitler; and Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-4. Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis received the Wolfson History Prize and the Bruno Kreisky Prize in Austria for Political Book of the Year, and was joint winner of the inaugural British Academy Book Prize. Until his retirement in 2008, Ian Kershaw was Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield. For services to history he was given the German award of the Federal Cross of Merit in 1994. He was knighted in 2002 and awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2004. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was the winner of the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding 2012.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 212 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of To Hell and Back, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost the Second World War, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital questions of how and why the Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Drawing on prodigious new research, Ian Kershaw, an award-winning historian and the author of Fateful Choices, explores these fascinating questions in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the death of Adolf Hitler and the German capitulation in 1945. The End paints a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143122135

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