The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia

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9780393020304: The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia

An analytical study of the dictatorships of Hitler and Stalin discusses their public images in comparison with their private personalities, their ascents to power, their creations of extermination camps and the Soviet Gulag, and the massive wars that marked their rules. 13,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Richard Overy is professor of history at King's College, London. His many acclaimed books on World War II include Why the Allies Won and The Battle of Britain.

From Publishers Weekly:

Comparisons between Hitler and Stalin and their regimes are nothing new, but this dense, comprehensive, scholarly investigation is more nuanced than most. Overy sidesteps the simplistic debate over which dictator was more evil and focuses on how they, and the systems they created, were similar and different. He delves into their regimes thematically, in topics ranging from police states and economic systems to wartime behavior. The results yield intriguing historical insights, although the book demands a careful reading. For instance, Overy notes that both Hitler and Stalin created cults of personality, but for Hitler "personality was the defining criterion of leadership"; Stalin, on the other hand, emphasized Communist ideology first and embraced a personality cult only when he realized it could cement his stranglehold on power. Interestingly, while the Nazi Party increasingly relied on workers' support and ideology, Stalin's Communist Party—the "vanguard of the proletariat"—relied more and more on middle-class technocrats. At times Overy restates points long known to historians, e.g., both leaders pursued negative utopias, but from different bases: class warfare was Stalin's justification, while Hitler chose biological purity. But when he points out the differences in their policies toward minorities and nationalities—Hitler adhered to a racial ladder, while Stalin, a Georgian, flip-flopped to suit his political goals—Overy's analytical strength and depth of knowledge emerges. 32 pages illus.; maps.
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Overy, Richard J.
Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York & London (2004)
ISBN 10: 0393020304 ISBN 13: 9780393020304
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Book Description W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York & London, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. BRILLIANT: New hardcover: stated First American Edition w/ full no. line, new unclipped mylar-protected gloss-laminated color jacket w/ sharp new edges & corners & showing orig. $35.00 price at top right inside front flyleaf, immaculate smooth-cut text-block exterior, impeccable cream-white end-papers on heavy stock, new sewn binding w/ tight signatures & black & red-checked cloth bands at spine-caps, pristine interior printed w/ excellent clarity on superb silk-finish paper * 1.32 kg, xl+849 (889) pp., 6.32" x 9.50" x 1.74" * CONTENTS: List of Illustrations (ix), List of Tables & Maps (xiii), maps (xiv), Abbreviations (xxv), Preface (xxvii), Introduction: Comparing Dictatorships (xxx); Text (1-644); Conclusion: Two Dictatorships (635), Bibliography (653), Notes (705), Index (819) * 6.36" x 9.50" x 1.76", 1.32 kg, xl+849 (889) pp. * An Anatomy of Evil by a Historian Renowned for his Skills of Precision, Insight & Sure Analysis: If the past century will be remembered for its tragic pairing of civilized achievement & organized destruction, at the heart of darkness may be found Hitler, Stalin, & the systems of domination they forged. Their lethal regimes murdered millions & fought a massive, deadly war. Their systems of dictatorship infiltrated every dimension in the lives of their subjects. Yet their dictatorships took shape within formal constitutional structures & drew the support of the German & Russian people. Although we have long understood these regimes as historical outliers, exceptions to the norms of history & civilization, Richard Overy demonstrates that the ruling systems of Hitler & Stalin were not monstrous historical anomalies. Both systems arose from concrete historical conditions & both depended heavily on popular acceptance & participation. In the first comparative history of Nazi Germany & Stalinist Russia, Overy clearly conveys the workings of these two brutal regimes. His portraits of Hitler & Stalin take in their private & public selves, their ascents to power, & their consolidation of absolute rule. He shows us the use of terror in each system; the ways in which party dominated politics, culture & the economy in each; & how each waged total war. He details the creation of the Nazi extermination camps & the vast Soviet Gulag, the two dictatorships in their most inhuman form. Overy's achievement throughout the work is to restore these dictatorships to history in a brilliant study that has become indispensable to our understanding of the 20th century. Bookseller Inventory # 006702

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