What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy

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What Hitler Knew is a fascinating study of how the climate of fear in Nazi Germany affected Hitler's advisers and shaped the decision making process. It explores the key foreign policy decisions from the Nazi seizure of power up to the hours before the outbreak of World War II. Zachary Shore argues persuasively that the tense environment led the diplomats to a nearly obsessive control over the "information arsenal" in a desperate battle to defend their positions and to safeguard their lives. Unlike previous studies, this book draws the reader into the diplomats' darker world, and illustrates how Hitler's power to make informed decisions was limited by the very system he created. The result, Shore concludes, was a chaotic flow of information between Hitler and his advisers that may have accelerated the march toward war.

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About the Author:


Zachary Shore is a research fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

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"A superb, scholarly and fascinating study of decision-making in Nazi foreign policy between 1933 and 1939. Focused on the battle for the control of information around Hitler, it confirms what we knew about the frequent disorganization and chaos of his regime, it shows how the battles of clans and rivals increased the riskiness of his policies, and it scrupulously points out how much remains to be known. Zachary Shore's first book proves what a penetrating and elegant historian he is."--Stanley Hoffmann, Harvard University


"The frightening yet fascinating story of the inner workings of Nazi Germany's diplomatic corps during the years leading up to World War II. Shore...presents a graphic picture of Hitler's Reich that heretofore has been largely ignored"-- Library Journal


"This book could be titled 'What Hitler Did Not Know.'...[T]he book demonstrates just how Hitler's decision making was handicapped by a 'frenetic system which he himself created.' Recommended all levels and collections."--CHOICE


"With a wealth of fascinating new material, Zachary Shore shows that a key to Nazi Germany's foreign policy was the struggle over the intelligence that flowed within the regime and especially to the top. This perspective challenges much of our received wisdom about Hitler's choices."--Robert Jervis, Columbia University


"Intriguing..."-- Washington Monthly


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9780195154597: What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy

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ISBN 10:  0195154592 ISBN 13:  9780195154597
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2002
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