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Publisher's Summary

This unsettling and illuminating history reveals how Germany's fractured republic gave way to the Third Reich, from the formation of the Nazi party to the rise of Hitler.

Amid the ravages of economic depression, Germans in the early 1930s were pulled to political extremes both left and right. Then, in the spring of 1933, Germany turned itself inside out, from a deeply divided republic into a one-party dictatorship. In Hitler's First Hundred Days, award-winning historian Peter Fritzsche offers a probing account of the pivotal moments when the majority of Germans seemed, all at once, to join the Nazis to construct the Third Reich. Fritzsche examines the events of the period - the elections and mass arrests, the bonfires and gunfire, the patriotic rallies and anti-Jewish boycotts - to understand both the terrifying power the National Socialists exerted over ordinary Germans and the powerful appeal of the new era they promised. 

Hitler's First Hundred Days is the chilling story of the beginning of the end, when 100 days inaugurated a new thousand-year Reich.

©2020 Peter Fritzsche (P)2020 Basic Books

Critic Reviews

"Hitler's First Hundred Days, a thoroughly researched and elegantly written book, is a must for understanding how a majority of Germans adapted to the new regime, even cheered it, merely a few months after Hitler's accession to the chancellorship. A stark reminder of the blandishments of power." (Saul Friedlander, professor emeritus of history at UCLA and author of Nazi Germany and the Jews)

"Hitler's First Hundred Days is gripping from the first lines. With elegance and deep knowledge, Peter Fritzsche tells the story of how Hitler and the Nazis consolidated their hold on power in the spring of 1933. Fritzsche knows this ground like few others, and his eye for the telling detail makes this book surprising at every turn, even as he shows how the story is chillingly relevant to our times." (Benjamin Hett, author of The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)

"If you have ever wanted to gain a better understanding of when, how, and why a critical mass of Germans turned themselves over to a pathological populist ideologue like Adolf Hitler, enthusiastically embracing his brand of exclusionary tribalism against a backdrop of economic dislocation, societal polarization, and state-sponsored terror, this is the book for you. Solidly researched and gracefully written, acclaimed historian Peter Fritzsche's Hitler's First Hundred Days is also timely, very timely indeed." (David Clay Large, author of Berlin and Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich

What listeners say about Hitler's First Hundred Days

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Whoa! This Is Too Tense To Be A Horror Novel!

Get ready for nightmares. Yeah, Jim Sebert fractures German pronunciation. Fuggedaboudit!

Here's what happened and to a degree why. Which are the Two Great Questions that twist the terror dial way over 100%. Can it happen here? Are Nazi storm troopers and SS the natural sequence to the collapse of democratic governance? Looking at the streets of 2020 America as I write this, I'm wondering: Will those thugs come to my home next? Similar cretins routinely invaded everywhere with impunity in Germany's 1930s. And first off, they neutered the police!

Steven King's mastery of dread is his ability to get into his readers' dreams. He seeps beneath the sills of the thickest doors we build to keep him out of our minds. Fritzsche, to his credits never makes comparisons between 1931 Berlin and say this moment's Washington, London, Paris, or Rome... and yet... This book's a natural compliment to the evening TV news in each of those cities.

Peter Fritzsche answers those Two Great Questions about the collapse of democratic republicanism in Germany. It's up to the reader to answer the two greater questions above.

Which, very much like Steven King, cranks at our terror dials - but the problem with Fritzsche is that - this important book ain't fiction.

3 people found this helpful

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In depth Analysis of the start of the Nazis

Great in depth analysis of the creation of the Nazis in Germany and their twelve years in power.

As an added bonus connected the United States and its differences at the time. Well done!

1 person found this helpful

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  • RJ
  • 05-12-20

Oratory dynamics

The orator becomes a bit of a bore. He needs more passion or disbelief into his presentation.

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Nuanced examination of the rise of fascism!

This book was fantastic! How did the Nazis seduce an entire nation? Given the threats to democracy worldwide, the revelations exposed are a “must” to absorb. It’s message is profoundly contemporary.