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The Death of Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (183 ratings)

Regular price: $31.95

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Publisher's Summary

The Death of Democracy is a riveting audiobook account of how the Nazi Party came to power, and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen.

Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In this dramatic audiobook, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time.

To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. From the late 1920s, the Weimar Republic’s very political success sparked insurgencies against it, of which the most dangerous was the populist anti-globalization movement led by Hitler. But as Hett shows, Hitler would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not tried to coopt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship.

Benjamin Carter Hett is one of America’s leading scholars of 20th-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

©2018 Benjamin Carter Hett (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Steven Crossley's] British accent gives his narration an academic-sounding quality fitting for the text. He is clear and precise in pronunciation and enunciation and is suitably expressive throughout." (AudioFile Magazine)
 

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Too Close for Comfort

Incredible history and a warning for anyone paying attention. A must read. Well done
great

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Don't miss this beautifully written book

I get jaded at times when I try a multi-starred book and find it less appealing than I would like. This book is a gem on the three ratings. If your interest in Hitler and his rise, his eventual stranglehold on the Republic, its political parties, the church, and the media. Ultimately Hitler had the German people in his fist. and his organization bent to his will. There are many analogs to contemporary politics, and a careful reader will spot them. I bought the Kindle book so that I could identify sections in the recordings that struck my interest.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Democracy in Crisis

I found this book to be a challenge and lesson. In the Trump era we need to resist the irrationality and blind hatred of Trump supporters. There can be no compromises to the anti-intellectualism and the irrationality
of the right. Trump stands for nothing but vague ideas and incoherence and the slogans he spouts. It is no use to argue with his supporters because they have no will to see another viewpoint. To them, Trump is their savior, a gift from God, and sometimes they say he is the Messiah. Who can argue with a god. There are so many parallels to interwar years Germany. I recommend this book to everyone who is interested in protecting and defending the Constitution.

17 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Vivid and fascinating account of history. Dismal command of German language by narrator.

This is an extremely informative audiobook and makes learning about history a joy. Unfortunately the narrator Steven Crossley is not in command of the German language and the German words, names and terms sprinkled throughout the book don’t even remotely resemble the German language. For a German native speaker like myself this puts a damper on the joy derived from the otherwise very engaging reading.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant, topical and thoroughly enjoyable

For the first time in the many books I've been through on ww2, an author was able to provide enough context for each major event in fall of the Weimar Republic that I could grasp the parallels to today in ways I've never imagined.

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A True Deep Dive ... for Better or Worse

I’ll be honest — this was a bit difficult to get through. I knew it would be a deep dive on the circumstances leading up to WW2, but there was a bit more info than I needed as a non-historian. The parts of the story we all know were really interesting, and the added detail was illuminating, but there’s a lot of story that doesn’t get commonly discussed, probably because it is of interest only to the hardcore scholars of history. I don’t want to fault this book for being in-depth, but I would have probably enjoyed an abridged version much more.

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A Premonition

This book is a testimony to the concept of repeating history lest we refuse to learn from it. Eerie parallels between Hitler and Trump.

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excellent narrative about the fall of Weimar

This book provides an excellent narrative of the fall of Weimar and the rise of the Nazi's. Even though I knew a good deal of the "outlines" of the story before reading (listening) to this book, I learned much about the persons, personalities, political parties and political machinations of the 1920s (especially the late-1920s) and the early 1930s. The book is dense in parts, the highly interested reader might benefit from having a copy of the book itself alongside the MP3 player to help his or her way through those sections. I did not have that, so I found it very useful at times to stop to research a person or incident on my iPhone or computer browser to get my bearings. This is not meant as a criticism of the book however. The narrator was good. I highly recommend the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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calm and chilling <br />

very well done . think of all common political skullduggery and the banality of evil

0 of 2 people found this review helpful