Know thy enemy. That's what the wisdom of history teaches us. And Adolf Hitler was surely the greatest enemy ever faced by modern civilization. Over half a century later, the horror, fascination, and questions still linger:
Professor Childers has designed this gripping 12-lecture course to shed light on these and other questions that have plagued generations. You'll start by looking at the catastrophic impact World War I had on Germany, and how the war and the humiliating Treaty of Versailles crippled the Weimar Republic. From there, you'll turn to the Third Reich – Nazism in power – with an investigation of how Hitler and his henchmen systematically and ruthlessly broke resistance, taking over the major institutions of state power and creating a totalitarian system of terror, propaganda, and pervasive regimentation. You'll also examine Hitler's foreign policy between 1933 and 1939, and discover how and why he puzzled the world by entering into an accommodation with his deadly enemy, Stalin, on the eve of World War II. In the final lectures, you'll focus on Hitler's war against the Jews from Mein Kampf to Auschwitz, dissecting the horrifying racial ideas of the Nazis and the policies adopted to transform those ideas into reality. Finally, you'll learn how Hitler's evil empire was destroyed by Allied might.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
I work in IT in Whangarei - love reading and writing history, learning about the world and engaging with interesting ideas.
Thomas Childers is an excellent scholar. His early research was on German electoral patterns and the rise of support for the Nazi Party. This short course provides an excellent history of the Nazi movement from its origins in World War 1 through its extraordinary rise to power. Childers places the rise of Hitler's Empire within the context of German politics and society. He covers the party's tactics, Hitler's beliefs, the evolution of racial and foreign policy expertly. There is brief coverage of World War 2 but Professor Childers has another course specifically on this subject.
"Forewarned is Forearmed"
Important, current and terrifying
“Forewarned is forearmed.” These are the last words of this lecture series and it sums up perfectly why this lecture should be listened to. In the course of 12 thirty minute lectures, Professor Thomas Childers of the University of Pennsylvania does an incredible job of explaining how the Nazi party rose to power in Germany. Beginning with the catastrophe of World War I, he guides the listener through the terrible economic conditions which confronted Germany. He then discusses how these abrupt changes left the German people looking for a “strong man”, someone who could not be any worse than the Social Democrats of the Weimar Republic. Unfortunately, they found the very worst.
Overall, one of the best lectures from The Great Courses series that I have listened to and would recommend to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the Nazis rose to power in such a cultured, sophisticated country as Germany.
I was very impressed with Professor Childers and found his manner of speaking to be incredibly easy to listen to and the entire lecture felt entirely conversational. While I wish the lecture was longer because I was enjoying it so much, I still felt like the material was covered in great detail. I made notes throughout the lecture to guide my future reading on the topic.
The last two lectures which detailed the Holocaust were very moving and Professor Childers was very respectful of the subject.
Great lecture! Greater lecturer!
"Informative, but hard to hear"
The presenter had a very low voice, and he got quiet at times, so it was hard to hear in my car. Very good otherwise
"This would be OK if you know little about Hitler"
As a lecturer, Childers has some odd speech patterns that may put people off and I had the feeling his books may be better. I just finished reading the lecture notes which were good at reinforcing the lectures.
Overall, I was not satisfied with the lectures but when I bought them, I thought that could happen as 12 lectures aren't enough for such an important time in history. I learned a little but not a great deal. I have many lectures from The Great Courses and this may be the weakest one I have encountered.
The material on the political rise of the NSPD was fairly detailed. Everything after 1933 was little more than what you would get from a highschool-level history class.
fascinating and understandable look at the beginning of the Nazi party and what events led to the atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust
"A really great lecture series."
Just a great overview of this terrible chapter in history. Easy to listen to, entertaining and intelligent. I highly recommend this book.
I love to read/listen to anything related to WWII and the axis, but after a about 3 hours I had to give up on this book. The professor knows the subject well, but it's almost impossible to follow along with his lecture because every other sentence there is an "ummmm........." or an "ehhhhhhh....." included in it. I understand it's really common for people to do that, but this guy does it, and I'm not exaggerating, ALL THROUGHOUT THE BOOK!!!!!!! it's maddening.
"A warning for us all"
Professor Childers outlines how Hitler rose to power and slowly eroded the rights of Jews, and others, until no one dared contest him. This should be a warning to us all.
"An excellent overview of Hitler linking WW1 to WW2"
Just a novice history fan, but have read books on WW1, WW2, and the German hyperinflation. Somehow my background readings were too focused and never really synched the inter-war period together for me. This is a high level intro to that time period, but it really stitched my prior readings together.
By high level it is only 12 lectures 30 mins give or take a piece. The sixth lecture (lecture titles can be found on great courses website) is Hitler's Assumption of Power. It then covers through WWII resolution at a high level.
If you're a history novice like me or just lacking in knowledge about he interwar period, this is a great start to answering a lot of questions you may have and fueling the fire for further exploration. I highly recommend it.
"Thomas Childers always delivers!"
I've listened to this and Professor Childers' lectures on the History of World War II. They are among my favorites from The Great Courses series. He really does an excellent job of putting things in perspective and drawing attention to important, if often overlooked, details and aspects of history. Thank you, Professor Childers!
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