Faculty Book: Benjamin Carter Hett

Benjamin Carter Hett
The Nazi Menace
(Henry Holt and Co., 2020)

Image of book: The Nazi MenaceA panoramic narrative of the years leading up to the Second World War — a tale of democratic crisis, racial conflict, and a belated recognition of evil, with profound resonance for our own time.

Berlin, November 1937. Adolf Hitler meets with his military commanders to impress upon them the urgent necessity for a war of aggression in eastern Europe. Some generals are unnerved by the F├╝hrer’s grandiose plan, but these dissenters are silenced one by one, setting in motion events that will culminate in the most calamitous war in history.

Benjamin Carter Hett takes us behind the scenes in Berlin, London, Moscow, and Washington, revealing the unsettled politics within each country in the wake of the German dictator’s growing provocations. He reveals the fitful path by which anti-Nazi forces inside and outside Germany came to understand Hitler’s true menace to European civilization and learned to oppose him, painting a sweeping portrait of governments under siege, as larger-than-life figures struggled to turn events to their advantage. 

As in The Death of Democracy, his acclaimed history of the fall of the Weimar Republic, Hett draws on original sources and newly released documents to show how these long-ago conflicts have unexpected resonances in our own time. To read The Nazi Menace is to see past and present in a new and unnerving light.

Hett is a professor of history at The Graduate Center and Hunter College.

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Submitted on: AUG 18, 2020

Category: Faculty Books | History