The National Socialist leadership and total war, 1941-5 /

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Main Author: Hancock, Eleanor
Format: Book
Published:New York : St. Martin's Press, 1991.
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Review by Choice Review

Hancock's account of the German attempts to mount a total war effort on the home front following the invasion of Russia adopts a novel approach to a subject much written about. She systematically analyzes both the differing conceptions of "total war" held by four leading Nazis (Bormann, Goebbels, Himmler, and Speer) and the policies they pursued to achieve these, including their strategies for gaining Hitler's indispensable support. All sought victory, or at least to perpetuate the regime (and their own lives) through a combination of intensified economic mobilization and ideological indoctrination: superior weapons and willpower. Hancock, an Austrialian historian, is particularly critical of Speer's narrowly conceived technological focus on increased production of armaments and on his self-serving egotism. The chronological organization of the book into six-month periods detracts from the coherence of some important arguments, e.g., the role of female labor in wartime Germany (according to Hancock, the percentage of women employed was only slightly less than in the Soviet Union). Several useful statistical appendixes and a comprehensive bibliography round off this well-researched and thoughtful monograph. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty; general. L. D. Stokes; Dalhousie University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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