Ailing Empire

Sebastain Haffer, Author, Sebastain Haffner, Author, Jean Steinberg, Translator Fromm International $18.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-88064-136-4
This illuminating survey by a German journalist focuses on the continuities and discontinuities of the modern German Reich (1871-1945) and the central role of warfare in the empire. Discussing the aggression that characterized the Reich, Haffner argues that the founding of the state was never regarded as a climactic achievement but rather as a springboard for expansion, and that Germany's unfavorable geographic position had much to do with the state's armed belligerence. The author also contends that the Reich was self-destructive almost from the beginning, creating a host of enemies who brought it to its knees in two world wars and eventually divided it. He describes how Hitler accelerated the catastrophic finish of the Reich by inopportunely taking on both the Russians and Americans, then tried to turn military defeat into the annihilation of the German people with his Nero Directive of March 18-19, 1945. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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