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Anglo-America and the Third Reich
I would like to introduce a recently published book that has been overlooked. Guido Preparata’s Conjuring Hitler: How the Western Elite Incubated Nazism – 1900-38 is of seminal importance for every one on the left and right. Conjuring Hitler re-interprets key parts of twentieth century history in a manner I have not come across before. This is a contribution that many readers will find fascinating and significant. I became aware of Conjuring Hitler in summer 2005, thanks to a friend who mentioned to me that standard accounts of the Hitler era were upended by Guido Preparata’s controversial volume. I ordered a copy from a local bookstore and discovered that Preparata’s volume, like W. G. Sebald's On The Natural History of Destruction (Penguin Books, 2003), Eric Markusen's and David Kopf's, The Holocaust and Strategic Bombing (Westview Press, 1995), or Peter Novick's The Holocaust in American Life (Houghton Mifflin, 1999), offers a major rethinking of twentieth century world war and its ideological aftermath.
Preparata’s book represents radical scholarship at its best. He is breaking new ground, and inevitably, academics wishing to preserve conventional interpretations may heavily dispute this work. This factor is the more so, as the issue and history of Hitler and the last great war of 1939 to 1945, still touches many raw nerves.
A skillful researcher, intrepid denizen of dusty Bank of England archives, and polyglot scholar of the oblique, of economic history normally left hidden, Preparata is also a consummate stylist, a quality that makes his work eminently readable and unusually compelling. This feature is clearest in Conjuring Hitler but also in Preparata’s journal articles, such as Hitler’s Money: The Bills of Exchange of Schacht and Rearmament in the Third Reich, (American Review of Political Economy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2002), which assays the sinister resemblance between fiery episodes in Part II of Goethe’s Faust and the extraordinary efforts of Hitler’s financier, Hjalmar Schacht, in restoring the economic health of 1930s Germany. Schacht succeeded in launching an economic boom through a novel manipulation of the money system. By 1935 Bills of Exchange issued to heavy industry by the Reich, amidst a regime of draconian wage and price controls, propelled a thriving economy where half of government spending was dedicated to armaments and the military – a share that would soon reach even loftier heights...
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|current||14:23, 18 June 2010||(130 KB)||Peter||Review of Guido Preparata's book 'Conjuring Hitler by Professor David MacGregor|
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