The prequel to Frank McDonough's bestselling Hitler Years series, covering the dramatic period of German history that led to the rise of Hitler in 1933.
Established in the wake of Germany's catastrophic defeat in the First World War, the Weimar Republic ushered in widespread social reform, vibrant culture and the most democratic conditions the German people had ever lived under. At its beginning in 1919, it was a regime that held hope for democracy, stability and prosperity in Germany. But it was also beset by economic upheaval and political violence on the left and the right. Ultimately, it led to the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor, who created a one-party dictatorship that abandoned the rule of law, democracy and civil rights. In Gustav Stresemann's words, Weimar democracy was 'dancing on a volcano'.
The Weimar Years is a vivid and compelling history of the period 1918–1933. Year by year, Professor Frank McDonough covers the major personalities, events in foreign policy and the music, art, theatre and literature that flourished during this era. McDonough also places particular focus on the unknown parliamentary history of Weimar, arguing that it was the failure of parliamentary democracy to bring stability that eroded public confidence and allowed the power of the elected Reichstag to gradually diminish, resulting in Hitler's appointment in January 1933.
The Weimar Years is a story of rise and fall, as well as a warning sign of how, under poor leadership, economic pressure and unrelenting political instability, a democracy can drift towards a form of authoritarian rule that eventually destroys it.
'A masterclass in the history of Nazi Germany, with an internationally renowned expert as the teacher' Get History.
'What makes this volume really stand out is its stylish design and more than 80 coloured photographs, punctuating the account of Hitler's slow but inevitable march to war' Military History.
'An impressive tome, beautifully presented with a body of illustrations... It is as readable as it is authoritative. Rarely has the odious story of the Third Reich been so elegantly presented' History Today.
'I have read many books on the period and Frank McDonough's ranks above them all. Bravo' Danny Baker.
'McDonough writes clearly and readably with just enough detail on the huge canvas that he covers' Spectator