Richard J. Evans writes:
Although Baranowski set out to write a textbook, she has produced something much more important: a skilful and carefully nuanced synthesis of some of the most productive ideas to have emerged in the debate about the origins of Nazism and Nazi extremism in the past few years. Reflecting current concerns, these focus not so much on how or why the Nazis came to power, as on what they did once they had achieved it, above all during the war. From this point of view, they are addressing a rather different set of questions from those posed by the old ‘special path’ thesis. Baranowski’s book nonetheless puts them clearly on the map, debates their pros and cons with subtlety and sophistication, and should be read by anyone interested in the calamitous and ultimately exterminatory path taken by German history in the 20th century.