This is the second volume of Richard Evans’s magisterial new account of the rise and fall of the Third Reich. In it he chronicles the years between 1933 and 1939 when the dictatorship was established and before the descent into war and eventual catastrophe. The question he poses at the start of the book is central to any account of the German dictatorship, namely: how was Hitler’s rule established so swiftly and so absolutely? What follows is a wide-ranging, searching and supremely intelligent assessment of the many strands of the new regime. The book displays all Evans’s familiar strengths – a broad historical vision, a solid base of research in the most up-to-date literature, and a shrewd mix of information, argument and the occasional telling example to bring the story suddenly to life.