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Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-269-7
November 2008, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century, 3rd Edition (0882952692) cover image


Rising to a great challenge in this remarkable study, Bruce Pauley compares the origins, development, and demise of all three forms of European totalitarianism, explaining why the old regimes that preceded the dictatorships failed, how the totalitarian movements arose, and how they captured, consolidated, and eventually plummeted from power.
Although its vivid portraits of the dictators' youths, early careers, relationships with women, management styles, and cults of personality–that they and their propaganda machines crafted–are certain to fascinate all readers, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini is much more than a triple biography; it is a unique, interpretive comparison of the economics, culture, education, and health-care systems of all three dictatorships. While more conventional subjects such as diplomacy and war are by no means neglected, Professor Pauley goes further to explore the regimes' treatment of women, young people, and their terroristic oppression of religious institutions and minorities.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

List of Illustrations xii

Preface xiii

Preface to the Second Edition xvii

Preface to the First Edition ix

1. The Ideological Foundations 1

Definitions of Totalitarianism 1

Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism 4

Fascism and Nazism 6

2. The Seizure of Power 11

Russia on the Eve of the Revolution 11

The Establishment of the Soviet Dictatorship 14

The Failure of Liberal Italy 20

The Birth and Triumph of Fascism 23

Germany and the Impact of World War I 29

The Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazi Movement 34

The Great Depression and the Nazi Takeover 39

3. Personalities and Policies of the Dictators 45

Stalin’s Youth and Early Career 45

Stalin the Demigod 49

Mussolini: The Young Socialist 51

The Duce: Strengths and Weaknesses 55

The Young Hitler 57

Hitler: The Catholic Dictator 61

Hitler’s Private Life and Relations with Women 64

4. Totalitarian Economies 68

The End of the New Economic Policy 68

Stalin’s War against the Peasants 70

The First Five-Year Plan and Industrialization 76

The Fascist Economy 79

The Economy of National Socialist Germany 83

5. Propaganda, Culture, and Education 90

The Limitations of Propaganda 90

Soviet Propaganda 92

Fascist Propaganda 94

Nazi Propaganda 96

Totalitarian Culture 100

Soviet Education 108

Education in the Fascist States 110

Youth Groups 113

6. Family Values and Health 119

The Conservative Trend in Values 119

Soviet Women: The Mixed Blessings of Emancipation 121

Fascist Italy: The Failure of Antifeminism 124

Women in Nazi Germany: Kinder, Kirchie und Küche? 128

Health and Eugenics in Nazi Germany 133

Religion: The Basic Incompatibility 136

7. Totalitarian Terror 144

The Great Purges in the Soviet Union 145

Terror and Persecution in the Fascist States 153

The Persecution of Jews 154

8. The Era of Traditional Diplomacy and War, 1933-1941 165

Hitler’s Foreign Policy Strategy 166

Hitler as “Peace Lover,” 1933-1935 170

From Ethiopia to Spain: Fascist Italy at War 172

Austria and Czechoslovakia: Hitler’s First Conquests 176

The Approach of War 182

The Blitzkrieg campaigns 185

The Italian Intervention 190

9. Total War, 1941-1945 197

Hitler Turns East 197

Stalin’s Preparations for War 201

The Russian Campaign in 1941 206

Hitler and the Untermenschen 209

Hitler and Stalin as War Lords 212

The Fall of Fascism 218

The German Home Front 221

The War in the West 224

The End of the Third Reich 228

10. The Collapse of Soviet Totalitarianism 233

Stalin’s Last Years, 1945-1953 233

The Khurshchev Era 237

Reaction and Reform: From Brezhnev to Gorbachev 241

Problems of the Soviet Economy and Society 244

Soviet Women in the Last Years of the Regime 247

Soviet Society in the 1980s: The Balance Sheet 249

The Revolt of the Satellites and the Disintegration of the Soviet Union 250

The End of Soviet Totalitarianism 253

11. Lessons and Prospects 256

The Triumph of Dogmatism 256

The Structural Flaws of Totalitarianism 258

The Totalitarian Legacy 263

Bibliographical Essay 269

Index 292

Photographs / follow page 164

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Author Information

Bruce F. Pauley, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Central Florida, holds degrees from Grinell College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Rochester. He also studied at the University of Graz (Austria) and the University of Vienna. He is the author of The Habsburg Legacy, 1867-1939; Heimatschutz und hakenkrenz: Steirischer Heimatschutz und Österreichischer nationalsozialismus, 1918-1934; Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism; and Der Weg in den Nationalsozialisms: Ursprünge und Entwicklung in Österreich. His book, From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism, won the Chrles Smith award from the Austrian Cultural Institute. Its German translation, Eine Geshichte des österreichischen Antisemitismus: Von der Ausgrenzung Zur Auslöschung, was a best seller in Austria. He has been granted a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship and several stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1966 and 2005 he received distinguished alumni awards from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently completing a book on ethnic conflict in Central Europe with Charles Ingrao of Purdue University.

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Praise for previous editions:

"Pauley fashions a very readable, concise narrative—neither historical essay, textbook, nor monograph—of use to the student in a modern European history course or to the educated general reader. ...The author of significant books on Austrian National Socialism and anti-Semitism, Pauley deserves thanks for writing a first-rate work of synthesis for the general audience." (German Studies Reviews, July 1999)

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