Empire Made; My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. In 1841 at the age of twenty Nigel Halleck decided to seek his fortune working for the East India Company. That didn’t work out, but he ended up living with a local Muslim man. He disappeared. Another distant relative gives us an interesting story about their investigations.
Becoming Hitler; The Making of a Nazi by Thomas Weber. Basic Books, 2017. From an awkward, feckless sojourner to the leader of a remarkable right-wing movement, all set in Munich.
The Third Reich; A History of Nazi Germany by Thomas Chiders. Simon & Schuster, 2017. From the failed Munich putsch of 1923 to Hitler’s final suicide in a Berlin underground bunker.
The Final Solution; The Fate of the Jews, 1939-1949 by David Cesarani. Picador, 2017 paper. A vast subject, spread over 1088 pages. Persecution of European Jewry was not only a Nazis’ preoccupation; in German-occupied countries it unfolded erratically, often depending upon local initiatives. Poland for example; later Hungary.
Stormtroopers; A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts by Daniel Siemens. Yale University Press, 2017. The violent Stormtroops or Sturmabteilung upon which Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party depended for support as it rose to power in the 1930s.
Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War by Noriko Kawamura. University of Washington Press, 2017 paper. A conflicted man who struggled through the war years to assert his powers within both the Japanese political culture and the reckless advocacy of the country’s military leaders.
Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution; Mob Justice and Police in Petrograd by Tsuyoshi Hasaegawa. Harvard University Press, 2017. The joyous celebration of the end of Nicholas II’s monarchy soon turned to street justice.
The Last Days of Stalin by Joshua Rubenstein. Yale University Press, 2017 paper. In 1952 no one could foresee the end of Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime. His death cut short his plans for Soviet Jewry.