Those fascinated with World War II will probably read the 676-page The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy - I know I did. With dedication to research and cogent analysis, Adam Tooze cracks the shell of Hitler’s devious and sometimes downright dumb economic machinations that centered around the megalomaniacal, ill-planned and (from the outset) doomed aspirations of the Fuehrer.
With a madman at the helm diverting funds to his own pet projects (read “Final Solution,” also known as concentration camps with ovens), it has long been assumed that Hitler shot himself in the foot, so to speak, and might possibly have won the war had someone been able to rein him in. The eye-crossing research that Tooze has done reveals that the economic infrastructure was so weakly built on quicksand that even a sane Hitler could not have won the war.
Anyone who can make economics this fascinating has talent beyond compare. Usually a fact-and-figure book can glaze over the eyes of the most dedicated and erudite reader, but Tooze makes the book so readable and painless that readers will wish he had been their economics professor in college.
In The Wages of Destruction Tooze takes his place alongside the legendary Bill Shirer and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich with an invaluable classic that belongs on the bookshelf of any true history connoisseur.