This chilling, fascinating new book is the first fully to get to grips with how Hitler's Nazi empire really functioned. There was no aspect of Nazi power untouched by economics - it was Hitler's obsession and the reason the Nazis came to power in the first place. The Second World War was fought, in Hitler's view, to create a European Empire strong enough to take on the United States - a last chance for Europe to dig itself in before being swept away by the USA's ever greater power. But, as The Wages of Destruction makes clear, Hitler was never remotely strong enough to beat either Britain or the Soviet Union - and never even had a serious plan as to how he might defeat the USA. It took years of fighting and the deaths of millions of people to destroy the Third Reich, but effectively World War II in Europe was fought in pursuit of a fantasy- the years in which Western Europe could settle the world's fate were, by 1939, long past. This is a major book by a major author and will provoke an enormous amount of controversy and debate.
Adam Tooze is Barton M. Biggs Professor of History and Director of International Security Studies at Yale University. He taught for many years at the University of Cambridge. The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy was universally acclaimed as one of the most important books written on the Third Reich. It was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and won both the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize and the Wolfson Prize for History.