“The Wages of Destruction”

It is always nice to open the mailbox and see a new book in the mail. The latest arrival at the Christensen household is The Wages of Destruction” by Adam Tooze on “The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy”.

I have not read it yet, but my feeling is that is will be an interesting read. Most of the reviews of the book I have seen are very positive.

Here is from Richard Tilly’s review of the book:

“The narrative follows a broad chronology. Part one, covering the early 1930s, examines the country’s recovery from the Depression, the reorganization of its economy, and the beginnings of rearmament. Perhaps the most striking feature of these years was the extent to which Germany was driven to reorganize its international economic relations in response to the hegemony of its main creditor, the United States. In part two, “The War in Europe,” Tooze describes the Four Year Plan of 1936–1939 to mobilize the economy for war, culminating in Germany’s successful campaigns against Poland and France. Tooze points out that these triumphs were the result less of superior economic preparedness and more advanced technology than of luck and skillful military leadership. The net gains to Germany’s war economy from these victories were meager, and it could even be said in retrospect, since they accelerated Anglo-American cooperation, that they had a negative impact. Part three describes the economic costs and benefits to Nazi Germany of widening the conflict by invading the Soviet Union in June and declaring war on the United States in December of 1941. These hostile acts, Tooze reminds us, reflected both economic considerations—a desire to gain access to Russia’s oil and grain reserves—and racist ideology—as home to millions of Jews, the Soviet Union was the object of future “Germanization,” and the United States was considered to be the headquarters of “world Jewry.”

If any of my readers have read the book I would be interested in hearing what you think? And can we draw any lessons from the book? Does it tell us anything about today’s euro crisis?

Leave a comment


  1. Tooze’s book is terrific, I reviewed it here.

  1. Lorenzo on Tooze – and a bit on 1931 « The Market Monetarist
  2. Hjalmar Schacht’s echo – it all feels a lot more like 1932 than 1923 « The Market Monetarist
  3. ラルス・クリステンセン 「シャハトの功罪は何を物語っているか?」 — 経済学101
  4. ラルス・クリステンセン 「シャハトの功罪は何を物語っているか?」 — 経済学101
  5. Adam Tooze’s great insights into the history of Europe | The Market Monetarist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: