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"Frederick Taylor is one of the brightest historians writing today."
-- Newsweek

Not since the end of the Roman Empire, almost fifteen hundred years earlier, is there a parallel, in Europe at least, to the fall of the German nation in 1945. Industrious and inventive, home over centuries to a disproportionate number of western civilization’s greatest thinkers, writers, scientists and musicians, Germany had entered the twentieth century united, prosperous, and strong, admired by almost all humanity for its remarkable achievements. During the 1930s, embittered by one lost war and then scarred by mass unemployment, Germany embraced the dark cult of National Socialism. Within less than a generation, its great cities lay in ruins and its shattered industries and its cultural heritage seemed utterly beyond saving. The Germans themselves had come to be regarded as evil monsters. After six years of warfare how were the exhausted victors to handle the end of a horror that to most people seemed without precedent?
In Exorcising Hitler, Frederick Taylor tells the story of Germany’s year zero and what came after. As he describes the final Allied campaign, the hunting down of the Nazi resistance, the vast displacement of peoples in central and eastern Europe, the attitudes of the conquerors, the competition between Soviet Russia and the West, the hunger and near starvation of a once proud people, the initially naive attempt at expunging Nazism from all aspects of German life and the later more pragmatic approach, we begin to understand that despite almost total destruction, a combination of conservatism, enterprise and pragmatism in relation to former Nazis enabled the economic miracle of the 1950s. And we see how it was only when the ’60s generation (the children of the Nazi era) began to question their parents with increasing violence that Germany began to awake from its sleep cure’.


"Frederick Taylor is one of the brightest historians writing today. His book on the Berlin Wall is truly fascinating and will never be equalled, and deserves to be read by everyone who lived through the Cold War. No less fascinating is his new book, Exorcising Hitler, about the defnazification of Germany that started in 1945."

-- Philip Kerr, Newsweek

“A deeply compelling study of the peace enforced on Germany by the Allied victors at the close of World War II…Hard-hitting yet evenhanded, Taylor’s work holds tremendous relevance for our time.”

– Kirkus Reviews (starred choice)

"Taylor is a great storyteller ...as a history of the occupation this is a great book. Filled with quotable quotes and memorable anecdotes, it presents a vivid portrait of life in Germany at and just after the end of the war ... Taylor's book is popular history at its best, essential reading for anyone who is interested in the Nazis and wants to know what happened next."

-- Prof. Richard J Evans, The New Statesman

"Lucid and harrowing ... Taylor brilliantly recreates the confusion of the war's final stage ... [the book] avoids a simple morality tale and offers a nuanced yet readable account of perpetrators and victims alike."

-- Prof. Frank Trentmann, The Sunday Express

"Much memorable anecdotage in this readable tale."

-- The Sunday Times

"Taylor describes the extermination of Germany's governmental, political, industrial and cultrual life from 1945 through the two years that preceded the Marshall Plan of 1947 and the strong economic growth of the ocuntry in the 1940s until Germany fully 'awoke' in the 1960s. Taylor's story of horror, then of hope, is told with moral authoritiy."

-- The Times

"Frederick Taylor possesses a keen eye for first-person accounts. His style is authoritative, his account of the years between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the 1950s backed by considerable scholarly research. His prose is also a pleasure to read ... this is an example of popular history at its very best."

-- Liverpool Daily Post

"Five years of occupation, bureaucratic confusion and economic hardship ... are the subject of Frederick Taylor's absorbing overview of how democracy was reintroduced to the defeated Germans. Interviews with those who lived through the last months of the war and the first months of peace lend a quality of lived experience ... ten million German-speaking refugees were expelled from Poland, and along with the ones who had to flee Czechoslovakia, they poured into Germany. Taylor's eloquent account of their suffrering complements the better known story ..."

-- Hywel Williams, The Spectator


© 2007-2013 Frederick Taylor