Second World War

  • TSWW
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    Written by nine eminent historians, this eye-opening book focuses on the men and women who lived and died during the Second World War.

    This tome draws on contemporary documentation, private writings and historical research to show what life was like for people ranging from soldiers to factory workers and civilians.

    This is an evocative and essential account of the period between 1939 and 1945 that changed the world forever.
  • CHLL
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    Leading Winston Churchill scholar Dr. Christopher Catherwood reveals what the former prime minister - a man often declared the greatest statesman to have ever lived - was like as a man in this painstakingly researched biography. It's packed with photographs and artefacts from the former PM's life.

    Drawing on archive interviews, artworks and personal notes for some of Churchill's most famous and inspiring wartime speeches, this book explores his hidden history in detail. From being homesick while at boarding school to his successes and failures (he disastrous Gallipoli campaign and his blind spot over India), it reveals him to be a powerful, colourful and remarkable character.

    This is a must-read for anyone who is fascinated in political history and those who have gained an interest in the politician after seeing John Lithgow in The Crown or Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning performance in The Darkest Hour.
  • ARIJR
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    On 30th April 1945 Germany is in chaos...Russian troops have reached Berlin. All over the country, people are on the move - concentration camp survivors, Allied PoWs, escaping Nazis - and the civilian population is fast running out of food. The man who orchestrated this nightmare is in his bunker beneath the capital, saying his farewells. This is the gripping story of Hitler's final hours, as seen through the eyes of those who were with him in the bunker; those fighting in the streets of Germany; and those pacing the corridors of power in Washington, London and Moscow. It was a day of endings and beginnings when ordinary people were placed in extraordinary situations. 30th April 1945 was a day that millions had dreamed of, and millions had died for.
  • Secret Pigeon Service - Hardback - 9780008220303 - Gordon Corera
    SPIG
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    BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.

    Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.

    The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.

    Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
  • ASMUS
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    Without Churchill's inspiring leadership Britain could not have survived its darkest hour and repelled the Nazi menace. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, the Second World War would have been 'impossible without her'. Clementine was Winston's emotional rock and his most trusted confidante; not only was she involved in some of the most crucial decisions of war, but she exerted an influence over her husband and the Government that would appear scandalous to modern eyes. Yet her ability to charm Britain's allies and her humanitarian efforts on the Home Front earned her deep respect, both behind closed doors in Whitehall and among the population at large. That Clementine should become Britain's 'First Lady' was by no means pre-ordained. Born into impecunious aristocracy, her childhood was far from gilded. Her mother was a serial adulteress and gambler, who spent many years uprooting her children to escape the clutches of their erstwhile father, and by the time Clementine entered polite society she had become the target of cruel snobbery and rumours about her parentage. In Winston, however, she discovered a partner as emotionally insecure as herself, and in his career she found her mission. Her dedication to his cause may have had tragic consequences for their children, but theirs was a marriage that changed the course of history. Now, acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating union. From the personal and political upheavals of the Great War, through the Churchills' 'wilderness years' in the 1930s, to Clementine's desperate efforts to preserve her husband's health during the struggle against Hitler, Sonia presents the inspiring but often ignored story of one of the most important women in modern history.
  • ASOSO
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    An extraordinary tale of the remarkable bond between one man and his dog during the Second World War. The two friends huddled close together, each of them the other's saving grace in a world gone to hell ...There was nothing terribly unusual about POWs suffering horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors. All across the Pacific theatre, Allied captives were experiencing similar punishment. But there was one thing unusual about this particular duo of prisoners. One of them was a dog. Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own. Using a wealth of new material including interviews with those who knew Frank and Judy, letters and firsthand accounts, Robert Weintraub expertly weaves a narrative of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances. Judy's devotion to the men she was interned with, including a host of characters from all around the world, from Australia to the UK, was so powerful that reports indicate she might have been the only dog spared in these camps - and their care for her helped keep them alive. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war's only official canine POW, and after she died at the age of fourteen, Frank couldn't bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story of friendship and survival is one of the great sagas of World War II.
  • Imperial War Museum's History Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781471162497
    IWMH
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    Published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, this three-book collection brings together a fascinating and authoritative social history of the Second World War.

    A Prayer for Gallipoli covers the Great War from the point of view of a chaplain. Kenneth Best had no military training, so to fulfil his pastoral role, he had to get close to the front line and work with troops as they were under fire. As his empathy for the troops grew larger, he became more and more disgusted with their leaders. These diaries provide an insight into the horrific realities of trench warfare.

    The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine looks at the people that are not normally mentioned during accounts of the War - those spivs, outcasts and unsung heroes who were in the shadows; and D-Day to Victory features the diaries of a British tank commander as the war finally came to an end.

    All written using archive and primary sources, these are candid and compelling reads about the triumphs and tragedies of war.
  • BTZZB
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    Bart van Es' The Cut Out Girl is the winner of the Costa Biography Award 2018 - and has now been published in paperback for the first time.

    The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a city far away to be hidden from the Nazis.She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out well after the war meant they were no longer in touch.

    What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? Bart managed to track down Lien (now in her 80s) living in Amsterdam. Reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship.

    This page-turning biography is powerful recreation of Lien's harrowing childhood and a story about the love and challenges foster families face.
  • Our Uninvited Guests - Hardback - 9781471152535 - Julie Summers
    UNIN
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    Social historian Julie Summers looks over the period during the Second World War when thousands of families had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave everything they knew and start a new life in a location where Hitler's Luftwaffe could not reach them - and the role Britain's country houses had to play in this.

    Based on extensive research and interviews, Julie conveys the problems these families faced during the early years of the conflict and examines the locations that they were sent to. She also looks at the problems and social stigmas they had to face and overcome in each different area.

    This hardback shines a light on a previously untold story from the Second World War. It looks at how people from all walks of life found themselves in these most esteemed surroundings and how the juxtaposition of splendour and opulence was at odds with their temporary residents' needs.
  • URCH
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    Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.

    It includes rare and previously unpublished images from the vaults of the Churchill Archive Centre and family pictures from the Broadwater collection. Written by historian Max Arthur, the book covers everything from Churchill's youth and early military career through to the First and Second World Wars and his post-war life.

    Endlessly fascinating, it includes timelines, speech drafts, telegrams and insights into Churchill's key influences, acquaintances and family.
  • BOJIG
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    The holocaust will remain a stain on the history of mankind in perpetuity, long after the recollection of many of the perpetrators has faded. Some names will remain, however, indelibly printed in the records and the memories of future generations. Adolf Hitler's political protestations against certain sections of twentieth-century European society developed into national policy once he achieved his grip on power. His vision of a Europe free of these `undesirables' almost became a reality. In Heinrich Himmler, he had a loyal servant, only too willing to sell his soul to the Devil to please his master. Himmler's SS organisation was the ideal tool to execute Hitler's plans, and what better administrator than the intelligent and obedient ex-naval officer who directed the Reich security police? From an early age, Reinhard Heydrich was determined to succeed at every challenge he encountered. An ambitious sportsman, a loving family man, and a ruthless executive, Heydrich possessed all the qualities necessary to carry out Hitler's policy in Himmler's name. This book illustrates the life of the architect of genocide, his background, his upbringing, his family, and his career, which developed into engineering one of the greatest crimes in history.
  • AQXSB
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    An Honorary Citizen of the U.S.A., and designated as one of the Righteous among the Nations by Israel, Raoul Wallenberg's heroism in Budapest at the height of the Holocaust saved countless lives, and ultimately cost him his own. A series of unlikely coincidences led to the appointment of Wallenberg, by trade a poultry importer, as Sweden's Special Envoy to Budapest in 1944. With remarkable bravery, Wallenberg created a system of protective passports, and sheltered thousands of desperate Jews in buildings he claimed were Swedish libraries and research institutes. As the war drew to a close, his invaluable work almost complete, Wallenberg voluntarily went to meet with the Soviet troops who were relieving the city. Arrested as a spy, Wallenberg disappeared into the depths of the Soviet system, never to be seen again. For this seminal biography, Ingrid Carlberg has carried out unprecedented research into all elements of Wallenberg's life, narrating with vigour and insight the story of a heroic life, and navigating with wisdom and sensitivity the truth about his disappearance and death.
  • AWRDQ
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    Over the course of five years, acclaimed photographer Harry Borden has travelled the globe photographing survivors of the Holocaust. The people featured vary in age, gender and nationality, but are all tied together by their experience and survival of one of the darkest moments in human history. Each photograph is accompanied by a handwritten note from the sitter, ranging from poems, to memories, to hopes for the future, creating a strong sense of intimacy between sitter and reader. This intimacy is amplified by the home settings of many of the photographs, along with the photographer's use of available light at each scene. At the end of the book is a section providing more information about the person in each portrait, and about how and what they survived, together with the historical context of the events they lived through. Thought-provoking and touching, this book conveys the dignity and humanity of each subject's character. Survivor is a unique and powerful testimony of what it is to live with memories of the Holocaust.
  • AXBNJ
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    The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the world's oldest, most prominent, and revered aid organizations. But at the end of World War II things could not have looked more different. Under fire for its failure to speak out against the Holocaust or to extend substantial assistance to Jews trapped in Nazi camps across Europe, the ICRC desperately needed to salvage its reputation in order to remain relevant in the post-war world. Indeed, the whole future of Switzerland's humanitarian flagship looked to hang in the balance at this time. Torn between defending Swiss neutrality and battling Communist critics in the early Cold War, the Red Cross leadership in Geneva emerged from the world war with a new commitment to protecting civilians caught in the crossfire of conflict. Yet they did so while interfering with Allied de-nazification efforts in Germany and elsewhere, and coming to the defence of former Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials. Not least, they provided the tools for many of Hitler's former henchmen, notorious figures such as Joseph Mengele and Adolf Eichmann, to slip out of Europe and escape prosecution - behaviour which did little to silence those critics in the Allied powers who unfavourably compared the 'shabby' neutrality of the Swiss with the 'good neutrality' of the Swedes, their eager rivals for leadership in international humanitarian initiatives. However, in spite of all this, by the end of the decade, the ICRC had emerged triumphant from its moment of existential crisis, navigating the new global order to reaffirm its leadership in world humanitarian affairs against the challenge of the Swedes, and playing a formative role in rewriting the rules of war in the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This uncompromising new history tells the remarkable and intriguing story of how the ICRC achieved this - successfully escaping the shadow of its ambiguous wartime record to forge a new role and a new identity in the post-1945 world.
  • BJJSE
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    The Nuremberg Interviews reveals the chilling innermost thoughts of the former Nazi officials under indictment at the famous postwar trial. The architects of one of history's greatest atrocities speak out about their lives, their careers in the Nazi Party and their views on the Holocaust. Their reflections are recorded in a set of interviews conducted by a U.S. Army psychiatrist. Dr Leon Goldensohn was entrusted with monitoring the mental health of the two dozen German leaders charged with carrying out genocide, as well as that of many of the defence and prosecution witnesses. These recorded conversations have gone largely unexamined for more than fifty years. Here are interviews with some of the highest-ranking Nazi officials in the Nuremberg jails, including Hans Frank, Hermann Goering, Ernest Kaltenbrunner, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Here, too, are interviews with lesser-known officials who were, nonetheless, essential to the workings of the Third Reich. Goldensohn was a particularly astute interviewer, his training as a psychiatrist leading him to probe the motives, the rationales, and the skewing of morality that allowed these men to enact an unfathomable evil. Candid and often shockingly truthful, these interviews are deeply disturbing in their illumination of an ideology gone mad. Each interview is annotated with biographical information and footnotes that place the man and his actions in their historical context and are a profoundly important addition to our understanding of the Nazi mind and mission.
  • BRZVY
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    A single word-"Auschwitz"-is sometimes used to encapsulate the totality of persecution and suffering involved in what we call the Holocaust. Yet focusing on a single concentration camp, however horrific the scale of crimes committed there, leaves an incomplete story, truncates a complex history and obscures the continuing legacies of Nazi crimes. Mary Fulbrook's encompassing book explores the lives of individuals across a full spectrum of suffering and guilt, each one capturing one small part of the greater story. Using "reckoning" in the widest possible sense to evoke how the consequences of violence have expanded almost infinitely through time, from early brutality through programs to euthanize the sick and infirm in the 1930s to the full functioning of the death camps in the early 1940s, and across the post-war decades of selective confrontation with perpetrators and ever-expanding commemoration of victims, Fulbrook exposes the disjuncture between official myths about "dealing with the past" and the extent to which the vast majority of Nazi perpetrators evaded responsibility. In the successor states to the Third Reich-East Germany, West Germany, and Austria-prosecution varied widely. Communist East Germany pursued Nazi criminals and handed down severe sentences; West Germany, caught between facing up to the past and seeking to draw a line under it, tended toward selective justice and reintegration of former Nazis; and Austria made nearly no reckoning at all until the mid-1980s, when news broke about Austrian presidential candidate Kurt Waldheim's past. The continuing battle with the legacies of Nazism in the private sphere was often at odds with public remembrance and memorials. Following the various phases of trials and testimonies, from those immediately after the war to those that stretched into the decades following, Reckonings illuminates shifting public attitudes toward both perpetrators and survivors, and recalibrates anew the scales of justice.
  • BVJPW
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    Escaping Hitler is the true story, covering ninety years, of a fourteen-year-old boy Gunter Stern who, when Adolf Hitler threatened hisfamily, education and future, resolved to escape from his rural village of Nickenich in the German Rhineland. In July 1939 Gunter boarded a bus to the border with Luxembourg, illegally crossed the river and walked alone for seven days through Belgium into Holland, intent on catching a ferry to England and freedom. The outcome was not exactly as he had planned.The author gathered her information through interviews with Gunter, now known as Joe Stirling, and with those closest to him. During an emotional 'foot-stepping' journey in September 2013 the author visited Gunter's birthplace, met with a school friend, discovered the apartment in Koblenz where he fled following Kristallnacht in 1938, drove the route of Gunter's walk through Europe and retraced the final steps of his parents prior to their deportation to a Nazi death camp in Poland during 1942.
  • BMHGD
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    At age thirty in 1919, Adolf Hitler had no accomplishments. He was a rootless loner, a corporal in a shattered army, without money or prospects. A little more than twenty years later, in autumn 1941, he directed his dynamic forces against the Soviet Union, and in December, the Germans were at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. At that moment, Hitler appeared - however briefly - to be the most powerful ruler on the planet. Given this dramatic turn of events, it is little wonder that since 1945 generations of historians keep trying to explain how it all happened. This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the complex history of the Third Reich, from the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933 to the final collapse in 1945. Using photographs, paintings, propaganda images, and a host of other such materials from a wide range of sources, including official documents, cinema, and the photography of contemporary amateurs, foreigners, and the Allied armies, it distils our ideas about the period and provides a balanced and accessible account of the whole era.
  • AFPWL
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    As head of the SS, chief of police, 'Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness', and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, his name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the repression of the German people on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite of his central role in the crimes of the Nazi regime, until now Himmler has remained a colourless and elusive figure in the history of the period. In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the SS-Reichsfuhrer, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible - especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains both incomplete and incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief.
  • BOLWD
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    The Dutch resistance movement during the Nazi occupation was bedevilled by treachery, betrayal and poor organization and support from London. Despite these serious problems, the brave men and women of the Dutch resistance who refused to accept domination by their brutal oppressors, made a significant contribution to the war effort albeit at a terrible cost. Their contribution which included escape routes for Allied aircrew and acts of sabotage has been largely over-looked. While the author focuses on the activity and fate of her husband's father, Henry Scharrer, her superbly researched book ranges far wider. As well as introducing a large cast of resistance workers, double agents and Nazis, she describes many of the operations, successful and disastrous, and analyses the results. Too often, as in Henry Scharrer's case, the outcome was tragic. This gripping true account of extraordinary heroism and betrayal demonstrates both the best and worst of human conduct in extreme conditions.
  • BTQFV
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    On 7 November 1938, an impoverished seventeen-year-old Polish Jew living in Paris, obsessed with Nazi persecution of his family in Germany, brooding on revenge - and his own insignificance - bought a handgun, carried it on the Metro to the German Embassy in Paris and (never before having fired a weapon) shot down the first German diplomat he saw. When the official died two days later, Hitler and Goebbels used the event as their pretext for the state-sponsored wave of anti-Semitic violence and terror known as Kristallnacht, the pogrom that was the initiating event of the Holocaust. Overnight this obscure young man, Herschel Grynszpan, found himself world-famous, his face on front pages everywhere, and a pawn in the machinations of power. Instead of being executed, he found himself a privileged prisoner of the Gestapo while Hitler and Goebbels prepared a show-trial. The trial, planned to the last detail, was intended to prove that the Jews had started the Second World War. Alone in his cell, Herschel soon grasped how the Nazis planned to use him, and set out to wage a battle of wits against Hitler and Goebbels, knowing perfectly well that if he succeeded in stopping the trial, he would certainly be murdered. Until very recently, what really happened has remained hazy. Hitler's Scapegoat, based on the most recent research - including access to a heretofore untapped archive compiled by a Nuremberg rapporteur - tells Herschel's extraordinary story in full for the first time.
  • BWIUQ
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    The remarkable memoir of Zuzana Ruzickova, Holocaust survivor and world-famous harpsichordist. Zuzana Ruzickova grew up in 1930s Czechoslovakia dreaming of two things: Johann Sebastian Bach and the piano. But her peaceful, melodic childhood was torn apart when, in 1939, the Nazis invaded. Uprooted from her home, transported from Auschwitz to Hamburg to Bergen-Belsen, bereaved, starved, and afflicted with crippling injuries to her musician's hands, the teenage Zuzana faced a series of devastating losses. Yet with every truck and train ride, a small slip of paper printed with her favourite piece of Bach's music became her talisman. Armed with this `proof that beauty still existed', Zuzana's fierce bravery and passion ensured her survival of the greatest human atrocities of all time, and would continue to sustain her through the brutalities of post-war Communist rule. Harnessing her talent and dedication, and fortified by the love of her husband, the Czech composer Viktor Kalabis, Zuzana went on to become one of the twentieth century's most renowned musicians and the first harpsichordist to record the entirety of Bach's keyboard works. Zuzana's story, told here in her own words before her death in 2017, is a profound and powerful testimony of the horrors of the Holocaust, and a testament in itself to the importance of amplifying the voices of its survivors today. It is also a joyful celebration of art and resistance that defined the life of the `first lady of the harpsichord'- a woman who spent her life being ceaselessly reborn through her music. Like the music of her beloved Bach, Zuzana's life is the story of the tragic transmuted through art into the state of the sublime.
  • ADKOR
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    A comprehensive history of the Nazi persecution and murder of European Jews, paying detailed attention to an unrivalled range sources. Focusing clearly on the perpetrators and exploring closely the process of decision making, Longerich argues that anti-Semitism was not a mere by-product of the Nazis' political mobilization or an attempt to deflect the attention of the masses, but that anti-Jewish policy was a central tenet of the Nazi movement's attempts to implement, disseminate, and secure National Socialist rule - and one which crucially shaped Nazi policy decisions, from their earliest days in power through to the invasion of the Soviet Union and the Final Solution. As Longerich shows, the 'disappearance' of Jews was designed as a first step towards a racially homogeneous society - first within the 'Reich', later in the whole of a German-dominated Europe.
  • AMQNT
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    Albert Speer was Hitler's architect before the Second World War. Through Hitler's great trust in him and Speer's own genius for organisation he became, effectively from 1942 overlord of the entire war economy, making him the second most powerful man in the Third Reich. Sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in Spandau Prison at the Nuremberg Trails, Speer attempted to progress from moral extinction to moral self-education. How he came to terms with his own acts and failures to act and his real culpability in Nazi war crimes are the questions at the centre of this book. The author had access to Speer, his family and friends and his private papers.