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The Third Reich as Rogue Regime

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Adam Tooze’s Wages of Destruction

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What was the connection between the structure of the German economy in the 1930s and German aggression in World War ii? Adam Tooze’s Wages of Destruction forcefully poses this issue, but fails to adequately resolve it. Instead, on this decisive question, his analysis oscillates uneasily between two equally unconvincing models: rational-choice theory and cultural determinism. This surprising explanatory failure derives from an inadequate theorisation of German imperialism as the expression of the combined and uneven development of the German economy and society in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Affiliations: 1: University of California, Department of


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