The Wages of Destruction

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The Wages of Destruction
Author Adam Tooze
Country England
Language English
Subject Nazi economy
Publisher Allen Lane
Publication date
Pages 799 pp
ISBN 978-0-7139-9566-4
OCLC 64313370
320.94309043 22
LC Class HC286.3 .T66 2006

The Wages of Destruction is a non-fiction book detailing the economic history of Nazi Germany. Written by Adam Tooze, it was first published by Allen Lane in 2006.

The Wages of Destruction won the Wolfson History Prize and the 2007 Longman/History Today Book of the Year Prize. It was published to critical praise from such authors as Michael Burleigh, Richard Overy and Niall Ferguson.

The book argues that, having failed to defeat Britain in 1940 the economic logic of the war drove the Nazis to invade the Soviet Union (to capture the level of natural resources needed to challenge the economic superpowers of the United States and the British Empire) but in doing so was sealing its own destruction as it was precisely that lack of resources that made a victory against the Soviet Union impossible as the Soviet Union was eventually able to get access to US aid as well as rely on its own resources.

The book makes the case for the economic impact of the strategic bombing campaign (though argues that the wrong targets were often selected), challenges the idea of an economic miracle under Albert Speer and rejects the idea that the German economy could have mobilised significantly more women into the war economy.


The book has been positively reviewed by History Today, which calls the work "an extraordinary achievement" and notes: "By thinking afresh about what Hitler’s war aims really were and how the Nazi leadership attempted first to win and then prolong a war for which they knew they never possessed sufficient resources, Tooze has produced the most striking history of German strategy in the Second World War that we possess".[1]


  1. ^ The Wages of Destruction, Review, History Today Volume 56 Issue 12 December 2006

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