The failure of democracy during the Weimar Republic is currently at the center of public discussion due to the global populist wave of the last few years. In his new book, Hitler versus Hindenburg: The 1932 Presidential Elections and the End of the Weimar Republic
(Cambridge University Press, 2016), Larry Eugene Jones
examines how the republic’s final presidential election contributed to its dissolution. He synthesizes evidence from a vast number of German archives as well as a career spent as an internationally recognized specialist of Weimar political history. Assessing both Hitler, Hindenburg, and other prominent figures from the era, such as Heinrich Brüning and Alfred Hugenberg, Jones illustrates the fragmentation of the non-Nazi right wing and the triumph of personal charisma over issue-based politics in 1930s Germany. Jones’s new book is essential for anyone interested in Germany’s transformation from democracy to dictatorship. Larry Jones recently retired as Professor of History at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.
Michael E. O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of History at Marist College where he teaches courses about Modern Europe. He will publish Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965 with University of Toronto Press in the Fall of 2018.