Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Fourth Reich
The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present


  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108497497

$ 29.95

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an evaluation copy?

This title is not currently available for evaluation. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an evaluation copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Ever since the collapse of the Third Reich, anxieties have persisted about Nazism's revival in the form of a Fourth Reich. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld reveals, for the first time, these postwar nightmares of a future that never happened and explains what they tell us about Western political, intellectual, and cultural life. He shows how postwar German history might have been very different without the fear of the Fourth Reich as a mobilizing idea to combat the right-wing forces that genuinely threatened the country's democratic order. He then explores the universalization of the Fourth Reich by left-wing radicals in the 1960s, its transformation into a source of pop culture entertainment in the 1970s, and its embrace by authoritarian populists and neo-Nazis seeking to attack the European Union since the year 2000. This is a timely analysis of a concept that is increasingly relevant in an era of surging right-wing politics.

    • The first comprehensive history about how the idea of a Fourth Reich - the nightmare of a Nazi return to power - has shaped postwar Western life
    • Probes the question of whether a Fourth Reich has been an alarmist vision unlikely to be realized, or whether it ever could have been - or still could become - a reality
    • The arguments in the book are linked to today's political landscape of surging right-wing politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gavriel D. Rosenfeld's new book is a brilliant and very timely exploration of something that never happened. It examines how it is that people after WWII imagined the possibility of a Fourth Reich, in whatever form or shape. As the history of a political concept that spoke to the preoccupations of postwar transatlantic societies, it is a very distinctive addition to our understanding of the stability of democracy in postwar Germany and the postwar West more broadly.' Richard Steigmann-Gall, author of The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity

    'Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, the pioneer of counterfactual history, has written a disturbing book. The Fourth Reich illuminates that the fears and fantasies about a new type of Nazi regime have preoccupied Western societies since 1945. This book couldn't be more timely.' Thomas Kühne, author of The Rise and Fall of Comradeship: Hitler's Soldiers, Male Bonding and Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century

    'After two earlier forays into the Third Reich's counterfactual history, Gavriel D. Rosenfeld now returns for another equally original and imaginative exploration, patiently dissecting the dreams, anxieties, and speculations associated with the idea of a Fourth Reich. In retrieving these complicated and often surprising post-1945 after-lives of Hitler and his regime, no one is more careful and accomplished.' Geoff Eley, author of Nazism as Fascism: Violence, Ideology, and the Ground of Consent, 1930–1945

    'This insightful book explores the history of the Fourth Reich: while it never existed, fears (and sometimes hopes) that it might come about certainly did. Rosenfeld sheds light on these, as well as on their political context and cultural expression. A fascinating and original study.' Bill Niven, author of Facing the Nazi Past

    'Marshals a variety of sources - political speeches, newspaper clippings, slices of cinema - to offer a sharp counterfactual investigation that reveals how discourse on the Fourth Reich has meaningfully shaped postwar culture.' Brandon Tensley, Los Angeles Review of Books

    '… captivating … truly revelatory.' Thomas Meaney, New Statesman

    'Intriguing … Rosenfeld's thoughtful dissection of the origins and inflationary use of the term 'Fourth Reich' [is] timely and welcome.' Brendan Simms, Standpoint

    '… very insightful … These kind of counterfactuals reveal the power of the idea of the Fourth Reich.' Robert Eaglestone, Times Higher Education

    'The real value of this book lies in its insights into the distorting power of historical memory … [an] intriguing study.' Marcus Colla, The Times Literary Supplement

    'American scholar Gavriel D. Rosenfeld deftly examines this slogan in all its variations, while reminding us that it was never more than a theoretical construct in post-war German history.' Sheldon Kirshner, The Times of Israel

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108497497
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.72kg
    • contains: 45 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Between fantasy and nightmare: inventing the Fourth Reich in the Third Reich
    2. From werewolves to democrats: the Fourth Reich under Allied occupation
    3. The Fourth Reich turns right: renazifying Germany in the 1950s
    4. From Germany to the United States: universalizing the Fourth Reich in the turbulent 1960s
    5. Hitler in Argentina: fictionalizing the Fourth Reich in the long 1970s
    6. Re-Germanizing the Fourth Reich: from reunification to the Reich Citizens' Movement

  • Author

    Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, Fairfield University, Connecticut
    Gavriel D. Rosenfeld is Professor of History at Fairfield University, Connecticut. He has published widely on the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the Second World War, including Hi Hitler! How the Nazi Past is Being Normalized in Contemporary Culture (Cambridge, 2014), which won the 2017 Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Book Prize for the best book dealing with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.