This book was a "read now" on Netgalley and, since the subject interests me I thought I'd give it a go. Glad I did, but it's always hard to leave this history behind.
The author, Stephen Halbrook, is unreservedly, unapologetically, pro-Second Amendment. He makes a point of letting the reader know in the introduction that advocating for gun rights is NOT the purpose of this work. It's an angle on the rise of the Third Reich that hasn't seen as much study as it could and that's how he approaches it. He also makes it perfectly clear that he's not at all trying to say strict gun control brought about the Third Reich or the Holocaust. It seems to be just one of the many pieces of a harrowing puzzle. To understand such a baffling stretch of recent history, it's important for all aspects to be explored. So often we only see the simplest arc and come away with shallow suppositions based on half information. This is an effective installment in the efforts to understand something that, to me, is incomprehensible.
The book is actually a quick and fairly easy read considering the subject matter. Halbrook's manner is straight-forward, just-the-facts, and full of footnotes, annotations and cites. The information he imparts has been meticulously researched, so as a text relating history, it's trustworthy.
I think the best way to approach and present this subject is to avoid drama. If you've ever been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. the information is presented very similarly. Contemporary articles and spare exhibits. It's thought-provoking and haunting. While Hollywood has made Nazi's into caricatures, this style of presentation invokes appropriate horror far better than a dramatic depiction ever can. This is why this book is effective, in my opinion.
So, it's a factual, almost dry text, but the facts contained are so riveting and arresting that this kind of non-fiction stays with you for a long time after reading.