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The Nazi Conspiracy

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Im not a Brad Melllzer fan, and i don't care for conspiracy threories, but this book got my attention and held me throuhgout. This one is not to be missed.
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If I had to pick one genre of book I've read more than any other, it's probably books about World War II, though those have by and large been works of fiction and have been focused on the Holocaust. This book appealed to me mainly because its focus is not on the horrors of the war and the Nazi regime, which by now are well known, but rather the bigger picture of the conflict from the point of view of the major players. As the title indicates, a Nazi plot to assassinate the "Big Three" is a major focus of this work, but it's about so much more than that. Many more pages, for example, are given to all the negotiations among FDR, Churchill, and Stalin and how their often tenuous relationships with one another caused complications in their war efforts. There's a lot of fascinating stuff about espionage, stuff that's often central to some of the fictionalized accounts of the war but is even more amazing when you realize it's the truth. I also learned about some things that were brand new to me, despite my extensive reading on the period -- like the secret summit of the Big Three at which they might have been assassinated or the "rescue" of Mussolini by a special operations team of Nazis. What I also appreciated is that this book is very blunt about the losses suffered by the Soviets and makes clear that, whatever the differences in ideology, the Western allies could not have defeated the Nazis without their help.

My one complaint about this book is only a minor quibble, and it's something that other readers probably won't mind: It seemed to me that every chapter ended with a cliffhanger of the sort that you'd expect to find in a fictional thriller. While I appreciate the authors' attempt to keep things exciting, there really isn't a mystery or a surprise how a historical event will end up, and it felt a bit over-dramatic to me.
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Absolutely fascinating and hard to put down for anyone who wants to learn about spies during WWII and the Tehran conference meeting of the “Big Three”. I love the way the author explains the background of the Nazi activities and the Allies as well as slices of the Japanese POV.
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FDR believed that a face-to-face meeting between the Big Three - Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and himself - would do much toward rallying the Allied cause. Not only would it encourage the people of the United States and the other Allied nations, but it might sway some of those nations that were still on the fence and hopefully demoralize the Axis nations, who were suffering from a string of setbacks in 1943. After much negotiating (mostly just giving in to Stalin's demands) it was decided that the three should meet in Tehran. Unfortunately, the Nazis had a man in Iran - Franz Mayr - who had developed a sizeable underground network. And as the Nazi espionage network discovered the meeting, a plot to assassinate all three of the Allied leaders was hatched.

This book is written in a very engaging style - I guess I'd call it pop-history. The authors try to dramatize the situations in a way that makes them more... well, dramatic. They don't go so far as to invent dialogue (thank goodness!), but the chapters are structured to build suspense. Much of the book is also written in present-tense - kind of a you-are-there style. I'm not a fan of present tense writing, but... I guess it's interesting in it's own way (and it does serve the dramatic angle). Unfortunately, it lends the whole story a whiff of fiction, or historical fiction I suppose. And after checking the author bio online, it appears the main author is actually (surprise!) a fiction writer. Honestly, I nearly quit reading after a few chapters but decided to soldier on, and it's actually a rather interesting tale.

However, the whole story might actually be a rather tall tale. I was a little surprised that I had not heard of this plot before - I've done a fair bit of reading regarding WWII history. And it turns out that there's no conclusive evidence that this assassination plot ever happened. At best it's suggestions and a few wild claims, but by then I wasn't feeling too happy with the book. The authors eventually admit this while making their case that it could have happened, but by then it kind of felt like a bait-and-switch story.

So, while it was somewhat entertaining, I don't think regular readers of history will appreciate the style or substance of the book. (I'm grateful to NetGalley for providing an electronic copy of this book for review.)
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The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch is a book that probably deserves two different ratings, one as a history book and one simply as an engaging narrative. It is a better read than it is a history book, but it isn't bad as either one.

First, the history. The possibility of the triple assassination plot has been known for a long time, though distrust of Soviet accounts coupled with scant information kept it in the unknown category for many. Though there is not a lot of original research here, there is enough to increase the likelihood that the plot, and the foiling of it, are true. Not definitive, but more likely than not. A lot of the rest of the history is widely known and is used to flesh out the narrative around why such a risk would have been worth it for Nazi Germany.

As a book telling history largely as a narrative, this is a great read. The authors acknowledge that they have made reasonable assumptions in filling in gaps, with dialogue and guesses about key figures and their rationale. It is very much a page turner and even if you tend toward fiction rather than nonfiction you will likely enjoy reading this.

I would recommend this to those who want to read a good book that offers some new information and a lot of reasonable speculation. Whether your interest is usually true espionage or espionage novels, you will enjoy this story.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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'The Nazi Conspiracy' is centered on an alleged German attempt to assassinate FDR, Stalin, and Churchill during their first meeting at Tehran in 1943. Because information on this assassination attempt is limited and much remains unknown about the planning and implementation, if any, of the original plan, the actual attention to Tehran, the conference, and the assassination attempt is limited. Much of the book is taken up with backstory of the war, FDR, Churchill, Stalin, the Eastern Front, Pearl Harbor, intelligence operations, Mussolini's rescue, the evolution of the Holocaust on the Eastern Front, etc. Pretty much anything and everything that might be related to the three heads of state or Nazi Germany is game for the authors.  While the book is readable and quick paced, it's neither groundbreaking or original. It makes for an entertaining read for passing fans of history or WWII.
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The Nazi Conspiracy  marks one of mystery/thriller writer Brad Meltzer's  latest forays with co-author Josh Mensch into non-fiction.  It was an informative book -- readers will almost certainly come away learning something they did not know about the Nazi espionage efforts, including a  plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill.  But while the book reads like a novel, it left me looking for answers to questions it poses, but does not fully answer. That may be because those questions can never be fully answerable.  For all that, I'm glad I read the book and would recommend it to others.
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The Nazi Conspiracy is a neat work of a combination of non-fiction/historical fiction (not sure how to classify it) based on the plot by the Nazis to assassinate the Big Three (FDR, Churchill, Stalin) at their first FTF meeting in Tehran, Iran in 1943.  But after reading The Nazi Conspiracy was it an actual plot or a huge hoax?

The authors use a very engaging writing style that moves briskly from chapter to chapter, section to section.  There is good background information on the principal characters involved with the plot *aside* from the Big Three that I found particularly fascinating to read.

There were some parts that left me with unanswered questions.  I did not know that Hitler arranged a "rescue" mission for Benito Mussolini following his capture by pro-Allied Italians.  That was very interesting.  So while the book was not about Mussolini, how was it that the Duce ultimately was back in Italy and eventually killed along with his mistress?  What happened to the girlfriend of the main Nazi on the ground in Iran?  (I'm omitting spoilers on purpose here).  I would have liked to learn more about some of these questions.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the book and recommend if if you are interested in WWII, politics, etc.  I rate the book four stars.

Overall, this is a good read and I appreciated the chance to receive an advanced review copy from the publisher, the authors and NetGalley.  I certify this is my own original and unbiased view.
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GREAT BOOK!  Anything by Brad Meltzer is going to be a good read, add in Josh Mensch and it goes to another dimension.  The book reads like fiction-it moves fast and never lets up.  The level of research is astounding-where did they find all this stuff?  1943-WWII is raging and Roosevelt heads to Tehran, Iran to meet with Allies Stalin and Churchill.  So far so good-then the Nazis find out about it, and hatch a ruthless assassination plot that would alter the course of the war and rewrite history.  Dastardly people do unfathomable things in the name of Hitler.  This book knocked my socks off and if you are a fan of history, this is the one for you.  Five big fat stars. I received a copy from #NetGallery-this is my own opinion.
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In my opinion, anything that Brad Meltzer is involved with is going to be great. I love his fiction, but these non-fiction books with Josh Mensch are equally entertaining. This one is no different. This period of history is fascinating to read about. These authors honed in one a plot that I had definitely ever heard of and was very interested to read.
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This is another great read by Brad Meltzer. He always does well to write a gripping narrative that can read more like fiction, but has a good grounding in documented fact. WWII was such a vast and varied historical event that it is easy to overlook the detail and nuance in hindsight. The risk and danger, as well as the potential repercussions for failure, of the Big 3 meetings are sometimes overlooked when reading about WWII because we know how the events turned out. This book gives a detailed account of the players and the pitfalls. It is difficult to imagine being the head of security for these kinds of events with the much more limited technology of the day. A fascinating read.
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The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch proves without doubt that there is always something new to learn about World War II.  From the opening Prologue to the Aftermath, this page-turner never lets up. as the authors present the theory that Nazis conspired to assassinate the "Big 3" Allied leaders at a planned conference in Tehran, Iran in 1943.   
     Although the three leading figures---Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin--are the focus here, there are a large number of additional characters who actually drive the plot:  Mike Reilly, chief of security for FDR, Franz Mayr, a Nazi working undercover in Iran and Otto Skorzeny, a high-ranking Nazi who rescued Benito Mussolini and went on to deny any wrongdoing in his support of the Nazi regime.  Many additional players have unique and necessary roles to play which make for an unforgettable scenario.
     Readers will have no difficulty with the story unfolding in layers and backstory provided strategically throughout.  Like any captivating historical writing,  the facts are given; and when facts are not available, plausible theories can offer readers an opportunity to consider, contemplate and judge.  
   Do not miss out on this truly excellent read.
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