The Order of the Day

Version: Unabridged
Author: Eric Vuillard
Narrator: Eric Vuillard
Genres: History, Military
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published In: September 2018
# of Units: 2 CDs
Length: 3 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Winner of the 2017 Prix Goncourt, this eye-opening account of the muddled forces at work behind the Anschluss brilliantly dismantles the myth of a glorious and inevitable Nazi victory.

February 20, 1933: on an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter, a meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi dignitaries is being held in secret in the plush lounges of the Reichstag. They are there to "stump up" funding for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its fearsome Chancellor. This inaugural scene sets the tone of consent which will lead to the worst possible repercussions.

March 12, 1938: the annexation of Austria is on the agenda and a grotesque day ensues that is intended to make history: the newsreels capture for eternity a motorized army, a terrible, inexorable power. But behind Goebbels's splendid propaganda, it is an ersatz Blitzkrieg which unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en mass on the roads of Austria. The true behind-the-scenes story of the Anschluss--a patchwork of minor shows of strength and fine words, a string of fevered telephone calls and vulgar threats--reveals a starkly different picture: it is no longer strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.

With this vivid, compelling history, Éric Vuillard warns against the perils of willfully blind acquiescence, and offers a crucial reminder that, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable.

Author Details

Author Details

Vuillard, Eric

Éric Vuillard is a writer and filmmaker born in Lyon in 1968 who has written nine award-winning books, including Conquistadors (winner of the 2010 Prix Ignatius J. Reilly), and La bataille d'Occident and Congo (both of which received the 2012 Prix Franz-Hessel and the 2013 Prix Valery-Larbaud). He won the 2017 Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize, for L'Ordre du Jour. His most recent book, Sorrow of the Earth, was his first published in English; The Order of the Day is his second. He lives in Rennes, France.