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Publisher's Summary

Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Batallion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as roundups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.
While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition. Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.
©2013 Christopher R. Browning (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Scott on 08-09-17

Very detailed, would recommend.

Great book, very descriptive when descibing events/battles/photographs. Maybe could have used a better reader, but overall well worth the buy. Would recommend

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Mark on 03-26-17

Bogged down in details.

Get out your pencil and take notes. This book is full of details, obscure Polish town names, people's names that are not even their real names.

Basically a recap of court testimony. Yawn....

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4 of 10 people found this review helpful

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