Join us


Johann Chapoutot

Free to Obey

Cover: Free to Obey - Johann Chapoutot

Johann Chapoutot

Free to Obey

2023, pp. 144, e-Book
ISBN: 9781787704466
Translated by: Steven Rendall
Region: France
Book collection: Europa Compass
Paper Paper Paper
£ 9.99
Where to buy Where to buy Where to buy

The book

What if the rules of modern management were written during the Third Reich?

“Chapoutot is one of the most gifted European historians of his generation.”
—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

“A brilliant, stereotype defying study.”
Les Temps

“Johann Chapoutot is one of the great historians of Nazism. Time and again, his work has shown that the Third Reich was not an accidental aberration of history.”
France Culture

“A fascinating essay about the second life of Reinhard Höhn—from one of the Third Reich’s most brilliant legal minds to the founder of Germany’s leading post-war business school.”
Le Figaro Magazine

SS Commander Reinhard Höhn was one of Nazi Germany’s most brilliant legal minds, an archetype of the fervid technocrats that built the Third Reich. Gone into hiding after 1945, he survived unscathed and re-emerged in the 1950s as the founder of a management school.

His story wouldn’t be too different from that of other prominent Nazis, if not for the fact that the great majority of Germany’s post-war business leaders were educated at his school. Is this a coincidence? Or is there a link between the forms of organization of Nazism and the principles of corporate management?

At the core of Höhn’s vision was the concept of freedom, as freedom to obey orders from above—to carry out one’s mission no matter the cost.

The author

Johann Chapoutot
Johann Chapoutot was born in Martigues in 1978. He is currently a professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he researches political and cultural history, with a focus on Germany and European modernity. His previous work, The Law of Blood (Harvard University Press, 2018) won the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Studies.

Books by region

  • Cover: Dogs and Wolves - Hervé Le Corre

    Hervé Le Corre

    Dogs and Wolves

    2024, pp. 288, £ 14.99
    A gripping noir about the blossoming of poisonous passions.
  • Cover: Forgotten on Sunday - Valérie Perrin

    Valérie Perrin

    Forgotten on Sunday

    2024, pp. 256, £ 9.99
    From the million copy bestselling author of Fresh Water for Flowers
  • Cover: The Postcard - Anne Berest

    Anne Berest

    The Postcard

    2024, pp. 480, £ 9.99
    A moving novel based on the true story of a familys endurance and pain, and a heartfelt exploration of Jewish identity in a secular society...
  • Cover: A Good Life - Virginie Grimaldi

    Virginie Grimaldi

    A Good Life

    2024, pp. 288, £ 9.99
    An emotional and uplifting novel from the French Marian Keyes
  • Cover: Paradises Lost - Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

    Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

    Paradises Lost

    2024, pp. 480, £ 14.99
    The beginning of a unique adventure, the tremendous challenge of recounting the history of humanity.
  • Cover: Living with Our Dead - Delphine Horvilleur

    Delphine Horvilleur

    Living with Our Dead

    2024, pp. 144, £ 12.99
    In this moving and engaging book by one of France’s few female rabbis and leader of the country’s Liberal Jewish Movement, Delphine Horvilleur...

More suggestions