There are a number of detailed reviews of this book online already, so I won't go into any real detail regarding the contents, as it'd be fairly redundant. I simply want to add my voice to the chorus of approval. Like William Shirer's justly celebrated Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich this is sweeping, compelling history that really draws you in. The kind of thing that'll threaten to end your fiction reading. Why read fiction when real world events are so massively interesting?
The 1930s were, of course, the crucible of WWII, with extreme nationalist governments taking over ever larger swathes of the world: Italy, Spain and Japan were joined in this decade by Germany, and all these major powers can be added to the giants of Russia and, to a lesser extent, China. There was the fallout of worldwide recession, and all around the world, but most surprisingly perhaps, in the 'developed' West, liberalism and democracy were in crisis.
* And of course there was Franco in Spain, the militants behind a Emperor Hirohito in Japan, and many lesser tin-pot tyrants in areas like the Balkans.
I found an interesting article about Magnitogorsk here.