The Totalitarians

H440 — with Hunt Tooley

Dates: February 26, 2012 - April 28, 2012
Status: Closed

The totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century have formed the backdrop and counterpoint to much of modern thinking about individualism, the market, and socialism since the 1920s and 1930s. Mises’s wartime treatise on the total state, Omnipotent Government, and other Austrian writings provide a theoretical basis for looking at the total regimes of the twentieth century. Vast historical literatures from the mid-twentieth century to the present likewise give us much food for thought in assessing the nature of the total regimes and their meaning for us. This eight-week course will be about the classic totalitarian regimes, chiefly the Soviet Union and the Third Reich. One component of the course will be a careful look at Mises’s Omnipotent Government. Another element will be a detailed examination of the rise and course of the totalitarian regimes, their inner workings, and their impact on the world. Readings will include the whole of Omnipotent Government as well as many other selected readings. All readings will be available online.

This course will use Mises’ Omnipotent Government as its main text.  Professor Tooley is a wonderfully solicitous and engaging instructor, and a fantastic historian.  David Gordon has this to say about the instructor and the course:

 ”Hunt Tooley is one of the best living historians of modern Europe, and his work displays a penetrating intelligence and mastery of the sources. His course on the Totalitarians is sure to be outstanding, and I urge everyone to take it.”

For more, read Professor Tooley’s article on the course here.


The video lectures are online.  Lectures will be Sundays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm Eastern Time. They will be recorded and made available for enrolled students to download.


All readings for the course will be free and available online.

Grades and Certificates

The final grade will depend on quizzes.  Taking the course for a grade is optional.  This course is worth 3 credits in our own internal system.  Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits.  You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.

Refund Policy

If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee.  If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund.  No refunds will be granted following the second week.


Hunt Tooley

Hunt Tooley is Professor of History at Austin College in Sherman, TX, and an Adjunct Faculty Member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He specializes in the history of war, revolution, and “peace” in the twentieth century. He is the author of National Identity in Weimar Germany and The Western Front: Battleground and Homefront in the First World War, and editor and contributor to Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. He has published articles and reviews in The American Historical Review, The English Historical Review, Central European History, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, and other scholarly journals.

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