Newton, Steven H.
Newton, Steven H.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, Delaware State University, 1200 N. DuPont Hwy., Dover, DE 19901. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Delaware State University, Dover, DE, professor of history.
Retreat from Leningrad, Army Group North, 1944–1945, Schiffer Military History (Atglen, PA), 1995.
Joseph E. Johnston and the Defense of Richmond, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1998.
Lost for the Cause: The Confederate Army in 1864, Savas Publishing (Mason City, IA), 2000.
McPherson's Ridge: The First Battle for the High Ground, July 1, 1863, Da Capo Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
(Compiler and translator) Erhard Raus, Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945, Da Capo Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model: Hitler's Favorite General, Da Capo Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Steven H. Newton's works of military history have focused on the U.S. Civil War and World War II. One of his books on the latter details the career of one of Nazi Germany's lesser-known yet important generals, Walther Model. Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model: Hitler's Favorite General is the first biography in English of Model, who helped plot the air attacks known as the blitzkrieg and led land-based efforts as well, demonstrating expertise in both offensive and defensive maneuvers. With Germany's defeat nearing in 1945, Model destroyed his personal records and killed himself; in the absence of these records, Newton used other accounts of the war and Model's role in it to develop his portrait of the general. He depicts Model as a "staunch conservative" more than a fervent Nazi ideologue, but Model was nevertheless loyal to Hitler, who in turn supported him even though they had some strong disagreements. Some critics observed that Newton's mission was to bring Model back from obscurity. As to his degree of success in this effort, a Publishers Weekly reviewer remarked that the book tells much about "Model the commander" but far less about him as a person. A Kirkus Reviews contributor, however, deemed the work an "earnest" effort that "offers a useful portrait for students of military history."
Another of Newton's projects on Nazi Germany was the compilation and translation of General Erhard Raus's writings into Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945. Raus led troops fighting in Russia and the surrounding area, but he had numerous arguments with Hitler, who eventually relieved Raus of his command. "Newton's compilation and translation of this historically important work is outstanding," commented Nancy A. McCaslin in a review for the Web site Curled Up with a Good Book. "He has taken published and unpublished materials and compiled them into a very readable, interesting story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2005, review of Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model: Hitler's Favorite General, p. 1223.
Publishers Weekly, November 7, 2005, review of Hitler's Commander, p. 65.
Curled Up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (April 26, 2006), Nancy A. McCaslin, review of Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945.