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Hitler (Harvest Book) Paperback – October 28, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Joachim Fest is a highly acclaimed historian and journalist, and the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including The Face of the Third Reich, Plotting Hitler's Death, and Speer. He worked closely with Albert Speer as the editor of Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. He lives near Frankfurt.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 856 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027540
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By R. Smith on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a devoted reader of history, especially of the early 20th century period, I probably have gone through every popular and even arcane book on Hitler and National Socialism. I've read Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich," Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reach," Alan Bullock's "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives," . . . yet, these books, while informative, lack the depth of understanding of the horrible phenomenon of Hitler that Joachim Fest brings to his biography. Maybe because Fest himself is German and is therefore closer to his subject. Yes, the style is dry, and the book is indeed rather biased at times--the preface is titled incredibly "Hitler and Historical Greatness!" Yet, within that preface, you will find insights and observations that are lacking in all other biographies on the Fuehrer. I myself was riveted from page one all the way to the end. So, if you want to really understand Hitler, read this book. If you want to read a lighter biography, read the sections on Hitler in Bullock's "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives."
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Cotton on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of biographies, and this remains (some 10 years after reading it) one of my favorites. There is no dearth of books on Hitler, of course. Fest's accomplishment here is that each section on Hitler is straddled by a section describing other events in the world and Germany, always giving the reader a larger context in which Hitler's activities can be placed.
I'm a little dismayed by [people] who suggest that Hitler was merely a sufferer of post-traumatic-stress syndrome after his experience in the trenches of WWI, and that Fest does a disservice (to Hitler?) by leaving this information out. But many people have suffered in the trenches in many wars without later moving on to attempt world domination and genocide.
In any case, Fest's biography omits nothing. It is written in a clear, beautiful language, and will leave you with an entirely new understanding of Hitler, Germans and Germany.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Roswitha Mcintosh on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Joachim Fest's book "Hitler" is a rare pleasure to read. His words create an atmosphere and a world that we can understand. Fest manages to step into the shoes of Hitler -- we sit and day-dream with that man and build castles in the air. More than that, he manages to bare Hitler's mind and soul to the reader. We learn how and why Hitler acted as he did. His actions that are so vile that we absolutely condemn them, suddenly become clearer. We begin to understand and are warned of the power that one single man can usurp, even though he is penniles, without education and friends. Fest does in no way justify Hitler or his tyranny. On the contrary, he does open our eyes so that we see how actions of such brutality are possible. He makes us understand that they can happen again, but also how they can be avoided. It is an in-depth study of a strongman--strongmen by the way come in all sizes; we encounter them in our daily lives. Since Hitler's demise, half a dozen countries have suffered strongmen as heads of state, and it is vital that we understand and recognize a tyrant before it is too late. None better to learn from than Fest's Hitler, one of the shrewdest and most ruthless strongman of them all.
Roswitha McIntosh, author of "The Madman & His Mistress"
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The life story of Adolf Hitler is so compelling that it is hard to imagine a book about it ever being boring. Fest's account is thoroughly researched and and meticulously detailed and was a best sellerin West Germany before being published in the U.S. Though not as readabled as Robert Payne's superior "The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler," it still paints a fairly complete portrait of the man. If the book has any drawback, it is that it does not spend enough time on Hitler's pre-World War I activities. Payne much more thoroughly documents the humiliation and disappointment in Vienna that searled Hitler's soul and helped turn him into a monster. Nevertheless, Fest's "Hitler" remains one of the defining biographies of the 20th century's most evil figure.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Historian John Lukacs, who has just come out with "The Hitler of History", an analysis of Hitler's hundred or so important biographers, says Fest's bio is the "best long biography" of Adolph Hitler. Fest fleshes out the young Hitler in fascinating detail. Especially interesting is Fest's account of Hitler's political rise in Weimar Germany from being a member of a minute political party which held its meetings in the back of a beer hall to a dynamic leader of a strong poltical party by the end of the 1920s. Fest is very interpretive and analytical. Typical is his suggestion that Hitler was an artist mutated into a politician. For an American like myself, Fest is weak in explaining how the Nazi's, who never achieved more than fifty percent of an honest vote, was able to dominate the apparatus of government so thoroughly and so fast upon joining a governing coalition in 1933. It has never happened in America even if America has had pols with tyranical personality traits- Wilson, Johnson, Nixon, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and, to a small degree, FDR. If the amateur historian has time for only one biography of Adolph Hitler, this is the one to get.
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