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Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism Hardcover – May 23, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0275950651 ISBN-10: 0275950654

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 23, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275950654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275950651
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,978,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

LAWRENCE BIRKEN is Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By john thames on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Hitler As Philosophe" is a remarkable book - not the least because it destroys the propaganda image of Hitler as an uneducated fanatic. In truth, Hitler was extraordinarily well educated - self-educated - like Abraham Lincoln. The title of the book is very apt - because the French philosophes of the Enlightenment were very anti-Semitic - like Adolf Hitler. Hitler was well within the European intellecual tradition in believing in white supremacy ; just like the British Empire he so greatly admired. It could also be argued, although Birken does not go so far, that the Nazi methods of quelling rebellion were identical with British methods. When the Germans shot partisans and liquidated villages in Russia were they really behaving differently from the British blowing up Arab villages in Palestine, killing Dutch women and children in South Africa to subordinate the Boers or or massacring Indians to quell the Sepoy rebellion? Hitler once said that if the British Empire actually believed in the principles for which it claimed to be fighting, said empire would never have been created. Who can disagree?

Hitler's views on race were identical with those of Bejamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The Nazi eugenics laws were modeled on those taken from the American south.Hitler was a great admirer of the Dearborn Independent, Henry Ford's old newspaper that vigorously attacked subversive Jewish influence in the United States. Both Ford and Winston Churchill shared Hitler's view that Communism was a world-wide Jewish movement. Hitler would have concurred with the assessment of the 1919 State Department document "The Power and Aims of International Jewry".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Santomauro on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reviewed by Mark Weber

A specter is haunting the world -- the specter of Hitlerism. That, in short, is the stern warning of this provocative book, written by an Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University (Indiana), and published by Praeger, a leading US academic publisher.

In spite of decades of vehement vilification, says author Lawrence Birken, Hitler's views have enduring and dangerous appeal -- not because they are bizarre and alien, but precisely because they are rational and well grounded in Western thought. In particular, Birken stresses, Hitlerism is firmly rooted in the rationalist and scientific outlook of the 18th-century European Enlightenment. This is not meant as a compliment, however; the author is hostile to the West and its traditions. Rejecting the American and Western historical legacy, Prof. Birken openly calls for a new, racially homogenized America.

For more than half a century, Hitler and his views have been ceaselessly demonized in motion pictures, on television and in the print media. And yet, according to Birken, the appeal of Hitlerism remains so potent that it threatens the ideal of a racially "redefined" America of "higher unity." As traditional standards and long-established cultural, racial and religious values come under ever greater attack, and as this country's racial and cultural crisis becomes ever more acute, Birken fears that those who are unwilling to accept the "redefined" society that is developing in America and Europe will turn in ever greater numbers to Hitler's alternative vision of society. Hitlerism, Birken says, will loom ever larger as a dangerously seductive "siren song."

The author has no doubt made a sincere effort to provide an informed and objective look at Hitler and his views.
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