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Selling Hitler Paperback – May 5, 1987


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Paperback, May 5, 1987
$103.78 $0.01
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 5, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140099484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140099485
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,186,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Discovery of Adolf Hitler's secret diaries several years ago caused first a worldwide sensation and then a howling scandal when they proved to be a crude forgery. Harris, a BBC journalist, competently reconstructs this tale of international chicanery, which eventually cost gullible press barons in Germany, Britain, and the United States some $4 million, making it "the most expensive and far-reaching fraud in publishing history." Especially interesting are Harris's colorful profiles of the leading players, including Gerd Heidemann, the German reporter who "found" the diaries, and Hugh Trevor-Roper, the Oxford don who, to his lasting regret, originally authenticated the documents. For popular collections. Kenneth F. Kister, Pinellas Park P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“… one of the most gripping books I have read in ages.” – William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

“Impossible to stop reading.” – Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.

Customer Reviews

Beware of what you want to believe!
Suzanne G. Bowles
I've just re-read it again and the book is as fresh, fast-moving, funny and informative as when I first read it.
Roger Clark
This is a great book about the Hitler diaries forgeries.
Kevin M Quigg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By spideranansie on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
A well-told and detailed account on the biggest publishing mess in the whole of history, Harris' "Selling Hitler" is hilarious, but has serious lessons to impart. Behind his account of how some of the biggest names in international publishing were conned into making the most enormous fools of themselves are some very chilling scenarios which we witness -- the callousness of the "primitive" Kujau, as well as the publishing world where money is above everything and the pursuit of profit is considered above journalistic integrity, the dishonesty and readiness of one such as Heidemann to believe in the authenticity of the diaries and the unrepentance of the reminiscing Nazis on the "good old days". Most importantly, we see the prevalence of and influence of Hitler and the Nazis on the world so many decades after the demise of the Third Reich, and have to imagine what would have happened had the 'diaries' been used to rewrite history if proof that they were forgeries was not conclusive. Harris' book explains the hold Hitler continues to have on the generation which had undergone the war as well as those after it, and serves as a warning on how memory or delusion can be harmful. A fantastic read, this book should be brought back into publication and made accessible to more people. Highly recommended if you're interested in seeing how people make monkeys of themselves on the world stage.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bart Coessens on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most interesting history books I have read. All along you keep thinking, how was it possible? How could they deceive so many people at the same time. I found myself yelling out loud "wake up, can't you see it's a fraud?" But still they believe the scam. This is a great book, and it teaches us about those "scientific" certainties and experts. I just couldn't stop reading, stayed up at night and kept on reading in the car while my wife drove me to work. A must read for everyone with an intrest in history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Platt on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's a tragedy this book is out of print, as it's as gripping a read as you can find. Although a work of journalism, it reads like an Eric Ambler novel, populated by lowlifes, forgers, and SS generals who escaped the noose. More importantly, it's a great inside look at modern publishers, who know little about history other than that swastikas sell! Outside the WWII context, it's the best book about The Big Con that I've ever read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roger Clark on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I first bought the paperback edition of this book in 1991 in the UK. There it's still on sale on Amazon's UK site - Amazon.co.uk. It's one of my favourite books. Indeed, I've read it so many times over the years that my copy is now looking battered and forlorn. So I've bought a new copy. This new edition has been printed in a larger format with a bigger typeface so it's easier to read. The book, however, has not been updated in any way, but I'm prepared to live with that as it's a classic.

I've just re-read it again and the book is as fresh, fast-moving, funny and informative as when I first read it. It's a complex story moving backwards and forwards in time, with numerous characters and locations. But Robert Harris handles the complexities effortlessly so you always know where you are. Indeed, he builds in a tension so this book reads like a thriller. What, you wonder, is going to happen next? It's great entertainment, a real page-turner.

But the book contains a serious message - an awful warning to people who write about Hitler - get your facts right. If you fail the roof will fall in. In the case of the Hitler diaries fiasco the whole house collapsed burying large numbers of people in the rubble.

Since then - 1983 - more and more Hitler books have poured off the presses. The controversial historian, David Irving, wrote at the time that 'Adolf Hitler is still big box office'. That's true 30 years later. It's one reason why authors want to write about the Nazi dictator. He sells books. But the perils are many, as Robert Harris demonstrates, and only the foolhardy would ignore them. If you do you're courting trouble - big trouble!

Having praised this book can I make a plea for an updated edition?
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By spideranansie on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
A well-told and detailed account on the biggest publishing mess in the whole of history, Harris' "Selling Hitler" is hilarious, but has serious lessons to impart. Behind his account of how some of the biggest names in international publishing were conned into making the most enormous fools of themselves are some very chilling scenarios which we witness -- the callousness of the "primitive" Kujau, as well as the publishing world where money is above everything and the pursuit of profit is considered above journalistic integrity, the dishonesty and readiness of one such as Heidemann to believe in the authenticity of the diaries and the unrepentance of the reminiscing Nazis on the "good old days". Most importantly, we see the prevalence of and influence of Hitler and the Nazis on the world so many decades after the demise of the Third Reich, and have to imagine what would have happened had the 'diaries' been used to rewrite history if proof that they were forgeries was not conclusive. Harris' book explains the hold Hitler continues to have on the generation which had undergone the war as well as those after it, and serves as a warning on how memory or delusion can be harmful. A fantastic read, this book should be brought back into publication and made accessible to more people. Highly recommended if you're interested in seeing how people make monkeys of themselves on the world stage.
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