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The Fuhrer: Hitler's Rise to Power Paperback – October 14, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

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"Remorselessly, ruthlessly objective" -- New York Times Book Review

"The most complete study in the field" -- The New Yorker

"[A] superior piece of writing . . . Essential for all libraries" -- Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; Reprint edition (October 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078670683X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786706839
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,714,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jack on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read over 80 books on this subject. I rate this book just under William Shirers book(Rise & Fall of Third Reich)for its completeness--up to Hitlers ascention to power. Most of what is included in the book agrees with other smaller books that are more focused on narrower segents of the period. If you want an overview with plenty of the details but don't want to try your hand at Shirer's 1600 pages then this is a great work at about 600 pages.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Pang on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Fuhrer, by Konrad Heiden, is an intriguing analysis of Hitler's rise to power that was written by one of his contemporaries. Heiden, a Socialist, who nevertheless is more objective than one would expect, seeks to show the scheming, events, and popular sentiments that led to Hitler's rise to power while at the same time foreshadowing the danger of Hitler's rule. The only departures from objectivity are those places in which Hitler is called "the Antichrist" and is said to be the true follower of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The conventional belief is that it was "the Jewish enemy" that was carrying them out, in stark contrast to Heiden's views.
Although the book is an analysis of Hitler's rise to power, it is not a comprehensive biography. It starts with events that occured before his birth and ends during the Blood Purge of 1933, in which Hitler the chancellor, orders the systematic murder of his enemies. The book does not even go as far as the start of World War II or the Holocaust, as by then, Hitler had rose to power, and his achievements went downhill from there.
The book is written in ponderous scholarly language and takes effort to read. As a fulltime student, it took me about 20 days to finish the 600 odd pages. It is replete with reported anecdotes and excerpts from Hitler's speeches, correspondences, and correspondences relating to him, enhancing and lengthening the volume. If one can avoid falling asleep and really pay attention to what is being said, one will realize the clarity and relevance of the book.
I bought this book because it was the cheapest biography of Hitler I could find, and I was not disappointed. I recommend this book to all diligent readers who desire a greater understanding of how Hitler became the Fuhrer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By adam on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book is insightful and most interesting, the author was a young student at the time Hitler and his followers were rising to power. It was easy to read (2 nights) and reads almost like a novel..Unlike Pang, I did not find it scholarly and ponderous (though he recommends the book despite this objection).
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Format: Hardcover
Konrad Heiden was the author of one of the first non-authorized biographies of Hitler; an English version was published in 1936. This book was revised and reissued several times, with this penultimate iteration (titled "Der Fuehrer") first released in 1944 and covering the history of Hitler and the Nazi movement up until the abortive Röhm coup in 1934. It was written in German; for the translation credit is given to Ralph Manheim, who has also produced the still most commonly used English-language edition of Hitler's own "Mein Kampf" and whose ponderous but very precise style is amply evident here. Both before and after, Heiden also authored a large number of books, articles and pamphlets on Nazi Germany; best known today is probably his "History of National Socialism" (1934).

As a Jew, Socialist, left-wing journalist and vocal opponent of Nazism, Heiden belonged to nearly all the groups leasts liked by Hitler, and realized as much; soon after the accession of the Hitler government, he wisely saw fit to leave a Germany where he was no longer welcome. It is therefore no surprise that he is very hostile to the subject of his biography, for both political and personal reasons. All the same, he produces a spirited portrait of his bête noire: his style has been aptly described as "Suetonian," which is an elevated way of saying lively, journalistic, a touch gossipy and full of more or less amusing anecdotes of indeterminate provenance and frequently unflattering character. Only rarely does he list his sources, which makes his account problematic for the critical historian to use; while many of his stories are not inherently implausible, others have a touch of the fantastic to them, and some are demonstrably erroneous rumors.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Newell Phd on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously, the best research is developed from original sources and documents. Short of going to Germany and UK, US archives, (which I have done) one must search for sources closest to the original. Heiden is one such source. He lived during the era in question, he read the newspapers of the day, he was there when documents were fresh and unadulterated and he reports with the unbiased insight of the professional journalist (yes, they did exist once). Heiden's style is clear, concise and highly informative and to read this work is to realize how subsequent 'researchers' have misunderstood, bowdlerized and misrepresented the facts about Hitler's rise to power and his conduct of the war. This book is a must read for any one seeking facts as opposed to pre-digested opinion cannibalized from the plethora 'spin' sources used to create the "new" "non-fiction" available today. Here is early insight into the circumstances that allowed a singularly evil regime to rise from the ashes of post World War One Germany.
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