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The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler Hardcover – April 22, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 1100L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; New title edition (April 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395903718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395903711
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this accomplished biography, Giblin (Charles Lindbergh) presents the rise and fall of "the most dangerous and ultimately the most destructive twentieth-century dictator." The author begins with Hitler's birth and modest upbringing in Austria and failed artistic aspirations, and follows his years as a WWI soldier and his budding abilities as a political orator (an army superior noted, chillingly, "Herr Hitler is a born people's speaker.... He clearly compels the attention of his listeners, and makes them think his way"). The compelling narrative then traces Hitler's gradual accumulation of power, including his early political associations with the Nazi Party, a failed 1923 coup attempt and subsequent imprisonment (where he penned his plans for political domination and the annihilation of European Jews in Mein Kampf). This insightful historical overview describes the social, political and economic conditions that proved ripe for the dictator's ascent, as it outlines Hitler's life and career, including his iron grip on his adopted "Fatherland" and his commitment to Lebensraum (or additional "living space" for Germany) which triggered the series of invasions that pushed the world into another war. Abundant primary source quotes and well-researched photographs enliven this comprehensive volume. A closing chapter describes the rise of neo-Nazism both in the U.S. and abroad. Giblin offers an absorbing portrait of an enigmatic leader who loved dogs and opera but could also order the extermination of millions of innocent people. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-The most complete and successful biography of the Fhrer available for this audience. It takes courage to write fairly about the person who perpetuated almost certainly the most suffering and misery in the 20th century, and Giblin accepts this mantle and bears it nobly. This "extraordinary villain who promised to restore his nation's honor and dignity" began life very much as an average person. His subsequent transformation into brilliant politician and then cruel war leader and finally humiliated vanquished tyrant is presented seamlessly and realistically. The first chapter establishes the ground rules for the rest of the book as it sets out to explore how such "deadly ventures" happened. As the book continues, the historical perspective is superb. For example, while Giblin portrays Hitler's persecution of certain groups as severe and reprehensible, he also mentions the fact that during this time many nations and institutions, including American universities, had specific anti-Semitic policies. The last chapter, entitled "Hitler Lives," shows how some people to this day are attempting to perpetuate the man's legacy and beliefs. This book maintains focus on the life of its subject-including his pets and love life-and does not, as many others do, stray into areas belonging to books specifically on the Holocaust or World War II. Good-quality photos, political cartoons, and reproductions augment the text. A biography in the truest sense, this is a terrifying must for all libraries.
Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I found this book to be extremely easy to read.
My 12 year old son chose this book for a school project and he and I are both enjoying it.
James Cross Giblin gives us a good example in THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER.
John M. Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on March 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"There are no memorials to Adolf Hitler in Germany, the country he ruled with an iron hand from 1933 to 1945."
So begins THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by James Cross Giblin, a book that provides essential information for young adults who want to understand the twentieth century. In writing a detailed biography of the most infamous human being of the last hundred years, the author has put together a fascinating story that never lets up. In doing so, Mr. Giblin also provides a clear overview of the events leading up to and through the second world war. Beginning with the haunting cover, the book is illustrated with large, clear photographs of the significant people and places we encounter, as well as several well-drawn caps to which I'd periodically refer as I read the book.
"To celebrate his triumph, Hitler planned a sightseeing tour of Paris, a city he had long admired but never visited. His favorite architect, Albert Speer, accompanied the Führer as he visited the ornate Paris Opera, drove down the broad Champs Élysées, stopped at the Eiffel Tower, and lingered for a long time at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The three-hour tour through almost completely deserted streets--the French deliberately stayed away--ended on the heights of Montmartre, long known as a district for artists. Perhaps its narrow streets and outdoor cafés reminded Hitler of his youthful days in Vienna, when he himself had dreamed of being an artist."
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER does an exceptional job answering the questions of how Hitler was able to gain control of the German government, and how his forces and henchmen were able to succeed so horrifically and effectively before they were finally halted.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading this book, the first few pages were quite, slow. When I got to the part of how exactly the "National Socialist Party (Nazis)" formed, I became "glued to the book."
For the past year or so I've been extremely interested in the Holocaust, Nazis, but mainly the ruthless murderer himself, Mr. Adolf Hitler, and his Final Solution plans to take over Germany, dictate, and wipe out all Jews, as he once said, "I want Jews off the face of the Earth."
I'd recommend this book to a variety of people. Although, this book doesn't quite suit children under the age of nine. This is more of a Young Adult novel, for teenagers interested in learning about National Socialism, the Holocaust, and Adolf Hitler from his quotes from Mein Kampf, and James Cross Giblin's perspective on the matter. This book also includes events from Anne Frank, and Colonel Stauffenberg who plotted the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, named "Operation Valkurie." This book, personally has changed my life, especially since I come from the Jewish religion and am interested in learning about my heritage. Other books I would recommend to you, having to doing with sacrifices, and the Holocaust, are, "Number the Stars," and "The Devils Arithmetic." I would most definitely give each of these books a five star rating! I hope all you buyers on Amazon found this review very helpful. Shalom! and Peace to the World."
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was an intriguing read that threw you into the world of Adolf Hitler. Not only was it informative but you didn't get bored as you read it. As its massive size explains itself, this book contains a ton of information; beginning with his birth and young life, up to his siege of power and his death in 1945. By the middle of the book, you can already tell that Toland is an extremly gifted biographer and that his indulegnce with words can carry you off to a nirvana of supreme intelligensia.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John M. Lane on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a review of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by James Cross Giblin. Mine is the hard cover edition published in New York by Clarion in 2002.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated, nicely bound and printed in somewhat larger type than most books, a treat for my aging eyes. It is, however, intended for young readers who know little, or nothing, about Adolf Hitler.

How do you write a book about Hitler for young readers? James Cross Giblin gives us a good example in THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER. The fact that he's also one of the foremost authors of books for children and youth helps a lot. Giblin explains on his own biographical site that "I try to write books that I would have enjoyed reading when I was the age of my readers."

Although Giblin is best known for books oriented to readers aged eight to twelve, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER looks to me like it's more appropriate for teenagers. Giblin's style is straightforward and easy to read and he includes a helpful "Glossary" of key terms such as "Fuhrer", "Wehrmacht", and "SA."

He also includes "Source Notes and Bibliography" with suggestions for further reading. He refers to three major biographies of Hitler, John Toland's, Ian Kershaw's and Joachim Fest's, thus ensuring American, British and German perspectives. This makes sense, but why omit Alan Bullock's ground-breaking biography or Robert Payne's? They're both Englishmen, but their works are both helpful. And why ignore Lothar Machtan's recent HIDDEN HITLER? He's German and his work is both interesting and pertinent. Giblin's book also has a useful index.

Although Giblin does a good job, I prefer William L.
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