The Cause of Hitler's Germany and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $3.39 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
The Ominous Parallels: Th... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Qualifies for Super Saver Shipping. May not include accompanying supplemental materials, CD/DVD or access codes
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America Paperback – June 1, 1983

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$9.57 $1.88

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$16.61 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America + Objective Communication: Writing, Speaking and Arguing + Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand's Philosophy
Price for all three: $43.54

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leonard Peikoff is universally recognized as the pre-eminent Rand scholar writing today. He worked closely with Ayn Rand for 30 years and was designated by her as her intellectual heir and heir to her estate. He has taught philosophy at Hunter College, Long Island University, and New York University, and hosted the national radio talk show "Philosophy: Who Needs It."

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (June 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452011175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452011175
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I read this book over a decade ago.
R. Vogel
Ominous Parallels is a unique and revolutionary intellectual work by Dr. Peikoff, illustrating the role of philosophical ideas in shaping a society and its history.
Amazon Customer
This is an excellent book for both the laymen and the professional historian or for anyone interested in the power of ideas in shaping history.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Harry Binswanger on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book answers the plaguing question: How could it happen? How could ordinary people, seemingly decent Germans, turn into goose-stepping, Sieg-Heil-ing robots, eager to obey any orders, even to administer the "final solution"--the Holocaust?
This book answers those questions, and makes the rise of the Nazis finally intelligible. The cause, Dr. Peikoff demonstrates, lies in certain philosophic ideas--the anti-reason, anti-self, anti-freedom ideas that were already deeply imbued in German culture long before Hitler's rise.
If one were to compile a list of the most fanatically anti-reason philosophers since the Renaissance, almost every top figure--Kant, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Heidegger--would turn out to be German.
This is not to say that German culture produced evil philosophers. Just the reverse: Germany's evil philosophers produced an evil culture. Men act on their ideas, and ideas originate somewhere. Fundamental ideas, ideas about morality, knowledge, reality, are originated by philosophers. The vast majority of people simply absorb gradually the ideas available to them in their culture. Thus, most people get their life-shaping ideas, indirectly, from the philosophers of their culture (with a time-lag for these ideas to seep down into the educational establishment, the media, the arts, etc.).
Dr. Peikoff's answer to "How could it have happened?" is: "The land of poets and philosophers was brought down by its poets and philosophers."
This book is an impassioned call to jettison the philosophy of obedience, the philosophy of unreason and self-sacrifice, in all its versions lest we follow the German path to destruction.
In regard to the U.S., Dr.
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
103 of 119 people found the following review helpful By David Veksler on January 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a Jew, I have watched, read, and visited countless accounts of the Holocaust - but not one of them correctly identified the ideas that brought it about or the ideas that will prevent it from happening again. In some cases, I was first shocked by the accounts of survivors and then horrified when they offered as a solution the same ideas that created the Nazis.
"The Ominous Parallels" finally exposes the cause and answer to Fascism. Dr. Peikoff presents a compelling and cogent thesis on the evil of collectivism in terms of the fundamental ideas that shape our history by masterfully analyzing the intellectual and cultural climate that led to the Holocaust and its parallels to today's America. Along the way, he outlines the development of Western philosophy - from the glorious creation of the United States to the rise of skepticism, pragmatism, collectivism, and the Weimar culture. Broad philosophical, political, and cultural trends are analyzed and dissected according to their basic premises, as you will never hear in a history class.
Both those well read in and new to the philosophy of Objectivism will find this book accessible and the arguments reasoned out and supported by numerous examples. This is not light reading, however- I spent as much time pausing to digest and integrate the ideas in this book as I did reading it. Those unfamiliar with Objectivism may have some difficulty connecting the author's asides on abortion, physics, and religion to the central theme, but it does not detract from the overall message.
As Dr Peikoff states, it is impossible to predict the future or know whether the Holocaust will repeat itself - but it is certain that only by understanding and adopting a proper philosophy can America survive as a free country. If this book succeeds in teaching the world about the importance of ideas, then six million shall not have died in vain.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Bokor on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The Ominous Parallels" by Dr. Leonard Peikoff is a brilliant study uniting philosophy and history to identify the fundamental cause of the rise of Hitler and Nazism, and more broadly, of fascism. Dr. Peikoff's theme is that actions follow from ideas. With passionate dedication to truth he quotes from the writings and speeches of the principle architects of Nazi Germany to show the ethical premises guiding their political actions and programs. The evidence is clearly presented. And it leads inexorably to the conclusion that the same ideas which made possible the horror that was Nazi Germany, currently dominates the intellectual establishment of the United States.
"The Ominous Parallels" is both a warning and an alert. It tells us what we should do to avoid becoming a fascist state. It alerts us to how far down that road we currently are.
Dr. Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels" is also a rallying point for all of us who care deeply about the future of our country and the freedom of its citizens. It helps us to recognize that "it could happen here" if we do not change our views regarding the proper beneficiary of one's actions.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Walker on November 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great condensation of the essence of what went wrong in Germany in the Twentieth century as it passes out of the memories of the living. It covers the topic without the second level of complexity of comparisons with America. That can come later to the interested. That way, you are free to pursue the other edition of the book, or check things out for yourself and ask yourself if the author is right. After all, he has written a follow-up that major changes will come to America, triggered by a crisis, but not caused by geography, poverty, race wars, international politics and that other nonsense, but driven by ideas originating from modern American universities. Anytime you see a social, political or religious movement, the cause can be traced to universities, even such movements as Fundamentalism, or "Left Behind" eschatology. Even Islam never fully established itself until its intellectuals found a way to answer Greek reason in a definitive statement by philosopher al-Ghazali. Peikoff's book shows the consequences when intellectuals who teach that human reason has no power and meaning train masses of mindless followers who then take over.

Over time, there may be minor scholarly clarifications of points in this book, or side notes on other totalitarian societies, thinking of Cambodia or North Korea. Others will try to draw comparisons with non-totalitarian use of concentration camps, and others might try to deny their existence or essence, a hopeless as well as unforgivable evasion. Enjoy the book for what it is--a slap on the side of the head showing that totalitarianism and freedom are driven by ideas, not accidents.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America
This item: The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America
Price: $20.00 $16.61
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?