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Hitler: A Biography Hardcover – Illustrated, October 3, 2019
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"An essential volume for anyone wanting to build up a picture of this atrocious man..." -- Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph
"... a real biography by a genuine specialist ..." -- Richard J Evans, The Guardian
"... a comprehensive and impressive work. I am happy to say that Hitler: A Life is a very good book, fluently translated by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe. It is comprehensive on the domestic side of the story, and it draws on the newer literature of the past two decades ... Longerich's work is much more than a synthesis... The result is a fine-grained and generally persuasive account of Hitler's rise to power..." -- Brendan Simms, Irish Times
"Here once again [Longerich] mobilises a formidable quantity of archival material and shows us Hitler in his true colours ... [A] detailed biography." -- Richard Overy, Literary Review
"Longerich's meticulous account touches on many issues..." -- Christopher Clark, London Review of Books
"... demonstrates a mastery of a vast mass of primary and secondary research... that is remarkable even for a German professor ... Longerich is uniquely equipped to explore the enigma of a Fuhrer who manipulated and ultimately ruined not on his lieutenants but an entire continent..." -- Daniel Johnson, Standpoint
"Essential reading." -- Christopher Bray, The Tablet
"Throughout, the author wears his impeccable scholarship lightly, creating a fresh picture of one of history's most written-about subjects. A Hitler biography unlikely to be surpassed for quite some time."--Kirkus, Starred Review
"Despite its length, Longerich's book is no ornamental 'door stopper;' it is, rather, an 'eye opener' that sets this book apart from those of many other Hitler biographers."
"A chilling but masterful portrait."--Booklist, Starred Review
"Longerich brings distinctive perspectives to the subject, offering compelling insights... A worthwhile and thought-provoking assessment of Hitler's life and times, in the process providing a stark reminder of the consequences of the politics of hate."
"While Longerich agrees that Hitler was an inept administrator, he convincingly argues that the administrative upheaval was a function, not a glitch, of the system, enabling Hitler to act as arbiter of policy conflicts and to insert himself forcefully into policy decisions... Readers and scholars of 20th-century history will welcome this [biography]."--Library Journal
"The English-language translation [of Hitler], a herculean feat accomplished by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe, never flags, always smartly conveying Longerich's peculiarly magisterial readability... This is [one of] the most impressive translated biograph[ies] of the year."--Christian Science Monitor
"A fantastic look at how the f�hrer became the embodiment of the Nazis and the terrors of World War II. For historians or history buffs, this new and comprehensive biography is a must-read."--Bowling Green Daily News
"Hitler is surely the benchmark against which all scholarship on the subject of Nazi Germany, past or future, will be measured."--Jewish Journal
"A fascinating and at times brilliantly written read."--National Review
About the Author
Peter Longerich is Professor of Modern German History at Royal Holloway University of London and founder of the College's Holocaust Research Centre. An internationally renowned authority on the Nazis, he has published widely on the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, including Holocaust: The Nazi Murder and Persecution of the Jews (2010), which is widely recognized as the standard account of the Nazi machinery of mass murder and the steps by which it unfolded, and Himmler (2011), described by the London Review of Books as "one of the landmark Nazi biographies."
- Item Weight : 4.05 pounds
- Hardcover : 1344 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0190056738
- ISBN-13 : 978-0190056735
- Dimensions : 9.4 x 2.1 x 6.7 inches
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (October 3, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #251,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Hitler's extraordinary life has been told and retold many times and in many ways. This new biography by Dr. Peter Longerich (German born author of such monumental biographies of such Nazi bigwigs as Goebbels and Himmler) has produced the best full story of the German dictator since the two volumes on Hitler by Dr. Ian Kershaw a British scholar.
Longerich's biography is very long and detailed. It shows how Hitler was a skilled and forceful leader who was able to take his leadership of the NSDAP from that of a small extreme right wing party to becoming the only political party in Germany. Hitler and his evil government was responsible for the death of millions of Jews, gypsies and other opponents of the Nazis This magnificent magnus opus is a work which explores all aspects of Hitler's life and career. A gem of a biography of one of the most evil dictators who has ever lived. Essential in the studies of Hitler and his regime. Superb!
In "Hitler", the author devotes most of his very considerable effort to factual recitation. No detail - however minor - escaped inclusion. Doubtless, this will result in "Hitler" serving as an invaluable secondary reference for future historical analysis, but the well-known story of Hitler's rise, his time at the pinnacle of power and his eventual fall become somewhat difficult to follow. Longerich's detailed analysis of HItler's skillful manipulation of power politics - both to cement his position in the nascent Nazi Party and to eliminate rivals in the general German government - is superb. In short, Longerich demonstrates Hitler's feral skills as a politician were of the first rank. The sections dealing with Hitler's political skills are first rate and critical points are clearly, cogently and compellingly presented in the "Conclusions" section. Indeed, these last 14 pages are a superb synthesis of a massive research undertaking.
"Hitler" is not a "popular" history. Likely, it was not intended to serve that role. Rather, it's a massive academic study, as were the author's books on Himmler and Goebbels. All three biographies make substantial demands on the reader's time, attention, memory and diligence. They presume a fundamental level of intense, enduring interest in the topic, one that's frankly difficult to sustain.
Considered as a compelling biography brimming with new and startling insights, conclusions, perspectives and "readability", "Hitler", falls short of expectations. Of note, by my reading anyway, there is nothing in this book to substantiate the revisionist history in the recently released Simms biography (i.e., Hitler's major intended adversary was the USA and the rest was a sideshow).
The target audiences perhaps are academics and serious amateur students of the Nazi era. "Hitler", viewed as an exhaustive chronicle and thoroughly researched, annotated reference, succeeds brilliantly. Many readers would like to put Hitler and the Nazis' time out of mind, but this book reminds us why it remains important and probably critical to understanding both the "great man" theory, historical context and the need for ongoing investigation of what's likely the formative era of the modern world. If a detailed study of (to borrow the title of Isaac Deutsher's 3 volume Trotsky bio) Hitler's "career" as Germany's, "Prophet Armed, The Prophet Disarmed, The Prophet Outcast", this book should be a serious contender.
Top reviews from other countries
The book attempts to go against the Kershaw idea of diminishing Hitler’s role within the chaotic system of Nazi government which was supported in Richard J Evans’ exemplary trilogy on the history of the Third Reich. This book, as did Shirer’s classic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich advances the intentionalist view of Hitler which sees him as a ‘master of the Third Reich’. In this respect, this biography seems quite old fashioned and in the “great man of history” style of biography.
In spite of many pages of notes, there is little here that is new. Due to the laboured translation it is not as well-written as Shirer, Ullrich, Bullock, Fest or Kershaw. Too much time was spent on his early years, which are so well known as not to need any lengthy repetition. It is written as a text, which means it is not vividly brought to life by quotations. This makes it a tough read, given its length. Overall, this is very disappointing. but to be fair due to the lack of Hitler’s personal correspondence (deliberately destroyed) and a diary it is hard for any biographer to present Hitler’s life as other people saw him and not how he saw himself. A biography of Hitler should not be a history of the period but a portrait of the person but in the case of Hitler biographies these books differ little from the general histories of the Third Reich. This one is no different.
What would have been helpful if maps had been inserted at strategic points in the book..