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Comment: unabridged former library cassettes in clam shell, 6 cassettes read by Edward Lewis
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The Hitler of History (Unabridged Audiocassettes) Audio, Cassette – 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736642129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736642125
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,739,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Hitler" has become less a person than a brand name in the years since his death. His name is applied with equal casualness to left- and right-wing politics, and against anything and anyone one doesn't like. What Hitler and the short-lived Nazi phenomenon really was has been tailored to suit the biases of every historian who has examined them. Lukas shows how Hitler and the Nazis are distorted by the lens of each historian's own bigotry and shortcomings. And yet, at the same time, he demonstrates a truth too often overlooked by historians playing petty oneupsmanship against those who don't share their own political views -- that Hitler was an extremely complex man, whose unique ideology doesn't fit comfortably into either the conventional politics of left or right, but combines the worst aspects of both. This book is a critical examination of Hitler biographies, as well as an assessment of Hitler himself -- which is like grasping water -- Lukan has written a valuable resource for anyone who wants to see beyond typical parochial presentations. And the ultimate conclusion one reaches when reading it is that instead of looking outward for the answer to why Hitler happened, one should look introspectively, at one's own heart.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading biographies of Hitler for the past 20 years, I looked forward to reading this book as I wanted an overview of this massive collection of works. It was not to be.
Lukacs is very set in his ways and often passes off his views as fact. Toland is dismissed - even though his biography is a best seller - as being hard to read. A surprise for anyone who has read Toland's work.
He then tries to link Toland with David Irving, even though they have nothing in common. He also points out that Toland has some bizarre views on Pearl Harbour, and says this indicates an authoritarian bent and that Toland admires Hitler, and so does the infamous Irving. I re-read Toland's work and I found it to be a well written biography of Hitler and I really cannot understand Lukacs' conclusion that he is an admirer.
Fest's work - which he likes far more - is difficult to read and yet receives no such attack. The fact is that Lukacs does not like Toland's work and has thrown every bit of mud that he can at him.
Further he basically ignores the work of Konrad Heiden before the war and the huge debt that Bullock had to the writer in his biography. Yet Bullock is praised for his efforts.
Finally his virtual silence on Bracher is a real fault of the book. Bracher provides a far more cohesive argument for the rise of Hitler than Fest - in my opinion - and he is barely mentioned.
Behind a facade of historical accuracy, Lukacs likes what he likes and is unfair to those he does not.
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Format: Paperback
I have been very intrested in Hitler and national socialism since I was 13. I'm 23 now so I have read quite many books on the subject by now. when I first read this book about two years ago I was stunned by it. The aurthor John Lukacs seem to have a bottomless knowledge of the 20th centurary European history. Although you can criticize his somewhat "was and is always right" attitude, he none the less often presents his case so compelling arguments that I buy most of his thesis. He explains that nationalism, and nationalsocialism not only was a german phenomenon but an universal idea, which dominated th 20th century, and was far more important than communism or even old style UK-US libaral democracy. He also explains Hitlers antisemitism and his place in Germanys history. For me this book was an awakning, and I have read it many times. I understand Hitler and the national socialistic movement much better now. Hitler did not create the national socialism. Even though in Germany he used the radical nationalism in his want for power, he was rather the most central revolutionary figure, of that movement. The only a little bit annoying is that Lukacs takes much time argue against the british history revisionist, and holocaust denier David Irving. This may well be with well intent, but I think its rather unnecessary. It would be better to just ingnore him, this takes needless space from other important insights. Irving has already been repitudated by so many before.
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Format: Paperback
We have not yet come to terms with Adolf Hitler, and perhaps we never will. It's not for want of trying. More than 100 biographies have attempted to make sense of the Nazi leader -- not counting Hitler's own unreliable autobiography, "Mein Kampf" -- and new ones are still hitting the shelves.
As historian John Lukacs observes in his often suggestive "The Hitler of History," we have not yet come to the crest of the "Hitler Wave" that German historians first noticed building nearly three decades ago.
Despite Hitler's inescapable presence in our popular consciousness, he remains difficult to pin down. We know everything about him -- except what it all means. In "The Hitler of History," Lukacs attempts to make some sense of the debate. His book is not, as he hastens to point out, "a biography of Hitler, but a history of his history, and a history of his biographers."
In a series of provocative chapters, Lukacs examines a number of key questions surrounding the Nazi leader: Exactly when and where did his ideology first crystallize? Was he a reactionary or a revolutionary? An ideologue or an opportunist? A beloved leader or a despot? Lukacs navigates this difficult historiographical terrain with considerable skill -- though, it must be admitted, he's much better at asking questions than answering them. (Suffice to say that his tentative answers to the above questions resist easy summary.)
Still, there are times when even those who agree with Lukacs will find themselves frustrated by this contentious book.
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