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Hitler: A Study in Tyranny Paperback – Abridged, June 5, 1991
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It stands up remarkably well, even when read with a subsequent background of many books about World War II, several biographies of Hitler and other major war figures, plus smaller specialized studies.
This is not a full biography, Hitler's early years receiving fairly brief treatment. It is precisely what its subtitle says of it, a study in tyranny, and I don't believe another book offers quite the same intense exploration of the subject.
Allan Bullock writes as a genuine scholar, albeit an unusually articulate one. When Bullock is uncertain about the factors contributing to a certain event, he says so, along with giving readers a clear explanation of the alternatives. Bullock had studied the vast literature available in his time and little of substance escaped his analytical mind.
Hitler surely represents three extraordinary historical phenomena.
First, the outline of his rise is remarkable, almost unparalleled in history, rising from a tramp, would-be artist, a man with limited formal education, to become absolute leader of Europe's most important nation and then achieving a series of dazzling successes until megalomania struck, sending Europe into a ghastly spiral of horrors and destruction.
One of the few comparable rises I can think of is that of a man who shared none of Hitler's dark obsessions and hatreds: I refer to Lincoln, a man who rose from life in a dirt-floor cabin and a year and half of formal education to become a successful corporate lawyer, president of the United States, and leader of what remains America's bloodiest war.Read more ›
Readers interested in tantalizing controversy will be disappointed with this book. Bullock chose not to assert blame for such things as the Reichstag fire. Bullock dismissed the popular claim that Hitler changed his name from Schicklgruber (man, I got tired of my teachers reiterating that bit of misinformation) and the myth that Hitler resorted to astrology in decision-making. As for Geli Raubel, Bullock finds her best to be left as "a mystery." Bullock took a conservative stance in his analysis focusing only on the known fact's about Hitler's life.
Bullock offers a thorough study of Hitler's days in Vienna before the First World War and the ways in which this experience formed his political views. Hitler is presented not as the originator of future Nazi principles but as a product of the anti-rational, anti-intellectual, and anti-Semetic ideas that had been circulating in Europe for the previous hundred years. His understanding of propaganda, oratory skills, and pratical exposure to street politics helped Hitler gain a following. Ultimately, it was Hitler's determination that prompted him to turn down enticing offers of political position by Franz von Papen and Bruening that were less than what he sought: the Chancellory. During the Second World War, Hitler's "warlord" image was transformed: "the human being disappears, absorbed into the historical figure of the Fuehrer." Bullock also pointed out that this devotion to power led eventually to Hitler's downfall.Read more ›
`A Study in Tyranny' has since been supplemented with accounts by Fest, Kershaw, and several others, but Bullock remains well worth reading for those serious in the subject.
The circumstances of the time, where old royalty and private wealthy trusts wanted to use Hitler to regain their pre-WWI era control of Germany, made it easy for the gangsters that Hitler organized to double-cross them.
Read this and be warned that this could happen again, with the complicit help of groups and nations too naive to recognize raw ambition and moral depravation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good historic summary of Hitlers rise to power. I like this book because it reads like a story rather than a text book. Good summation of facts.Published 11 months ago by Ella
You should read this before you judge Why Hitler did what he did .Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the great studies of this truly terrible human being. Alongside Joachim Fest, William.L.Shirer and John Toland this was considered essential reading for any student of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by steve uk
I am not too much into the history of Hitler, but the writing is good though.Published 19 months ago by Torolover
This is still the biography to read in full. Joachim Fest's "Hitler" suffers from either a poor translation of the german or a prolix writing style - probably both. Read morePublished 23 months ago by desefinado
This was a required book for a college course, and I have to say that I was impressed. This book seems to take an objective approach and explains how Hitler came to power, a real... Read morePublished on August 21, 2014 by S. ONeal
This may be a five star book for a keen history buff. For me I find it very interesting as it gives us a clearer picture of how Hitler started out from the very beginning. Read morePublished on July 4, 2014 by anne dalton