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Adolf Hitler [Paperback]

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.27
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Book Description

3 Feb 2007

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil affect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt.

Toland’s research provided one of the final opportunities for a historian to conduct personal interviews with over two hundred individuals intimately associated with Hitler. At a certain distance yet still with access to many of the people who enabled and who opposed the führer and his Third Reich, Toland strove to treat this life as if Hitler lived and died a hundred years before instead of within his own memory. From childhood and obscurity to his desperate end, Adolf Hitler emerges as, in Toland’s words, “far more complex and contradictory . . . obsessed by his dream of cleansing Europe Jews . . . a hybrid of Prometheus and Lucifer.”

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1120 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (3 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385420536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385420532
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 4.8 x 15.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 608,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Hitler rarely talked about his family but to a few confidants he did confess an inability to get along with his father, a dictatorial man. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ever wonder what made Adolf Hitler one of this century's most reviled, yet powerful political leaders? Ever wonder what drove Hitler to his incessant desire to rid the world of Jews and all people of the "non-Aryan" race?

Well, if these questions continually vex you, you ought to read John Toland's splendid and provocative biography on Adolf Hitler. It is well-written, and very thorough, as it chronicles Hitler as a young boy growing up in Austria, to the founding of the Nazi party, and culminating with Hitler's ascension and command of the Third Reich. Toland provides probing insight into the forces (both in his personal life and the external political environment in Germany) which drove Hitler to relentless anti-Semitism, and the reasons for his obsession to rid the world of Jews.

He also delves into Hitler's troubled personal life, detailing his close relationship with his mother, and his somewhat ambiguous relationship with his wife, Eva Braun.

But Toland also describes other elements of Hitler's life which were more positive, such as the construction of the autobahnen (auto routes) for military transport, and the founding of the Volkswagen (the People's Car). While these are rather prominent cultural icons in today's society, who would attribute them to a man as hated and reviled as Hitler?

For anyone interested in obtaining a "complete" and "objective" picture of Adolf Hitler as a man who achieved great power and influence in one of the most economically advanced countries in the world, and not just a chronicling of his anti-Semitic actions (which should not be minimized), then I would strongly recommend John Toland's fascinating biography,"Adolf Hitler."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly informative biography 27 April 1999
By A Customer
This has to be the longest book I've ever read, but it was well worth it. I now know that I have a better knowledge about Hitler than I did previous to reading this biography. Reading it took quite some time, but it's packed with information about Hitler that I didn't know about beforehand. One of the best books I've ever read. John Toland did an excellent job.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 16 Jun 1998
By A Customer
I am currently in the middle of this rather large book and am thoroughly fascinated with the both the historical and personal aspects of Mr. Toland's writing. I am recommending the book to others who, like me, may not appreciate all that Hitler represented to Germans and other Europeans and why his rise to power happened as it did. I see the book as a strong reminder of the need to involve oneself in the matters of civil life and the delicate balance between government and citizenry. I thank Mr. Toland for his detailed, yet objectively reported, inclusion of the personal details of Hitler's life. From these facts an individual can form their own thoughts about the evolution of this horrid piece of modern history. Hitler and the swastika are disturbing imagery in the current world yet, I feel it is by educating oneself on this dreadful history we are most able to protect ourselves from its reoccurrence. Mr. Toland makes this possible with a thoroughly human portrayal of the real Hitler.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Toland provides, as he always does, a remarkable look inside a dark and complex world. He interviewed participants from the highest to the lowest of levels. In many cases these were Nazis who had hidden themselves completely from the outside world. However, this book is far more than a history. It provides us with a look into Evil in one of its most massive displays in history. Anyone interested in Hitler and/or the nature of evil should read this. "Hitler" reads as a novel yet leaves one with tremendous knowledge and many keys to understanding the darkest side of human nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down 29 July 2014
By Rod E
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a novice in modern history, I find this book illuminating of the attitudes of the time, as well as of the man. Evidently a very well researched book, written in a non-academic and very readable style. While this era is plainly well documented, the number of detailed and fascinating scenarios is remarkable. The author sets out to write as if with no pre judgement. A difficult target to set, but I can detect no overall agenda, and this helps to show how people at the time, pre-war, were enthralled by the man (including Lloyd George and Bernard Shaw, but not Mussolini).
I am only half way through the book, but having been daunted by a book of this length, find it much more of a page-turner than I expected, and of course the length appears to be well justified.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a very fascinating account of the life of one of history's most important, if notorious, figures, Adolf Hitler. Although a lengthy book(over 1,000 pages) it reads like a suspense novel and is rarely if ever dull and plodding. I have always had a "morbid" fascination with Hitler and I thought I knew just about everything about him. But this book revealed to me much that I never knew before. There are many interesting insights into the people around Hitler as well. Also, we learn many lessons about the coddling of dictators by the world's democracies which can be applied to current events in such places as Kosovo. I recommend this book without hesitation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There are only two hitler biographies
Fest and Tolands books are the most interesting I have read so far about Hitler and this turbulent period. Excellent read highly recommended.
Published 14 months ago by Vassia Emmanouilidou
5.0 out of 5 stars Adolf Hitler by Toland
A fascinating biography of the dictator and reveals his human side. This shows him as a man selflessly dedicated to righting the wrongs done to the German people by the vindictive... Read more
Published 17 months ago by salvador
5.0 out of 5 stars Adolf Hitler by John Toland
Adolf Hitler. To come from total obscurity, join an insignificant Political Party and within a few short years transform this small party Germans into the Nazi Party, which in... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by A. Macrae
5.0 out of 5 stars The book against which all Hitler bios will be measured
This is the definitive biography of the maniacal dictator, the best since Robert Payne's "The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly interesting
Toland has created a highly readable account of the man who is quite probably the most evil man of the century - and perhaps the millenium. Read more
Published on 15 Dec 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler Before WWII killed him
"Adolf Hitler is one of the 20th Century's major movers and shakers." His whole drum-beating call to dictatorship was a popular thing, except to the Jews. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 1998
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is not a respectable piece of literature.
Adolf by John Toland was one of the worst books that I have ever read. The books demeanor wrecks at the brain like a small child's screams. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 1998
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