As a devoted reader of history, especially of the early 20th century period, I probably have gone through every popular and even arcane book on Hitler and National Socialism. I've read Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich," Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reach," Alan Bullock's "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives," . . . yet, these books, while informative, lack the depth of understanding of the horrible phenomenon of Hitler that Joachim Fest brings to his biography. Maybe because Fest himself is German and is therefore closer to his subject. Yes, the style is dry, and the book is indeed rather biased at times--the preface is titled incredibly "Hitler and Historical Greatness!" Yet, within that preface, you will find insights and observations that are lacking in all other biographies on the Fuehrer. I myself was riveted from page one all the way to the end. So, if you want to really understand Hitler, read this book. If you want to read a lighter biography, read the sections on Hitler in Bullock's "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives."