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Hitler: A Study in Tyranny [Paperback]

Alan Bullock
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Book Description

29 Nov 1990
The book covers the whole of Hitler's life, from his obscure beginnings through his advance to supreme absolute power and then his final decline and suicide in the bunker as Russian shells fell around him. Bullock divides the narrative into three main sections. The first deals with Hitler's early life, his rise to party leader in the years following the First World War, and his gaining of the Chancellorship in 1933. The second part describes how he consolidated his position and extended his power once he was in office. The third and final part is about his actions in the Second World War.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (29 Nov 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140135642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140135640
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alan Bullock, Baron Bullock, was born in 1914. He studied at Oxford University and served as a research assistant to Winston Churchill while writing his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. He was a history fellow at New College, Oxford, helped found St Catherine's College, Oxford, and was Vice-Chancellor for the university. A renowned modern historian, Bullock was made a life peer in 1976. He died in 2004.

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First Sentence
Adolf Hitler was born at half past six on the evening of 20 April 1889, in the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in the small town of Braunau on the River Inn which forms the frontier between Austria and Bavaria. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Bullock's achievement is one of demystiftying Hitler. One by one, the onion-skin layers of Hitler mythology are stripped away. Simple demonization makes way for an intelligent character study of a massively complex character, and simplistic Neo-Nazi whitewash is debunked.
Hitler was a political genius who skillfully outwitted the powers of Europe, and on the other hand, a moral and intellectual cretin who needlessly drove his country and most of Europe to destruction through his ugly egotism and strident nationalism. In The Holocaust Hitler prepetrated a crime unparalleled in history, and yet, until the end continued to believe that he had been wronged and that history would vindicate him.
Bullock brings out these contradictions in a detailed and intelligent biography, which takes us from the beer-halls of Munich, to a shallow grave at the Fuhrerbunker in exquisite detail. A meisterwerk.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dense and Dark study of Hitler 6 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback
As a book focused on Hitler, rather than the war, the holocaust, or military strategies/battles, this is a brilliant work. And people should be warned, this is not a World War II book, although much of the detail covered is interesting and informative. The books greatness is the simplicity of objective: looking at Hitler.

I would say that Bullock's divisions within the book are excellent, and I found these particularly useful as a starter. I enjoyed picking up the 'story' from the Czech debacle and read the book from there. I then went back to the post war years, and recently started at the start. I found this method quite useful.

This is a brilliant balance between general interest and specialist. I have found the book to be fair, considered and, at points, even sympathetic. And it is this fairness that makes Hitler so compelling, as you come to see his ugliness. You certainly grow to appreciate his genius and leadership pre-war, and then the disintegration during the war; his vacillating and tempers, his insights and determination.

I commend this book as it seeks not to tub-thump and get all jingoistic; it is a detailed, portrayal of one man and his influence on others, and history.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing biography of Hitler 4 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
This is a must-read for anybody interested in Hitler and the phenomenon that was the Third Reich. Although now dated, this is still a very detailed, dense and thorough biography of one of history's most fascinating characters.

Bullock delivers a cradle to bunker biography of Hitler, examining his childhood, rise to power, the apex of his acheivements, ending with his suicide in the bunker in Berlin, his power evaporated, reduced back to the rabble-rouser of Bavarian politics in the early 1920's. Especiall intetesting was the section examining hitler the man - his likes, dislikes, relationships with other people, and his opinions ranging from Christianity, to history to architecture. One gets the impression of a Hitler obsessed with his own propaganda and portrayal of himself as the man delivered by providence (as he saw it) to save Germany, indeed the world, from Jewish Bolshevism. One complaint is that no illustrations are provided, although some strategical maps and a genealogy of Hitler's family is provided.

This is a first-rate work of scholarship which I would recommend to anyone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The original edition of this book was published in 1952,just seven years after Hitler's suicide in the Berlin bunker.What is astonishing is that it has stood the test of time and is still one of the best Hitler biographies around.
It is not a history of Nazi Germany,and so some topics that you may have expected to be covered in depth(the Holocaust,for example)are skimmed over in favour of the life and times of Hitler.
I would recommend,for new readers,reading the middle chapter first.This is an attempt to sum up his personality-the man,rather than the history maker.It's judgements are so well put("Pity and mercy he regarded as humanitarian claptrap")that it will set you up for the chronological chapters that precede and follow it.
Even though there are now veritable libraries of works about both Hitler and the Nazi era published since this(only four years after the Nuremberg trials,remember),Bullock's book holds up remarkably well,except for it's smoewhat slender bibliography.
if you want to dig deeper,try the 1970s biography by Joachim Fest,or the 1990s two-volume Ian Kershaw effort.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book 11 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
Fascinating, interesting, easy readable even for a non-Englishman like me without prior knowledge of the life of Hitler. Gives credit to the skills of Hitler, but do not glorify the man. Pictures the background on which Hitler rose from bottom to top of the German society.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely the definitive work on this subject 10 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
World War 2 was such a horrific experience, bringing with it an unprecedented series of atrocities, that it is hard to imagine that a book about one of its main perpetrators could be a good read. Yet this really excellent work manages it. The depth of its detail and research is breathtaking, yet the writing presents the material in a highly readable manner. Thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 1 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased the original paper back over 30 years ago....Unfortunately, over the years it has fallen apart. When I saw the latest edition on Amazon I decided to buy it again. Why? Simply, Alan Bullock's book is a classic piece of historical writing. Any one who wishes to read about the causes of the World War Two; Germany and Hitler should read this publication. It is not sensational in any way, simply an accurate account of why and how Hitler came to power.
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