The initial prospect of tackling over 900 pages almost put me off, but once I started I discovered that this was a book which was difficult to put down. It starts with a description of Hitler's childhood and there is a particularly interesting section of how he came to bear his surname instead of the correct one of Schicklgruber. His youth and student days were in stark contrast to what was to follow and it is clear that Germany's surrender in 1918 was the catalyst for Hitler's dream of 'Lebensraum' for the German race (although he was, in fact, an Austrian). The dream was fostered by a fanatical patriotism and a belief that Germany was the master race. Underlying this was his pathological loathing of the Jewish race, for whom he blamed all of his country's ills. John Toland's narrative draws upon a vast amount of material and his research also included taped interviews with many of Hitler's colleagues and associates. It was particularly illuminating to learn that Hitler was something of a hypochondriac, although in the latter years he did suffer from various genuine ailments. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable book.