The story of Ernst `Putzi' Hanfstaengl, who worked to make Hitler appear less threatening to the outside world. Putzi came from a wealthy family of art dealers in Munich, was educated in Harvard during the first World War and was attracted to the Nazi party in Munich in the twenties. While never in Hitler's inner circle, he did represent the rising party to the foreign press. He fled Germany after the night of the Long Knives, and eventually worked for the USA submitting psychological reports on Nazi leaders and political analysis of events in Germany.
This should be a fascinating story, and I looked forward to reading it. It should be a chance to analyse Hitler's rise and the machinations of his inner circle. Instead, however, I found it a workmanlike plod through his story. It was never quite clear why he felt he could become a victim of the Night of the Long Knives, he never seemed to be a contender in Hitler's `A-team', nor a threat to the leader; indeed the plot to kill him was pitched to him (afterwards) as a cross between a practical joke and an effort to keep him on his toes - however he had the wisdom to flee and not return to Germany, despite participating in negotiations to do so.
His wartime work in the USA reveal him to have been anti-Semitic and anti-Black, though perhaps only to the extent was which common at the time. The most surprising thing, overall, to me was the survival of the family business through both World Wars and into the 1970's.
In the end this book seems to me to be an opportunity missed, we get Putzi's story, mainly from Putzi's documents, but little analysis or insight of the rise of Nazism, and the nuts and bolts of its propaganda hold on the German people. Pity, there's a better story here