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Killing Hitler: The Third Reich and the Plots Against the Fuhrer [Paperback]

Roger Moorhouse
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jun 2007

Most people have heard of the Stauffenberg Plot but it is not widely known that this was only one of a long series of attempts on the life of Adolf Hitler. The Germans, Soviets, Poles and British all made plans to kill the Fuhrer. Lone gunmen, disaffected German officers and the Polish Underground, the Soviet NKVD and the British Special Operations Executive were all involved. Their methods varied from bombing, poisoning or using a sniper, to infiltrating the SS, or even sending Rudolf Hess back to Germany under hypnosis. Many of the plans did not make it beyond the drawing board, some were carried out. All of them failed.

Alongside the dramatic and largely unknown stories of Hitler's numerous assassins, this book presents a fascinating investigation of a number of broader issues, such as the complex motives of the German Resistance, the curious squeamishness of the British, and the effectiveness of the Nazi security apparatus.

Drawing on memoirs and original archival sources in Poland, Germany, Russia and Britain, Killing Hitler offers a unique perspective on the history of the Third Reich.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844133222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844133222
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I was raised in Hertfordshire and 'enjoyed' an unspectacular career at Berkhamsted School. After leaving school at 16, I did a variety of jobs until I was inspired to return to education by the East European Revolutions of 1989. Thereafter, I went to night school and enrolled in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies of the University of London in 1990 to study history and politics. I graduated with an MA in 1994 and have since studied at the universities of Düsseldorf and Strathclyde, failing to gain a PhD at both.

I began my writing career working for Professor Norman Davies. I collaborated with him on many of his recent publications, including Europe: A History, The Isles: A History, and Rising '44. This working relationship culminated in 2002 with the publication, in three languages, of a co-authored study of the history of the city of Wrocław (the former German Breslau) entitled Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City.

2006 saw the publication of Killing Hitler, my first solo book. An account of the numerous attempts on Hitler's life, it was a critical and commercial success and has been published in numerous other languages, including German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and Japanese.

My most recent book - entitled Berlin at War - is a social history of Berlin during World War Two, which was published in the summer of 2010. Based on first-hand material such as unpublished diaries, memoirs and interviews, the book gives a unique "Berlin-eye view" of the war. It has been well-recieved, with positive reviews in most major publications. Writing in the Financial Times, Andrew Roberts said of it that: "Few books on the war genuinely increase the sum of our collective knowledge of this exhaustively covered period, but this one does."

Product Description


"The story of the attempts to kill Hitler has been told before... but [Moorhouse's] survey can claim originality thanks to the inclusion of plots hatched by non-Germans" (David Cesarani Literary Review)

"Roger Moorhouse's enthralling book accounts for a whole gallimaufry of foiled assassination attempts on the Fuhrer, which ranged from the sublime near miss to ridiculous schemes worthy of Mel Brooks" (Roger Lewis Sunday Express)

"A gripping account, which is thoroughly researched, but wears its scholarship lightly enough to be read like a good political thriller" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Highly readable... Moorhouse tells his story briskly and sensibly" (Richard Overy Sunday Telegraph)

"In Killing Hitler, Roger Moorhouse has found a new approach to the story of the Third Reich which is both original and authentic" (Norman Davies)


Moorhouse tells his story briskly and sensibly...a highly readable account.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Snipers and derailments, actresses and suicide bombers. But for a ten-minute delay here or a faulty detonator there, the course of history and the fate of thousands could have been changed. Killing Hitler, by Roger Moorhouse is an enthralling and thoroughly researched book that tells the stories of Hitler's would be assassins. To Hitler, such attacks were merely a brush with 'Providence', bolstering his un-shakable belief that his life was preserved to fulfil a 'historic destiny' to save Germany. Moorhouse is not only an excellent historian but also a superb storyteller.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 23 July 2006
'Killing Hitler' by Roger Moorhouse, provides the reader with a gripping account of the lesser-known attempts on the life of Adolf Hitler. While most people know about the Stauffenburg plot, this book also tells the stories of the many others who tried but ultimately failed to eradicate this evil man. Surprisingly many of these attempts came from members of the German military. The style of each attempt is remarkably different, as are the individual characters of these unsung heroes. These are stories that deserve to be told and through his suspenseful narration, Moorhouse gives these deserving men and women their rightful place in history. Set in the context of the unfolding events of the war, it is also an account of the remarkable survival of a dictator who revelled in his own supernatural importance. A beautifully written and well-researched book, I have no hesitation in recommending it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful and authoritative masterpiece 24 Mar 2006
Moorhouse has developed considerably since his earlier works, notably Microcosm (considered by many to be the best researched account of Wroclow during the WW2 era). In Killing Hitler he has made this account of the tyrant accessible to a wider audience, yet still remained true to his revisionist roots. Moorhouse's unique gift is to disect a cross section of time and society, then identify and collate the key impetus behind subsequent actions and movements. This book represents an unmissable opportunity for the lay reader to step into the mind of a world authority and see history as it really was.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing Hitler 2 May 2006
By Tobias
This book is a fantastic read. As a non-historian I often find myself very interested but completely uninspired by the ever increasing number of books on early 20th century history. Killing Hitler, on the other hand, is very informative but also enthralling from beginning to end.

Written as if telling a tale, I often found myself in disbelief that Hitler evaded death on so many occasions; by so narrow an escape, and wanting to know more.

Moorhouse's style of writing was delightful and exciting to read, showing a real enthusiasm and passion about each of his subject would-be assassins, and made a change from the usual dreary history books that I find myself picking up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. 16 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fascinating read. Documents the many attempts on hitler's life from many diverse sources. It shows how lucky hitler was to survive so many attempts on his life. History writing at its finest.
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