Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

SPEER:A BIOGRAPHY: The Final Verdict Hardcover – 27 Sep 2001

3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
£118.98 £3.47

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st UK ed edition (27 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297646168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297646167
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 760,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Joachim Fest remains one of the most acute chroniclers of the dark period of history that is Nazi Germany, and this fastidious study of the Reich's greatest architect is a monumental achievement. What particularly distinguishes the book is the author's even-handedness regarding Speer and his work; as with Leni Riefenstahl, the important distinction between the genius of the work and the ambiguous relationship of the creator with monumental evil is handled with sensitivity. Speer remains an enigma: before he was 30, he had become Hitler's architect, and had transformed the Nuremberg rallies with his 'cathedrals of light' and his gift for stage-management. His spell as armaments minister quadrupled German arms production and may be said to have prolonged the war. There are those who point to his never being part of the Fuhrer's inner circle, while historians such as Hugh Trevor-Roper have described him as 'the true criminal of Nazi Germany'. As a picture of a complex man working in a monstrous regime, this is both compelling and dispassionate.

Book Description

The last word on Albert Speer, by Joachim Fest, the greatest historian of the Third Reich and the editor of Speer¿s memoirs, Inside the Third Reich, a worldwide bestseller.

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Fest's book is a powerhouse of information and insight not only on Speer, but on the deep, mysterious sorcery emanating from Hitler that diffused through the movement & brought everything together. This is full justification for buying the book and reading it several times, whether or not you've formed your final opinion of Speer. The vast sweep taken by the author is trenchant and interconnects with multiple aspects of the entire Nazi experience. It was news to me that the 1942 Russian campaign had available only half the number of vehicles and men that had constituted the invasion of the previous year, so appalling were the previous winter's losses. Nor had I realized that in November, 1941 with the disaster before Moscow unfolding amidst the ferocity of the Russian winter, Hitler refused to cut back the grandeoise construction projects underway to transform the center of Berlin despite its gigantic drain on manpower, materiel and the state economy. He insisted that construction continue. This induced Speer to suspect that some of Hitler's hunger for military triumphs was to provide heroic substance to feed into the new architecture. His plans to overhaul cities across vast continents depended on architecture to establish their lasting effects, just as had been the case for the pyramids in Egypt and the Pergamon. For the first time, thanks to Fest, I realized that architecture for Hitler was a raging, visceral need on par with all other policy considerations, even war policy, and was not just a mode of relaxation --- as painting was for Churchill. The furious speed of his campaigns was to hasten the architectural revolution across continents and set up Germany as the equivalent of historic Rome in Hitler's own lifetime.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Moon Cheese on 19 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Alongside the works on Speer such as those by Sereny and Van Der Vat, this biography is simply that: a biography. It is not as thorough as the former, nor as entertaining as the latter. Fest steers a course that although quite sub-textually (and in places overtly) is 'pro-Speer' guides the reader quite swiftly through Speer's professional life.

If Sereny's excellent 'Battle With The Truth' is vast and impartial, and Van Der Vat in 'The Good Nazi' almost swinging the executioners axe in fury, the this is the Biography that Speer, were he still alive would have endorsed. Fest's relationship with his subject began upon his release from Spandau when Fest 'assisted' him with writing 'Inside...' and '... Secret Diaries'. The larger part of this biography is based upon the extensive notes Fest took at that time (recently published in Germany as 'Unanswerable Questions') and this is the books main asset.

However, it fails in that there is no 'Final Verdict' as it claims, and the prose is a little pedantic, to say the least. If you are new to Speer, I suggest Sereny's book. If you are familiar to him, this book is little more than a useful addition to the still expanding Speer 'legend'.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ukdamian on 7 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fest pins him down - and I've always found him notoriously difficult to pin down...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Strange Feeling Of Being Present But Unconcerned 13 Sept. 2002
By taking a rest - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Albert Speer has proved to be a lasting enigma for historians, and of continued interest to the public. This is not the first book written about Speer, and contrary to the title it will not be the last. I found the book to be well done, and while it does bring some new detail to the life of Speer it is not a book that provides any fundamental shifts in generally accepted facts.
There are at least two troubling issues that I found worthy of note. The first is a certain arrogance of the author during his introduction when he expresses the opinion that there has not been a proper biography written of Speer. The author is certainly an authority on Speer and had an unusual opportunity to work with and get to know the man as much or more than any other writer. I have read several biographies of Speer, and two of Speer's own works, and there is a great deal of biographic writing available, and it is not as lacking as the author suggests. Issue number 2 is that the author uses David Irving as a reference and also refers to him as a historian. David Irving has been the subject of books, and a man who was handed a miserable defeat in a courtroom in England that condemned him as a dubious historian but perhaps a good researcher, and confirmed that his views of Nazi Germany were largely revisionist and without documentary facts. David Irving may be a researcher, he may even gather accurate information, no where have I read of any legitimate historian grant the same honor and respect to Irving, in fact his is considered little more than a demagogue. His associations with groups that wish to minimize the Holocaust to the point of triviality, if they admit to it at all is well documented, and why Mr. Fest would quote him from all the available sources is a mystery.
The author describes Speer as a man with many abilities, but no qualities. This is one of the better summations of Speer that I have read. Others have also correctly characterized him, as John Kenneth Galbraith did, as a very intelligent escapist from the truth. And the words that head these comments are those of Speer himself.
The book is based on the premise that it is men like Speer that allow the rise of tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, and the balance of history's representatives of evil. That the tyrants are routinely produced by history, but only those who have a massive supporting cast that are willing to follow, that are willing to selectively see only what they choose to view, and who place ambition above all else, are necessary for the rise of such dictators.
The issue that continues to fascinate me is Speer's escape from execution at Nuremberg, He clearly cooperated with the allies to a degree that no other defendant did, and he at least gave the impression of remorse, and played a brilliant game of saying he was responsible for crimes that were committed, but not guilty as he lacked specific knowledge. This is the same charade that allows a defendant in this country to be found not guilty in a court of criminal law, and then to be held responsible in a court of civil law.
Speer deserved to hang as much as any of those who actually had the courage to accept their sentence without taking the coward's way out like the Reich Marshall. There is no question that his brilliant organizational skills, and his willingness to accept labor from anywhere that was collected by any means, allowed the war to continue for years longer that it might have without his talents. The idea that Speer knew nothing of the camps while being arguably the closest of friends and confidants of Hitler is preposterous, and it is amazing anyone was able to delude himself or herself otherwise.
The other concept I am tired of reading is of the alleged erotic but not carnal relationship between Hitler and Speer. Hitler had wanted to be an architect like Speer since he was a very young man. The two men shared a passion for building and art, and their age differences would suggest a father and son relationship, but taking it to the next level may be sensational, but again I find it tiresome, absurd, and a position that is prurient but unproven.
I enjoyed the book with the exceptions that I have noted, I don't believe the book broke any important new ground, and will certainly not be the last book about Albert Speer. The Germany of the Nazis continues to fascinate, and until it ceases to do so books will be continually written.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Interesting book on Albert Speer 12 Jun. 2004
By lordhoot - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be one of the more perceptive books I have read on members of Hitler's inner circle. Albert Speer as many of the previous reviewers have already wrote, proves to be a great mystery. However, the author provides some very interesting insights to Speer's rather naive but contradictory asute behavior during the time he serves for Hitler.
The book proves to be very readable and easy to get into. Its provides a very informative picture of Albert Speer without overwhelming you with mindless details and gives a clear idea what kind of man Speer was, before, during and after the Third Reich.
Its interesting that of all the individuals of Hitler's inner circle, Speer was intellectually, culturally and morally above the rest but Fest make it understood that Speer had some sort of psychological blinder on and spent much of his post-World War life with that blinder still partially on. From what Fest wrote, it seem that Speer suffered from some sort of a self-imposed martyrdom at Nuremberg.
Interesting book and well worth the effort to read, I thought I knew Speer a bit better now then before.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing Revisitation Of The "Speer" Issue! 17 Sept. 2002
By Barron Laycock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Anyone unfortunate enough to have experienced a bitter divorce can testify as to the degree to which two otherwise intelligent and perceptive human beings can violently disagree as to what the truth is regarding matters both witnessed and had been parties to. So it is with our continuing fascination and absolute incredulity regarding Albert Speer, an otherwise intelligent and perceptive soul, who just so happens to have been a willing participant in one of the most horrific administrations in the history of the 20th century, the Nazi Third Reich.

In two quite absorbing but incredibly self-serving books, Speer argued that he never understood the full extent of the Nazi war crimes nor the degree to which his own actions were complicit with those horrific aims. He first argued this at the war trials in Nuremberg, but did so in such a way as to admit his own culpability based on his rank and his actions as Chief Of Armaments Production, during which he employed slave labor in service to the German war effort. By being the only defendant at Nuremberg to show any semblance of remorse, he saved himself by admitting his own guilt, though largely guilt by association.

Careful readings of the trials transcripts show that he was, in fact, fairly forthcoming in his admissions, although he always contended that he lacked specifics regarding the so-called �Final Solution� or even of the fact that the concentration camps in Poland and elsewhere were being used to systematically annihilate millions of Jews and Gypsies. In fact, he was an incredibly sophisticated human being who was expert in �toadying up� to whomever he needed to. The fact that he was convincing enough to the Allies to escape the death sentence speaks volumes about his persuasiveness and ability to read into the possibilities any situation offered.

It is the author�s contention that Speer must be held accountable for having allowed a tyrant like Hitler to rise. Yet Hitler was well in place before Speer ever met him. Speer is a man of stunning contradictions, someone of education, culture, and breeding who succumbed to the siren call of power, fame, and riches. While he eventually became expert at fashioning a defense both for himself and his actions both during and after the war, the truth of the matter is that most of what he argued in his own defense was (and is) preposterous. No one could have walked in the circles he did, have acted in concert with the aims and goals of the Nazi regime with such success and energy, and yet have been as totally naïve and ignorant as he always claimed he was. What he recalls more than anything is the old adage Hitler was said to have coined.; �Tell a man an outrageous lie often enough for long enough and even he will come to believe it� I think Speer proved the accuracy of that adage, believing in his own lie. This is an absorbing and provocative book, and one I can heartily recommend to the student of modern history. Enjoy!
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
"Good" Nazi or smooth operator? The reader decides 15 April 2003
By Mannie Liscum - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joachim Fest's "Speer: The Final Verdict" is a solid contribution to the Speer catalog. Fest's book is essentially a biography of Speer's time within the National Socialist regime. It is a nice (if somewhat redundant) companion to Speer's pseudo-autobiography "Inside the Third Reich". Whereas Speer's writings in ItTR focus not only on his time in the Nazi regime but also childhood and university years, Fest's book really deals with Speer's rise in the Nazi power structure and his association (often volatile but never strained beyond distinct affection) with Hitler. While the title suggests that the reader will gain some new insight into Speer's complicity and complacency relative to war crimes for which had association, little new is brought to life. Yet, because Fest is looking from outside - he is not writing about himself as Speer has done - the analysis can be taken with a different grain of spice. Fest does not excuse Speer's actions but rather tries to place them in a context that the reader can draw judgment from.
It is clear that Speer is an enigma within the third Reich: 1) he was highly educated (if not successful as an architect before his association with the Nazi's) and cultured - in stark contrast to other power brokers like Rohm and Bormann; 2) while certainly not immune to Hitler's psychological powers Speer did actively disobey (at great personal risk) many of Hitler's orders late in the war - with the major exception of the assassination plot conspirators Speer is essentially alone in this regard, and 3) while he appears to have despised politics he played the intrigue game within the Hitlter Court to perfection and really had few rivals (Bormann being the strongest). Was he the "Good Nazi"? Or is this simply an oxymoron? Either way, Fest's book provides ample information to let the reader decide the historical fate of Albert Speer. With Speer's own writings he attempts to paint a fairly pretty picture of his National Socialist life. Unlike other works that try hard to project conclusions about Speer's culpability and motivations, Fest's work presents facts with little interpretation - that remains the responsibility of the reader.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
How Much Did He Really Know? 7 May 2003
By Bill Emblom - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Author Joachim Fest tells us that Albert Speer became fascinated with Adolf Hitler and was flattered that Hitler took a seemingly personal interest in him. Although Speer didn't think of himself as politically involved with Hitler and his cohorts, Hitler, nevertheless, saw Speer as one to build the monuments that would symbolize the Third Reich. While Speer accepts blame for his part in the Nazi regime he hedges in regard to his knowledge of the persecution of the Jews. Speer tried to distance himself from the other Nazi's being tried at Nuremberg, and although Speer expected the death sentence from the Nuremberg trials, he managed to escape with a lengthy prison sentence at Spandau prison. The author tells us about Speer's adjustment to prison life as well as his difficulties in readjusting to civilian life following his prison sentence. Of additional interest is the jealousies involved between the misfits that Hitler brought together in his entourage. The book held my interest even though I don't believe this book did, indeed, provide the reader with the final verdict as the title suggests.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know