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The Psychopathic God: Adolph Hitler: Adolf Hitler Paperback – 1 Mar 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805141
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 915,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert G. L. Waite is Brown Professor of History Emeritus at Williams College. He is the author of Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Post-War Germany, 1918--1923 and Kaiser and Fuhrer: A Comparative Study of Personality and Politics.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
AS FUHRER of the Germans, Adolf Hitler probably exerted more direct personal power than any ruler in history. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
Waite strips Adolf Hitler down to the core, revealing in his childhood explanations for not only why Hitler was who he was, but also revealing in general the reasons the German volk followed him down the fiery path of the Holocaust. His fascinating analysis of the routine and horrifying abuse that passed for normal child-rearing methods in middle European countries tears away the the curtain that has shrouded the motivations of Hitler and his countrymen, and makes it clear that the Holocaust was not an abberation in Germany--it was an inevitability. Read this with Alice Miller's "For Your Own Good" and Wolff's "Child Abuse in Freud's Vienna," and you'll get the picture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Haak on 22 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My review is appearing 14 years after the first ones were printed, so I'll avoid repeating what's been said and instead take up a wrong assertion made by some detractors that the author relies mostly on second & third hand hearsay and is bereft of solid, historical documentation. Not so. The back of my clothbound edition is packed with historical documentation listed on pages 436-474 at the end of the book. That's 38 densely packed pages of references and archival documentation.

In fact, Waite is quick to jump on the scent of anyone making careless and undocumented statements about Hitler. Here's a sample of the quality of correction he himself makes regarding inaccurate reporting about Hitler's residence patterns which he has investigated thoroughly (from Waite's chapter entitled "A Note on Spurious Sources"): "The British Home Office has reported that 'a careful search' through all the files of the Immigration Office for the period of November 1912 to April 1913 shows no record of Adolf Hitler having visited England. (H.G. Pearson, Departmental Records Officer, letter of 30 May, 1975. Used with permission of Professor Peter loewenberg, University of California at Los Angeles.)" Note Waite is relying on a dated letter from the British Home Office, which in turn is quoting from the records of the British Immigration Office, and we know exactly where that letter can be found and checked for accuracy. This is typical of Waite's mastery of detail & quality of research regarding archival sources and historical documentation.

Tracking down further errors Waite writes, "She has the wrong year for Klara Hitler's (Adolf's mother's) death, and she thinks that after Klara's funeral Adolf and his sister Paula moved to Vienna to live with their half sister Angela.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
I was assigned this book for a class that dealt soley with Nazi-era Germany. It provided an eerie, but enveloping story of this all-too-human demi-god. There are certain aspects of his life that the author revealed here that I don't think I have ever heard or read anywhere else. Starting with his relationship with his mother and rounding out with his disturbing relationhip with Eva. This is a superb study which picks apart the charateristics of Hitler's demented mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nc Shackley on 11 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Robert Waite's The Psychipathic God is one of the most fascinating portraits I have read on Hitler, or indeed, any historical figure. Rather than giving the narrative account of Hitler's life, what he did and when, Waite goes deeper into the tyrant's mind and experiences, to determine what made him the way he was, and the implications it had on German, and eventually world history.

The most interesting part for me was chapter four: Hitler and History. Here, Waite looks back through German history and constructs a convincing narrative that suggests Hitler was not - as is sometimes claimed, a dictator who rose out of nowhere - but a continuation of where German history had been heading for some centuries. It is worth reading this against the work of other historians, notably Joachim Fest, who say Hitler shared more in common with other totalitarian leaders of his lifetime than he did with the German past.

The rest of the book deals with various aspects of Histler's personality, tastes, beliefs, and decisions as leader. The one criticism I would have of the book is that quite a few of Waite's claims are suspect, and difficult to either prove or deny. For example - Hitler's right arm salute was supposedly to make up for his apparent missing left testicle, by showing the public his virility. What you think of such claims will depend on what you think of Freudian psychology in general. My personal opinion is that such arguments are interesting, worth debating, but often inconclusive.

I would still highly recommend this book though, simply because it effectively gives an analytic, non-narrative account of one of history's greatest tyrants.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, full of research and history of Germany. All of it is related to Adolf and his psycological state of mind. This could have certainly been the work of a psychologist. As the DSM-IV would describe a borderline personality as a personality disorder, the author has done so. Waite did a good job connecting every deviation of this "personna" to the History of Germany.This is a valuable book to keep in your personal library.
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