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The meaning of Hitler / Sebastian Haffner ; translated by Ewald Osers [Unknown Binding]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Macmillan, New York (1979)
  • ASIN: B000R2GI4I
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
ADOLF HITLER's father made a success of life. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I wanted a book that would give me a brief overview of Hitler's rise to power and fall to defeat while also analysing his motivations. This book answered that need. It's easy to read, well structured and engaging. Haffner discusses the achievements and successes of Hitler with some objectivity. He also explores the reasons behind his military failures. Hitler's victories - bought through the sudden attack - also explain his mistakes - he relied upon unsustainable sudden strikes which led to his armies downfall in the long drawn out war against Russia, America and Britain. The holocaust is dealt with along with Hitler's personality defects. He was a man who loved brute power and war. He could never have been a peace-time leader. It wasn't in his nature. I felt the book went a long way to explaining Hitler but failed to deal enough with the meaning of evil and his popular appeal. Hitler struck a chord with people that seems to still find appeal where there is mass-murder and brutality. The book stimulated thinking on these issues.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine biographical essay 14 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
Sebastian Haffner manages to summarize Hitler's career in nearly 150 pages, giving his personal view of his successes, failures, crimes and obsessions. Though more a historical essay with plenty of personal opinions by the author (a very shrewd observer on the other hand) than a regular biography or a serious history book, the volume is worth reading as a summary of Hitler's main traits and a thought-provoking book.

Personally, I liked the author's "The German Revolution" better, but his keen analytical powers are present in this short volume as well, though his style is more personal and so more open to criticism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book says more in a few sentences than most do in several chapters. Haffner gives exactly enough background so you understand his point, but emphasises analysis and understanding rather than narrative (which he assumes you know already). He gets straight to the interesting fundamental questions and his epigrammatic style is illuminating and thought-provoking rather than mere stylism - see the first couple of sentences for one of the best examples. A brilliantly concise book and a model of gripping historical analysis.
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