Top positive review
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An engrossing indictment of media arrogance.
on 28 November 2000
'Selling Hitler' relates the story of the fraudulent Hitler diaries, from their conception to the aftermath of destroyed reputations when the con was revealed. Harris' achievement with this book is to create a marvellously gripping and tense read despite the fact that the reader is aware of the outcome all along. A number of conspiracy theories about the purpose of the forgeries sprung up and continue to do so, but this story is interesting precisely because of the surprising lack of conspiracy. It would appear that nothing more than human carelessness, greed and vanity enabled the forger and led to the massive scale of the humiliation.
'Selling Hitler' also provides a chilling insight into the unhealthy fascination that Adolf Hitler continues to hold for a surprisingly large number of people. In tracing the origins of the diaries, Harris investigates sinsister ex-SS men and peculiar millionaires obsessed with Nazi memoribilia. The strong reaction to the diaries all over the world proved that Hitler and the Nazis still have the power to unsettle and disturb. The book also has interesting insights into how Germany and the Germans have coped with the legacy of the Nazis.
Above all, 'Selling Hitler' is an engrossing and fascinating read; I found myself literally unable to put it down as I got closer to the climax. It is extremely well crafted - like other well written non-fiction books such as 'Schindlers Ark', the writer refrains from any writerly showing off and tells the story in a straightforward and engaging manner. Highly recommended.