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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended !
This is a very detailed, well researched and highly readable first `half' of a two-volume biography. This first volume should be read by anyone interested in the life of Hitler and Nazi Germany up to 1936. Do NOT be put off by the length of the book and the two-volume biography as a whole - every page is worth reading!

It makes previously published and highly...
Published on 20 Jan. 2009 by A Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating are the opportunities to stop his rise and the perfect storm of the economy
Heavy going in places and short on his personal life, but a very detailed account of each part of Hitler's development. Fascinating are the opportunities to stop his rise and the perfect storm of the economy, Versailles and a contemporary German appetite for authority that delivers him to power.

It's terrible, and compelling.
Published 6 months ago by Milhist


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended !, 20 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
This is a very detailed, well researched and highly readable first `half' of a two-volume biography. This first volume should be read by anyone interested in the life of Hitler and Nazi Germany up to 1936. Do NOT be put off by the length of the book and the two-volume biography as a whole - every page is worth reading!

It makes previously published and highly reputable Hitler biographies from earlier years look somewhat dated (Bullock's `Hitler - A Study in Tyranny' is one such biography).

Kershaw's grasp on chronology in respect of what Hitler articulated as Nazi 'policy' and when he articulated what he did is especially useful. Also, his assessment of Hitler's time in Vienna between 1908 and 1913 is especially fascinating and revealing.

Essential reading as one of several Hitler and Nazi Germany publications from the same author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly detailed, but hard to fault, 9 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
I bought this book, purely out of personal interest to learn more about the story of Hitler, and the conditions which allowed him to rise to power with such devastating consequences.

I knew the basic facts before I started to read the book, but now feel like a seasoned expert, such is the detail on Hitler himself, but also the social and political turmoil in Germany at the time which allowed someone so seemingly devoid of talent or ambition in his early years(other than an aggressive and vague revolutionary stance). It is not a light read, due to the depth of information, and the size of the book, but it is not difficult to read. If, like me, you want to know more about this historical character, this book, and it's second volume "Nemesis" would contain all the information you could ever possibly want.

I am about to start reading "Nemesis" to complete the story. So bear in mind that you will really need to buy both books, as this on it's own only tells half the story.

There are differences of opinion from some reviewers about how Hitler is portrayed, however I would not worry about that. The book does show that at key points in his life and his rise to prominence that he was incredibly lucky, and I think these are highlighted to show that history couold have been very different if certain people had made different decisions along the way. In that case we would never have even heard of Adolf Hitler, and that makes this such an interesting story. There is also enough fact in this book to make your own mind up about what happened and therefore I would highly recommend this. Just leave yourself plenty of time to get through it!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical magnus opus., 12 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
Looking at some of the earlier reviews I have to wonder if the reviewers have actually understood the book. Kershaw doesn't rehash the 'Hitler as a lucky non-entity' argument. He shows (again and again) how Hitler, through his hard-won dominiation of the Nazi party, coupled with his undoubted genius as an orator, came to power in Germany. The early chapters on the unique social and political conditions within Germany which allowed a demagogue like Hitler to prosper are worth the price of the book alone. Also, the charge that Kershaw is 'woolly' on the root of Hitlers' anti-semitism is deeply flawed. No-one can acurately pin-point what made Hitler so rabidly anti-semetic without resorting to cod-philosophy, which is exactly what real historians (like Kershaw) avoid.

Hitler: Hubris is not only the best book on Hitler I have ever read, it's the best book period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, balanced and authoritative., 1 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading this book very much, I would have given it four and a half stars if I could.

It is the first book about Hitler I have read, having avoided the subject of the Third Reich, despite a deep interest in history, for many years.

I found it very interesting especially in that Kershaw suggests that while Hitler was a man of many talents, the development of Germany in the twenties and thirties was not, of course, solely down to his influence. Germany, he argues, had an appetite for totalitarian rule and anti-semitism was already highly developed. Having said that, while Kershaw documents prejudice against Jews mainly because of their success in business, he does not offer any in depth analysis of this. Nor for that matter does he offer any history of the Weimar republic, nor of Germany at all except in as much as it relates directly to Hitler. This is not a criticism but it is a limitation. A biographer might reasonably not expect to have to provide any more background than is strictly necessary to tell his tale of a personal development, but if you lack that historical knowledge you will have to go elsewhere to find it.

Kershaw makes it clear from the information he provides that Hitler was a man of profound oratorical gifts, and also a man with supreme political instinct and timing who almost infallibly knew how to ride the waves of feeling in Germany. Perhaps, if you like, he was in tune with the national Zeitgeist. However I felt that Kershaw at times wanted to underplay Hitler's talents and call him lucky, I wasn't sure if he was being strictly honest in doing so, perhaps he was anxious not to be seen to be praising Hitler in any way.

If you are unsure whether to buy this book I urge you to read the reviews on Amazon.com. As if often the case they are far more lucid and well-informed than those on this site in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 Mar. 2014
By 
APR1 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Ian Kershaw is one of the finest writers there is on the subject of the second world war.

This superb biography of history's most notorious man is un-rivalled. If like me you try to understand why these things happen, and how the nazi's swept to power, this is a book you should read.

A quite stunning piece of in-depth work and a masterpiece of research. There is also along with this two volume series, a slightly abridged one volume book. However if you're fascinated by military history and the reign of the nazi's, this two volume publication is the one to go for.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Readable History text: not necessarily a contradiction, 1 July 2001
By 
sam.mason@bnc.ox.ac.uk (Brasenose College, Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
As a student of Modern History, it is both refreshing and useful to find a book which is not only such a major part of the current historiography on such an significant subject but also so accessible. Kershaw's book gives an important insight into the background of Hitler's early life and into the environment which helped to spawn the dictator who more than anyone contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Apart from being fantastically well researched, "Hubris" is clear and easy to read and provides a useful re-examination of this topic, which until now had only been covered by Alan Bullock's early (but nevertheless brilliant) study of Hitler. This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the subject and an exceptionally useful aid for anyone studying Nazi history at university.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 14 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
I've been reading, and starting to re-read as soon as I've finished it, this book and its sequel for some years now, being the best explanation I've read of the origin of the Europe into which I was born sixty-seven years ago. The only reason I can continue to re-read these door-stopper books in recent years, with my failing sight and arthritic hands, is due to the convenience of Kindle, for which I cannot be too grateful. I'm curious though to know by what means ebooks are produced - by not-so-smart scanning software, or copy typing by people for whom English isn't their first language? I only ask because these two volumes in ebook form are spoilt on almost every page by bizarre spelling, punctuation and hyphenation howlers that aren't present in the printed editions which I have - there has been no attempt whatever at proof-reading these e-editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview, 10 Aug. 2012
I only expect quality research from Ian Kershaw and here he has presented a very good account of Hitler's government through 1936. The book does not cover eventas after that. This is good because it gives more space to cover those critical years in more depth. I enjoyed reading it of the detail which you do not find in many books that are general overviews.

I still think some parts could have gone deeper and some parts need to be re-researched, but that is why we read multiple books and newer books on the subject, to get the whole story.

This book adds to the historical record without a doubt. Worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best work on Hitler to date., 3 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
Far be it for me to comment on the work of Professor Kershaw but probably like you I've read AJP Taylor, Alan Bullock, Trevor Roper, even that revisionist (Hitler's War) David something whose name I can't recall and several other works directly or indirectly about the little Bohemian Corporal, some superb, some great, others not so great - but this book, both volumes - in terms of historical analysis is pretty much at the peak of contemporary scholarship. I keep re-reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT MANIPULATOR OR A MADMAN..?, 1 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (Paperback)
So he had trouble keeping up at school and was a bit of a misfit, yet he grew up determined to be a leader - and almost took over the world. Frightening to look into the face of the little boy - and the teenager - knowing what he became - and after all these years the world still reels from his atrocities.
Brilliant book for reference if you don`t want to read the whole thing.
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Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris
Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris by Ian Kershaw (Paperback - 25 Oct. 2001)
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