Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2007
This is a great study of the life and work of the Nazi Minister for Propaganda. We follow his life from his beginnings in the Rhineland through his university years and onto his political life. What strikes you most is the fact that he was fighting from his earliest years against the crippling effects of Polio. Yet throughout everything he never lost sight of his aim to be someone important.
In his early life he wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately he was not able to get his work published and had interviews for journalism posts turned down. It was lucky for him that he found a position in the Gau office for the Rhineland. From there his rise for quick and spectacular.
He soon gained the attention of Hitler who recognised some raw briliance in his organisational and speaking abilities. He was then launched on the road to notoriety and death. He was always an anti-Semite, after all it was Jews who prevented him from becoming a great writer. They therefore drew his anger and ridicule from then on.
We follow his rise to power and the important role that he played in turning around the fortunes of the Party in Berlin and then his manipulation of the media to help push the Nazis into power. He is the person who helped to make political campaigning what it is today - not a very good thing to say I know.
After the ascension to power Goebbels' career went from strength to strength until his affair with a Czech actress almost destroyed it. He was an very ambitious and power hungry man and this is shown throughout the book. he dispised many of his fellow Nazis and wanted more and more power but was not granted it until 1944. By then it was too late for him to save the German military machine.
We follow him until the very end when he chose death with his Fuhrer, over life without him. He was intelligent enough to know that the war was lost in 1943 but kept believing in Hitler until the end. He was able to see Hitler's failings but chose to blame them on those around him, such as Bormann, rather on the Fuhrer himself.
The book is actually a republication from the 1960's and is based on eyewitness reports and his own diary entries. There has been more information uncovered since the fall of the Soviet Union but this is a masterly written book. The only shortcoming is that when the diaries run out the story becomes rushed and brief.