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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academic bent, biased interpretations, 8 Dec 2000
This review is from: Why Hitler Came into Power (Paperback)
Interesting indeed is this, written in 1938, five years after Hitler's ascent to power. First of all, Abel is an American, a professor of sociology from Columbia University, who goes and gets these interviews. He then selects representative samples and presents them, with editing and analysis. Almost all of them speak of a sickness of the soul at the state of their once-proud German nation, wiped out through WWI's German defeat, leaving many people very impoverished and frustrated, unemployed and angry.
One gross omission, typical of the man's time, is the lack of interviews with women. All of them are classified as employed men at different income levels. There is a Marxist bent in this sociology professor, who sees humans primarily as workers - professional, industrial and agricultural. He does not see humans, men and women alike, as people with souls and brains of their own, who may do their voting according to emotional and intellectual bents regardless of their current economic situation. Exactly as the GErmans themselves express in their essays, they were raised by sensible and sensitive parents with Christian beliefs. Their views of life, Germany, humanity and their purpose overall were influenced more by the warm hearthfire of their youths than their current factory, office or shop jobs. Women, omitted from the data, make for seriously skewered results. Dr. Abel projects his own Grossbuergerliche ideology on the results, and misses the mark, although he's not completely off base.
What is valuable in the reprinting of this book is the lack of editing in the last part of the book, so that one can hear, pure and clear, how a "normal German" feels about his country, how he longs for it to be great again, for his family to live well, for his parents and children to be happy and prosperous, and for his country's people to be united. The ideals were lofty and almost inspire a reader to wish for them himself, not to live in such culturally diverse and criminally dangerous societies as Germany and USA today.
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Why Hitler Came into Power
Why Hitler Came into Power by T Abel (Paperback - 1 July 1986)
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