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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2012
Irving's narrative suggests that Hitler was at times more sinned against than sinning and in this sense is a major departure from the standard consensual historical versions of Hitler's wartime activities. Some readers find this both unbelievable and/or reprehensible. None of them however can seem to find incontrovertible evidence to support their objections. That of course is not to say that Irving is `right'. But Irving himself goes to great pains to fill his account with footnotes and references which would seem to invite the reader to scrutinise the authenticity of the primary sources, many of which were original discoveries of Irving's not previously available to other scholars. One critic suggested for example that the observation that no `academic historian of any note has annexed themselves publicly to Irving's views' is ipso facto grounds for rejecting Irving's account as `spurious'. But academic historians ground their authority on a rigid adherence to consensual accounts of Hitler's story. To do otherwise would risk being cast out as an iconoclast into the academic wilderness. Their academic status and their pensions are not negotiable even for the price of historical accuracy. So volume after volume of `history' is churned out and unnecessarily tax the shelf capacity of our libraries. And who on earth would dare to disagree with such consensus? Particularly if it meant with respect to the book under discussion as being vilified as a `Nazi' or a `denier' or an `anti-semite'. That is one of the strengths of Irving's work; not the content so much as the courage to articulate it. For similar reasons, not many astronomers annexed themselves contemporaneously to the views of Copernicus or Galileo. So I for one would recommend reading the book with an open mind. Then draw your own conclusions. You won't be disappointed.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2012
I have read this book three times and wiil probably read it again at some point.I think it is
one of the best books on hitler/second world war that i have ever come accross.Why? its simply
the passion of Irving for the subject, it comes over so strongly, he relives history and puts
the reader there, you practicaly time-travel.love encountering historians with this talent ,they are supreme in their field.

I was aware of Irvings reputation as a holocoust denier before i read the book, but forgive me if im wrong, but he dosnt seem to deny this at all,he fully accepts it, but denies Hitler knew
anything about the final solutution seemingly saying , the blame lies at the foot of Himmler .This is something i find difficult to believe and certainly dont believe it, but would love a good reccommendation from someone for a book/books giving an opposing view.

Also interesting are the references citing hitlers Darwinian influences and scathing hatred of religion from Walter Hewels unpublished diaries,eyeopening indeed.Theres a lot of negativity around Irving which can put you off,.read it and make your own mind up.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2012
This is a book about what happened during Hitler's War, written from the German side of the fence. The controversy is difficult to understand; Irving's book contains harrowing accounts of the extermination of trainloads of Jewish people, but in Russia in 1942 rather than in Auchwitz. There is no denial of the holocaust; whether Hitler knew of the exterminations is unclear, but does it really matter? What the book does is gives an authentic account of Hitler's attempt to restore German greatness; misguided, yes, as are any wars, but perhaps one can see better Hitler's motivations. I think the work is outstanding, and whilst I cannot prove that every line written is true, the opprobium heaped on Irving seems totally unrelated to the book's content.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2011
Every writer, especially within the literature for WW2-and Nazi regime in particular-, takes a different view on the matter. But, I prefer 10 times this book that deviates from the mainstream picture of Hitler being a deranged malicious lunatic that ordered the extermination of millions, and contacted a hopeless war, ignoring reality. Instead, it portrays him as the ingenious leader HE thought himself to be, betrayed by his own generals, allies, and physical condition.

Despite the writer's effort to overstretch this portrayal -even to the point of presenting Hitler opposing to the physical extermination of Jews-, and indeed despite the writer's declared "sympathy" for Hitler, a picture clearly emerges from the book: Hitler was nothing more than a charismatic leader, whom millions believed, turned to a dictator that trusted no one but his self, fail to capitalize on the initial faith of the German people, failed to deal with the diplomatic arena, fail to handle the economical and political regime he himself imposed, and failed miserably to impose his "vision" of a New Europe and a New World order.

It is the readers' "obligation", at least of those who want to maintain a sound judgment and view, to review and read as many different accounts, and contact their own "research". Do read Evans's "Telling lies about Hitler", and indeed as many literature as possible, and make up your own mind.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2010
This book focuses on the events leading up to the war, and the war itself, seen from the viewpoint of Hitler and his immediate entourage. Drawing on a large number of original documents unearthed by the author, Irving has presented a detailed, well-written, and very readable account. References to original documents are given as notes at the end for professional historians; where they add some particular insight, they are quoted in the main part of the text.

Irving has received a great deal of abuse from people who accuse him of being a 'holocaust denier' and the like. Presumably, most of them have not read this book. Far from denying that the Nazi regime murdered large numbers of Jews, Irving cites detailed documentary evidence that it did, in the context of the relationship between Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels. The emphasis of the book, however, is on the strategic military, political, and economic conduct of the war.

What the book does not do is convey much about what sort of people the Nazis were; for this, it is important to read other accounts to get a balanced picture. The Nazi Party was not so much a political party as a gang of thugs who managed to hijack an important country, but this is not apparent from Irving's account. With this reservation, I strongly recommend 'Hitler's War'.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2008
Despite what negative critics may may of this book, the research carried out and the depth involved surpasses most other books in this field. No other book is unique as to harness the angle or insight to what Hitler may have perceived by during the entire war.
Whilst the topic of the holocaust or minimal reference to the final solution be surprising to some; the attention required at Hitlers level alone during 1941 onwards whilst the russian invasion was being co-ordinated does bring a valid point that Hitler may have had less input into the 'design' of liquidation than generally accepted.

No other Historian has done this type of approach with such importance and depth as Irving has... this should still be an angle viewed as to how such event can occur with conviction (from the side generally perceived as to being in the wrong).
The wealth of WWII literature out there convicts all Germany's involvement during the first half of the 20th century without reckoning how this could be perceived as rational during the time.
This book does give an insight to how this could happen form the other side of the looking glass.

An important insight to the German view, recommended for open minds with a verdict of your own.
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49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2007
An interesting historical work from a controversial historian. We might not agree with what Irving says or believes, I dont support his ideas about holocaust denial but I dont agree either with his work being banned or the suppression of debate. History is all about putting a theory forward and then seeing others submit counter arguments, theories, etc. His ideas are controversial and most people can see through them and debate them.

Irving's holocaust denial trial doesnt really affect this work however. Irving has used his analytical skill in research and his access to German documents and records to come up with an interesting read; the Second World War from viewpoint of Hitler. This book is often quoted and/or mentioned in most serious historians works on the Second World War and/or Nazi Germany. It is a must for serious scholars and those people who are interested in this period of history.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I read this seminal work about 15yrs ago but its impression and aspects of it have remained with me. Irving is the ONLY historian to have personally interviewed and befriended all the surviving members of the Third Reich. They have nearly all died now and Irving's place in history is assured due to his un-paralleled access to their private documents and testaments.

Unlike the liberal PC historians such as Evans and Kershaw, Mr Iving can actually read and write German to a high standard. He is un-prejudice in his views since he has chosen to ignore the officially sanctioned version of history and rely solely on primary evidence. The references of this book are so vast that they could be published as a book themselves.

The writing style is both sophisticated and entertaining, a real engrossing pleasure from beginning to end. The narrative device is also very clever, that is a view of the war through Hitler's eyes. Thus we can see why he made certain decisions based upon the information available to him at that time. So often we hear of his military blunders from Stalingrad onward but Irving gives us a new perspective on many decisions. I can particularly remember the alternative POSITIVE results from Hitler's decision of no retreat and how this stabilized the front for several months or how Stalingrad meant far larger numbers of troops in the south managed to escape as a result of the sacrifice at Stalingrad which Hitler partly is responsible.

No serious student of the 20th Century should be without this book. Only completely bigoted liberals would deny there is not vast merit in this book, at least on the grounds of the vast research undertaken by the author in countless archives and with the actual state participants of Hitler's Third Reich.

Beware shallow minded liberals who think that only Jews suffered in WW2; there is very little mention of their plight. Indeed, Irving himself was shocked that he could find no evidence that Hitler knew anything about the Jewish situation as the war progressed. In fact, quite the contrary there is evidence that he was not interested in them whilst he remained focused on trying to win the war for we Europeans.

If you want a hollywood version of history then please watch Schindler's list, if you want the truth then read this. A man was impoverished so we could hear the truth, Irving lost everything on account of his honest approach to history. Certain hollywood people and other wealthy individuals created a vast persecution fund so he could be destroyed in the famous libel case. Every European who wants to know the truth about WW2 must read this book and all the other Irving books for that matter.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2014
I've read a lot of books by a lot of authors on this subject but this on is by far the best.

A few people say that David Irving's works are inaccurate and that he isn't a true historian yet I've never been able to find out from these people exactly what it is that is inaccurate or where the flaws in his writing are.

All I will say is that there are a lot of good books out there about WW2 and Adolf Hitler, but this is head and shoulders above all of them. It, like most others, takes you along in a chronological order but unlike the rest, the reader never leaves the side of Hitler. Every major event in the Nazi period is covered but from the Fuhrer's eyes.

This book is quite expensive in paper form but is less than nine pounds for Kindle and worth every penny. Ignore the doubters and make your own minds up as to whether Irving is just a crank, or a great historian and writer. If you go into it with an open mind then you won't come out disappointed.
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on 26 November 2014
This book is the best work on world war 2 ever ,Mr Irving in no way denies the holocaust ,the mass killings in the East are covered as are other similar topics ,a real historian who only uses historical facts ......I have met Mr Irving and he is a gentleman also in the meeting were black ,Asian ,and Latin people listening to Mr Irving give a superb lecture and gave a very long and loud applause at the end .
Top class .
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