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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kershaw has produced a gem
Ian Kershaw's follow-up to the peerless 'Hubris' matches and even surpasses the achievements of the first half of this splendid biography. Whereas Hubris addressed Hitler's upbringing and rise to power, Nemesis concerns Hitler's central role during the second world war and with it the final demise and collapse of the third reich. Kershaw's prose is accessible for laymen,...
Published on 17 Oct 2001

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninteresting
Like its predecessor, this book contains nothing of interest in the form of new information or analysis, and is not particularly well-written. As with volume 1 of the biography, quantity wins out over quality.
Published 1 month ago by A Reader


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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kershaw has produced a gem, 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Ian Kershaw's follow-up to the peerless 'Hubris' matches and even surpasses the achievements of the first half of this splendid biography. Whereas Hubris addressed Hitler's upbringing and rise to power, Nemesis concerns Hitler's central role during the second world war and with it the final demise and collapse of the third reich. Kershaw's prose is accessible for laymen, whilst remaining packed full of detailed analysis for academics. The author considers both the structuralist and intentional approaches to the third reich, and also whether Nazi policy was determined by economic necessity, or ideological goals.
Nemesis also provides a fabulous insight into the mind and world of the centuries most infamous and destructive figure. It also highlights and ponders the role of those around Hitler and their relationship to him. The author also attempts to understand the reasons for Hitler's murderous determination to implement policies of genocide and dogged continuance of the war even when he knew it was lost.
The two works together represent an excellent study in the workings of the Nazi government and the mind of a dictator. These two works follow the already excellent work on the Nazis and seek to examine how and why these ideologues came to power in a rational and highly educated civlised state. Hopefully works of this quality will help aid us from preventing it from happening again.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exemplary account of the Nazi war years, 8 May 2001
By A Customer
Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, Ian Kershaw's superb account of Hitler's final years, manages to fuse biographical insight into the life and mind of the Dictator, together with a detailed overview of the system (or lack of it) within the Nazi state structure.
We are offered comprehensive analyses of Hitler's pre-war belligerance, the lack of will in British and French government circles to prevent his imperial ambition, his early military triumphs and, ultimately, the final descent into Holocaust, defeat, and death.
Kerhaw's excellent account acts as a constant reminder of how Hitler could have been prevented at every turn but for the absence of committed opposition within the German military establishment. It is a lucid and sober lesson in the victory of bluff and outrageous chance over conventional politics and diplomacy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part two of the definitive Hitler biography, 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Having read volume one, I was lookng forward to reading this and must say that it has lived up to all my expectations. What sets this book apart is that Ian Kershaw does not set out to demonise Hitler or the Nazi regime, but to explain why the second world war and the events leading up to it occured (and were allowed to occur) in a modern European country. An amazing read for all interested in the subject; a great eye opener for the rest.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Biography On Hitler, 4 Nov 2002
By 
Mr. J. Walmsley "The Finch" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
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Having read both books I found this to be the more engaging but that is no reflection on the quality of the first. Rather I found as I assume most people would Hitler is at his most interesting and puzzling during the period 1936 - 1945. Together they form a superb and comprehensive biography on Hitler but they are also fine as stand alones.
This is not a book about WWII but the events of WWII in relation to Hitler so people expecting a comprehensive summary of the war will be dissapointed. Some of the most significant events are covered in only a few pages i.e. the fall of France and the Ardennes offensive. However this is probably my only criticism and one which I have no right to make given that this is a biography of Hitler and not a history of the war. However it gives an superb 800 page insight into the man and the world he was surrounded by. Kershaws writing style is engaging and the level of research he has undertaken makes this a credible document. I would certainly recommend it as being the ultimate biography of a man who has his fair share of them.
The world can be thankful that Mr Kershaw had no need for a third book on Hitler (1946 - ????) although its absence is a loss to readers of fine historical writing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of historical research, 21 Feb 2001
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This is quite simply one of the best books ever written about the Nazi regime. It perfectly captures the chain of events that enabled Hitler to control the Third Reich with absolute authority. It also brilliantly highlights the weakness of his opponents particularly those in the Wermacht who delayed too long in attempting to depose him. A stunning indictment not only of Hitler but also the entire ruling class of Germany in the period.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One I would not part with., 8 Aug 2010
By 
R. Stewart (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This was the first biography of Hitler which I have read to date , my knowledge of the man having previously been gathered from the thoughts and considerations of other historians who encountered the "great man" through his part played in various military situations between 1938-45.

This book reads very well and covers a mass of complex issues and interrelationships between Hitler and his party officials in a meaningful and telling manner.
Hitler had his abilities and his inabilities Kershaw addresses all with clarity and balance.

That Hitler came to power was not just down to one man and force of his will and what does come out is Hitler's underlying personality traits when you read between the line s it is obvious that Hitler would today be regarded as a personality disorder , for he was far from stable even when he was at his peak.
As has been mentioned by others the criminal nature of his regime is well documented as is his part in it and central is the nature of his leadership and how others filled in the gaps to "work towards the Fuhrer" , this is told against the decline of the structures of society and the safeguards for the German people who became his first victims.

In terms of understanding who Hitler was , what he cost , how he achieved what he did , his cost to Germany and his legacy this is an important work.

Kershaw's "The Hitler Myth" also worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book with enough details and pages to keep all happy, 11 Feb 2010
By 
Lukasz Piwko - See all my reviews
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Brilliant second part to a good quality and well researched piece of history. Even though the author states in the foreword that he tries to show Hitler's deeds as wrongful you don't feel like reading someone's personal opinion about him. Good read thus I would recommend it everyone who is interested in WWII history. This is not a biography per se.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into the most infamous character of the 20th Century, 13 Feb 2009
A must read for those interested in the Third Reich & world war 2 and the higher echelons of the Nazi leadership. I would recommend reading the first volume Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubrisfirst, as this 2nd volume follows from that. Concentrating on 1936-1945, the book is detailed and informative, giving the reader a brief history of the course of the war and also the machinations of the Nazi leadership as they "worked towards the Fuhrer". I would recommend this book to anyone interested in World war 2 and also those interested in politics.
For me the 2 volumes are the definitive biography of Adolf Hitler, look no further than these 2 volumes, a true masterpiece of biographical & historical writing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more to be said, 26 April 2007
As the book was published already some years ago, I have read it many times since. It certainly is the definitive account of Germany's war-years and Hitler's downfall. I enjoyed most Kershaw's healthy detachment from his subject - I would, maybe wrongly, ascribe it to what we believe is British coolness; more probably it is due to the advantage of being a foreigner and retelling some of another country's darkest hours. It can't be done well from within, you're getting too much involved with what it all meant to those who survived. But history is one thing and post-war ideological strife another, and it is best to keep both separate. Meanwhile, Kershaw's study of Hitler has been recognised as the standard account in Germany as well. In any case, when looking at Kershaw's achievement which must have cost him many years, I freeze in awe and ask myself: Who am I to praise his work? But certainly it merits only praise, because it is, not only for the moment, the most detailed, reliable, thoughtful and readable biography of Hitler; there is nothing more to be said for a long time to come. It is a irony of history that persons who least deserve it sometimes find the finest biographers. So it is in this case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second volume of Kershaw's Hitler biog., 19 Aug 2013
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Brilliant stuff, easy to read but Prof. Kershaw - the leading historian of this period - never departs from the good historians impartiality and balance.
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