Top critical review
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Detailed and exhaustive but worth it.
on 31 March 2012
This detailed, lengthy, well researched and scholarly book on the life of the architect of Hitler's SS elite is by no means a quick or easy read. It is aimed squarely at readers with an interest in the history of the Third Reich and is not perhaps best suited to the casual reader. It is detailed and intricate at times and some prior knowledge of characters, incidents and situated referred to is assumed.
That said the book is very well written and an entertaining read. At times it does get bogged down in details, so it seems to me, particularly in the early section which draws very heavily on Himmler's juvenile diary from which it quotes extensively and in detail.
Also, this is very much a political biography and we seldom see much of Himmler as a man, husband or father.
This is book has academic gravitas to it and and I am happy to accept the factual accuracy of everything within it, not a thing that can be said of very many works on the Nazi period. If you have the time and inclination to devote to a detailed and scholarly biography aimed more at professional historians than the the general reader then you will not be disappointed. This is a serious biography of one of the most feared,loathed and influential figures of the twentieth century and deserves serious study.
Masses of information and detail
Has an air of academic authority
Overly immersed in details at times
Gives little insight into the private man
Not suited to the casual reader