11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good on sources, but no 'final verdict',
This review is from: Speer: The Final Verdict (Hardcover)
Alongside the works on Speer such as those by Sereny and Van Der Vat, this biography is simply that: a biography. It is not as thorough as the former, nor as entertaining as the latter. Fest steers a course that although quite sub-textually (and in places overtly) is 'pro-Speer' guides the reader quite swiftly through Speer's professional life.
If Sereny's excellent 'Battle With The Truth' is vast and impartial, and Van Der Vat in 'The Good Nazi' almost swinging the executioners axe in fury, the this is the Biography that Speer, were he still alive would have endorsed. Fest's relationship with his subject began upon his release from Spandau when Fest 'assisted' him with writing 'Inside...' and '... Secret Diaries'. The larger part of this biography is based upon the extensive notes Fest took at that time (recently published in Germany as 'Unanswerable Questions') and this is the books main asset.
However, it fails in that there is no 'Final Verdict' as it claims, and the prose is a little pedantic, to say the least. If you are new to Speer, I suggest Sereny's book. If you are familiar to him, this book is little more than a useful addition to the still expanding Speer 'legend'.