35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Lucid, Fast Moving, Accurate, an Excellent Book,
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This review is from: Joseph Goebbels: Life and Death (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book, quite simply the best political biography that I have read for some time. The style is lucid and very straightforward, I guarantee that you will not have to re-read a single sentence in this book in order to aid your comprehension. The author, Thacker, has made wonderful use of recently released sections of the Goebbels' diaries which now represent an almost a complete record of these important documents. Together with exhaustive research in the German archives the author has put together what must be the most accurate and comprehensive fast moving biography to date of this Nazi leader. Goebbels maintained a diary from his youth to the end of his life and recorded events and his views on the arts and politics of the day. When he acceded to power in the 1930s Goebbels was very aware that he was writing an historically important document that would be scrutinised by future historians and he put great effort into their daily maintenance and their safekeeping.
Thacker manages to chart Goebbels' private life and his artistic interests coincidentally with his role at the centre of German politics. Goebbels was probably closer to Hitler in the late 1930s and through to the end of the war than any other senior Nazi and hence his diary is of vital interest in understanding the motivation and beliefs of these two men. In this, the diaries do not disappoint and Thacker is able to draw a very clear picture of what was taking place and the thoughts behind the actions.
The final chapter of the book examines other biographies and works on Goebbels and compares previously expressed views with his own. He is able, by reference to the documentary archive, to sweep away much of the historical cliché that surrounds the written works on Goebbels and has now provided us with the most accurate and well written biography on this man to date. This must stand as the definitive work for some years to come and is highly recommended to all those interested in this period of our history. Do not be put off by the unpretentious presentation of the book, this is a great work.