The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Laurence Rees asks, as always, the right questions, and provides excellent answers. Blending the oral testimony of contemporaries with documentary evidence, he offers sharp insight into the adulation of Hitler by millions of Germans that underpinned his "charismatic rule"'" (Professor Sir Ian Kershaw)
"Laurence Rees is currently producing the best documentaries ever made about the Nazi era" (Clive James)
"Laurence Rees has done more for good history on television in this country than anyone else. Over several series, he has examined the most terrible aspects of the Second World War with a passionate longing to understand, while rejecting facile moral judgment" (Antony Beevor)
A fascinating exploration of the character of the most powerful and destructive man in history - an insightful book about Hitler to accompany the BBC seriesSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
It is written in a very readable style, in support of a TV series that I have not seen. The book works very well as a stand-alone text; I didn't feel the need to watch the TV series after I had read this.
I learnt a lot from this book, but there are several respects in which I really wish it had gone into more depth.
Several other reviewers here on Amazon have noted the author's repeated invocation of Hitler's "charisma" as an explanation for how he rose to power and maintained his grip on the people around him -- yet exactly what the nature of that charisma actually involved is not explored in much depth. Repeatedly we're told, often in verbatim quotes from eye-witnesses, that Hitler had a genius for understanding and manipulating mass psychology, but the nature of his skills in this regard are never really explored, and nor is there any decent discussion of how he acquired them.Read more ›
But Rees has succeeded in writing a book that moves along at a good pace, and he rightly devotes more time to Hitler's rise to power than the 1942-5 era - it's more interesting to learn how such an unpromising individual could somehow emerge as a leader, not just of an extremist movement but of a whole country, persuading large numbers of highly intelligent and seemingly rational people to follow him in blind faith. As Rees observes, Hitler hypnotised no-one. And how he retained power when things went against him is also explored - essentially fear, and a feeling from people that they were already in too deep, are Rees' main conclusions.
Rees doesn't deviate from the familiar view that Hitler's rise was largely a product of political and economic circumstance, but he draws a very effective picture of the dictator's special ability to tell the people what they wanted to hear and to connect with crowds, even though he was often useless in smaller groups, struggled to form relationships and had no debating skill whatsoever. At the same time, he pulls together the narrative threads around this confusing and contradictory character - setting Hitler's charisma against different events as they occurred, and also making observations about his leadership style (and how it differed from the likes of Stalin and Mussolini).
Hitler still emerges as the same appalling character, no matter which angle you view him from. But Rees helps our understanding of how such a man could have succeeded, and that's a useful and thought provoking service for us all.
The book moves from the, felt to be, unfair settlement after the first world war, to the final days in the bunker. At all times the pace and style of the book is enthralling and I really understood how the German nation were persuaded blindly to follow a despot.
Lawrence Rees writes fluently and in a style that makes the book compelling for anyone with an interest in the topic. He has included excellent research references and the index is comprehensive.
A thoroughly good account , and well written.
Those who have read Rees other books or watched his excellent documentaries, will be familiar with his easy going style. This book is a good introduction to Rees work and provides an excellent analysis of the dictator's pursuasive powers, even for those who have read many books on the Third Reich.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book. Easy to read and full of previously unknown facts. Book arrived quickly and in good condition.will buy from seller againPublished 4 days ago by Mrs. J. Bray
Laurence Rees, just like Hans Christian Anderson, writes a compelling and 'true to life ' appraisal of the commonly held narrative of Adolf Hitler. Read morePublished 18 months ago by George 1349
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1901 Onwards
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Germany
- Books > Biography > Political > Countries & Regions
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Europe > Germany
- Books > History > Europe > Inter-war Period 1919-1938
- Books > History > Political History > Fascism & Nazism
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Historical Figures