Heinrich Himmler: A Life Hardcover – 27 Oct 2011
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.
There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich's massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw's Hitler, Ulrich Herbert's Best and Robert Gerwarth's Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situate Himmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality. The most thorough study of Himmler yet written. Christopher Clark, London Review of Books
[The book's] bulk is consummate with the seriousness of its subject matter and, as the definitive life if this why-faced monster of terror, it is unlikely to be bettered. History Today
Excellent ... well crafted and engaging ... comfortably surpassing the offerings of previous biographers, it is surely set to become the definitive work for a generation. Roger Moorhouse, BBC History
supremely enlightening New York Times Book Review
There have been many attempts to describe the life and opinions of Heinrich Himmler, but this one ... is the first thorough scholarly biography to appear New Statesman
very well documented Mail on Sunday A superbly researched account Booklist
a work of staggering scholarship Literary Review splendid Sunday Telegraph
A masterpiece. Richard J. Evans
A highly impressive biography, resting on exhaustive exploration of available sources. Ian Kershaw
Gigantic book The Sunday Times
Splendid...Longerich gives it a depth and breadth it has previously lacked. Sunday Telegraph
--Christopher Clark, London Review of Books
[An] almost encyclopaedic coverage --Jane Caplan, Times Literary Supplement
... A superb book, wonderfully translated. --Choice
About the Author
Peter Longerich is Professor of Modern German History at Royal Holloway University of London, and founder of Royal Holloway's Holocaust Research Centre. He has published extensively on Nazi Germany, including the acclaimed Holocaust: The Nazi Murder and the Persecution of the Jews, The UnwrittenOrder: Hitler's Role in the Final Solution, and The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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
The exposition of Himmler's obsession with the early roots of Aryanism, mixed with bizarre theories of world creation, is well written and highly readable. The author is not a military historian and unfortunately it does show throughout the book. There was a great opportunity to explore Himmler's leadership (or lack of it) of Army Group Vistula in the closing stages of WW2 but sadly this was missed altogether.
The book is strangely inconsistent at times. While you get an insight into Himmler the man, there is little about his wife and more so his lover. Himmler's relationship with Heydrich - fundamental to the latter's rise in the SS - is hardly discussed. In essence the book is the proverbial curate's egg: good in bits, not so good in others and some not even there.
This book makes that very clear.
It offers a somewhat facile and polemic psychological analysis of the early Himmler based on very good diary and writings references which is actually quite informative. Although I will make my own psychological conclusions based on the quite comprehensive information provided.
It offers prodigious information on Himmler's role in the Holocaust and persecution of the Jews and other races and peoples of Europe. The range of information and detail is excellent. Perhaps the only weakness is the author's inability to prove Hitler fully responsible for orders given in his name. I am sure readers will know that such proof is extremely elusive and this author does a fine job of connecting all the circumstantial evidence together.
Interwoven is a very detailed exposition of Himmler's rise to power within the Third Reich - his machinations and maneuverings, his success and failures. One learns a very great deal of how this weak man became so very powerful and also the day to day operations of the Nazi state apparatus.
These two parts of the book are truly five star and justify the purchase of the book.
However the Waffen-SS and Himmler's controlling role are only mentioned briefly and then mainly in connection with foreign Germanic recruitment.
The author is not expert in Military History and that shows throughout the narrative. The few references to the military aspects of the war show a strongly anglophile and rather limited view.
Also the book loses detail quickly after the time of the major killings connected with the Holocaust (the author's main period of expertise).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, researched, one or two minor details wrong but a good biog none the less.Published 1 month ago by Vimto man
This is a book for the scholar of the Third Reich; it is not a book for the casual reader. It tries to explain the development of the career of one of the most influential figures... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ludder
This is one of those bio's that seems to start off well, nicely written, has a flowing narrative then all of a sudden it twists and turns on tangents of boredom... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mr. J. Gibson
Book is highly detailed and might be considered a bit dry - but lots of nuggets of information within, so persevere.Published 18 months ago by Albireo380
Thorough account and plenty on how the SS and other state agencies developed. It was complex, and the intrinsically if not formally federal nature of Germany from the 1871 start... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Freiburg
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 > Holocaust
- Books > Biography > Political > Countries & Regions
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Europe > Germany
- Books > History > Europe > Holocaust
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Battles & Campaigns
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs
- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Historical Figures