Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis (Allen Lane History) Paperback – 25 Oct 2001
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Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, the Bruno Kreisky Prize in Austria for Political Book of the Year, and the inaugural British Academy Book Prize. (Prizes and awards)
Magisterial ... anyone who wishes to understand the third reich must read Kershaw, for no on has done more to lay bare Hitler's morbid psyche (Niall Ferguson Sunday Telegraph)
An achievement of the very highest order ... Kershaw communicates a genuine sense of tension as Hitler embarked on ever-riskier stratagems, bringing a fresh eye to the over-familiar diplomatic or military story ... a marvellous book (Michael Burleigh Financial Times)
Extraordinarily convincing ... I do not know any other Hitler biography that so coolly, factually and devastatingly presents the phenomena of "obedience" and charisma (Gitta Sereny The Times)
For the present generation, Kershaw's Hitler stands as our clear beacon of truth, illuminating a dark age of terror and mendacity (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday)
No previous biographer has examined Hitler's devilishness in Kershaw's detail ... his book is so comprehensive, so richly documented and so judicious that it will not soon be superseded (Daniel Johnson Daily Telegraph)
A riveting narrative ... the text positively crackles with fascinating insights and interesting perceptions ... this is unquestionably an outstanding biography (Frank McLynn Herald)
Following the enormous success of "Hitler: Hubris" this book triumphantly completes one of the great modern biographies. No figure in twentieth century history more clearly demands a close biographical understanding than Adolf Hitler; and no period is more important than the Second World War. Beginning with Hitler's startling European successes in the aftermath of the Rhineland occupation and ending nine years later with the suicide in the Berlin bunker, Kershaw allows us as never before to understand the motivation and the impact of this bizarre misfit. He addresses the crucial questions about the unique nature of Nazi radicalism, about the Holocaust and about the poisoned European world that allowed Hitler to operate so effectively.See all Product description
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This book I cannot recommend enough, if there was a ten star rating that would perhaps be enough.
He was incapable of surrender and fundamentally believed, so he said, that the cause, in success or failure, was more important than saving lives, or any survival of the Reich based on any form of compromise.
With the possible exception of Goebbels, nearly all his followers wanted to try and strike a deal before the Reich sank into the marshes, but Hitler would not budge an inch, and didn't totally give up hope of a change of fortune until hours before his bunker suicide, with Russian shells dropping in the garden above.
The character of his main lieutenants, notably Goring, Goebbels, Bormann and Speer emerge clearly from this volume.
As I said in my review of the first volume, this is not a history of the Third Reich but a biography of Hitler and as such many details of the war are absent.
Kershaw's style is a little heavyhanded. He refers to his sources only by numbers of notes at the rear, so in a literary sense everything is presented without much evidence. The evidence is there of course, I am not doubting his scholarship, but it isn't the most engaging read.
This is compensated for however by the drama of the story he has to tell. There is plenty to say about the plight of the German people and their gradually changing mood and attitude to Hitler.
Of all the books written about Hiltler I'd would be difficult to imagine a more comprehensive one.