Hitler A Study in Tyranny Hardcover – 1952
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Top Customer Reviews
Hitler was a political genius who skillfully outwitted the powers of Europe, and on the other hand, a moral and intellectual cretin who needlessly drove his country and most of Europe to destruction through his ugly egotism and strident nationalism. In The Holocaust Hitler prepetrated a crime unparalleled in history, and yet, until the end continued to believe that he had been wronged and that history would vindicate him.
Bullock brings out these contradictions in a detailed and intelligent biography, which takes us from the beer-halls of Munich, to a shallow grave at the Fuhrerbunker in exquisite detail. A meisterwerk.
I would say that Bullock's divisions within the book are excellent, and I found these particularly useful as a starter. I enjoyed picking up the 'story' from the Czech debacle and read the book from there. I then went back to the post war years, and recently started at the start. I found this method quite useful.
This is a brilliant balance between general interest and specialist. I have found the book to be fair, considered and, at points, even sympathetic. And it is this fairness that makes Hitler so compelling, as you come to see his ugliness. You certainly grow to appreciate his genius and leadership pre-war, and then the disintegration during the war; his vacillating and tempers, his insights and determination.
I commend this book as it seeks not to tub-thump and get all jingoistic; it is a detailed, portrayal of one man and his influence on others, and history.
Bullock delivers a cradle to bunker biography of Hitler, examining his childhood, rise to power, the apex of his acheivements, ending with his suicide in the bunker in Berlin, his power evaporated, reduced back to the rabble-rouser of Bavarian politics in the early 1920's. Especiall intetesting was the section examining hitler the man - his likes, dislikes, relationships with other people, and his opinions ranging from Christianity, to history to architecture. One gets the impression of a Hitler obsessed with his own propaganda and portrayal of himself as the man delivered by providence (as he saw it) to save Germany, indeed the world, from Jewish Bolshevism. One complaint is that no illustrations are provided, although some strategical maps and a genealogy of Hitler's family is provided.
This is a first-rate work of scholarship which I would recommend to anyone.
It is not a history of Nazi Germany,and so some topics that you may have expected to be covered in depth(the Holocaust,for example)are skimmed over in favour of the life and times of Hitler.
I would recommend,for new readers,reading the middle chapter first.This is an attempt to sum up his personality-the man,rather than the history maker.It's judgements are so well put("Pity and mercy he regarded as humanitarian claptrap")that it will set you up for the chronological chapters that precede and follow it.
Even though there are now veritable libraries of works about both Hitler and the Nazi era published since this(only four years after the Nuremberg trials,remember),Bullock's book holds up remarkably well,except for it's smoewhat slender bibliography.
if you want to dig deeper,try the 1970s biography by Joachim Fest,or the 1990s two-volume Ian Kershaw effort.
First published in 1952 and revised in 1962 with the benefit of information that came to hand in the intervening period. A biography written whilst the events were still fresh and from sources that lived during the era, but with the later revisions enough time had lapsed to ensure that nearly all the relevant information was available. A biography that is unlikely to be excelled this far removed from the events.
Growing up in the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler became a German nationalist who resented the upstart Czechs and other races who were demanding their place in the Hapsburg sun. We read of the indifferent student who lived the vagabond life of an unsuccessful artist in Vienna before becoming a Bavarian sergeant who was shot and gassed in World War I. It was out of the disillusionment with the post-war world and Germany's place in it that Hitler found a purpose and a cause to devote his life to. This Hitler the politician and author would attract collaborators who would be his liege men for life before drawing a major world power into his grasp.
On these pages the reader becomes acquainted with the Beer Hall Putsch, his involvement with political movements, his rise in those organizations and the milieu in which he worked his way to supreme power. Here we meet the magnificent politician who could outmaneuver his domestic rivals and outguess his generals in predicting the reactions of foreign leaders to his aggressive advances. In the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia Hitler knew that Britain and France would not march.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a fascinating book a real page turner - it seems to me that history and our lives on this earth are a cosmic smattering of random luck - never mind the idea of great usually men... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Topher
Bought for daughter. Part of the new GCSE History (2018 exams) course.Published 11 months ago by Geri
Have read this book many times and my favourite work on the tyrant - good quality editionPublished 15 months ago by Richard G Green
My pupil is deep in this one and seems riveted by the info.Published 18 months ago by Mme Sosostris
I purchased the original paper back over 30 years ago....Unfortunately, over the years it has fallen apart. When I saw the latest edition on Amazon I decided to buy it again. Why? Read morePublished on 1 July 2013 by ollieknight
Say what you like about Hitler. He was a great painter! Forget about your Rembrandts and your Picassos and your Van Goghs and the rest of those gratuitous, brainless and mindless... Read morePublished on 7 Feb. 2012 by Ex Libris