Joseph Goebbels: Life and Death Hardcover – 23 Sep 2009
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"...a welcome addition to the burgeoning library of 'perpetrator studies'." Literary Review
"…a detailed and well-written insight into the man at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine….In his examination of Goebbels, Toby Thacker has produced a valuable addition to the printed history of the 1930s and 1940s." Britain at War Magazine
"Thacker's reassessment is convincing and welcome. Crucially, his new biography is the first to be written since the entire set of Goebbels' diaries has been published. He writes well, and offers the reader a number of important new contentions and insights." BBC History Magazine
"...the author seeks to dispel at least some of the myths and legends surrounding Goebbels, which he discussed and considered at the beggining as a sort of stock-taking of the image of Goebbels still prevalant today." German Historical Institute London
"This biography is an important addition to the study of the Nazi era and its successful Propaganda Minister. It raises important questions about how policy was made and what led to such key events as the Holocaust. All serious students of the Nazi regime should read it." - Paul Bookbinder, University of Massachusetts, Boston, European Historical Quarterly
The first authoritative biography of Joseph Goebbels to use all his surviving diaries, 1923-45. Sheds fascinating new light on his beliefs and personal relationships, including that with Hitler.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
author presents a scientific approach of taking in all avaliable sources, demonstrating command of them and his subject, and yet *still* resigning himself to saying only what can be credible backed up by the sources.
now you may think that this sounds tedious, but its not. because nor is the author a positivist. even though eh keeps himself closely to the sources the still interjects common sense here and there, such as, when goebbels was giving 189 public speeches in a year, he cannot *always* have felt the emotion that he conveyed at such occations; - that's simply common sense even though we have no direct evidence to back up this interpretation.
to small critcisms in closing:
(1) while proceeding chronologically, the chapters are not transparently named, but are rather quotes from the man himself. alas, if you want to find a certain period in the man's life you have to waffle through the text.
(2) in the end, the text doesn't present a coherent interpreation of the man or a picture of the man. this is the unavoidable downside to this scientific way of writing, which is certainly more objective than earlier biographies, but which can also leave some reasons "with a hole in their hearts" still to be plugged: who was goebbels?
so all in all the author is to be greatly commended for his factual and diligent approach to this work. it makes me want to see if author has other books in print.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The more we know the less we understand.Here we are privy to the private thoughts of Goebbals as written in his diary. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wingate
Bought this for a friend who tells me it is a very good book, she is reading ALL ABOUT WORLD WAR 2 and the Germans.Published 23 months ago by BJ
This book I have read over and over, it is highly accurate and full of fascinating insights. In comparison to outdated biographies on Nazi Germany, Thacker provides new and... Read morePublished on 7 April 2014 by Laura John
A very good read of a complex character. Like so much of later historical investigation of the Nazi era and its leadership, Thacker's book seeks to explore the complex character of... Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by sid sidebotom
This book is fascinating, well written and extremely insightful. Dr Thacker was my lecturer at university and this book is as interesting as his lecturers. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2012 by JamieLongstreet
This biography is the definitive life of Goebbels. The clarity and detail is unsurpassed. Goebbels has always been seen as a nihilistic opportunist, but Toby Thacker paints this... Read morePublished on 16 Feb. 2012 by Bunny Adolf
This is one hugely detailed book - enjoyable? - possibly not but quite satisfying. This fills in a lot of gaps in the Nazi years and clearly shows that Goebbels was Hitlers right... Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2010 by Non Fiction Nut
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