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Selling Hitler: Story of the Hitler Diaries Paperback – 13 Apr 1987

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (13 April 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571147267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571147267
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,769,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

..". one of the most gripping books I have read in ages." - William L. Shirer, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" "Impossible to stop reading." - "Observer" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

His classic account of THE HITLER DIARIES - 'Impossible to Stop Reading' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
'Selling Hitler' relates the story of the fraudulent Hitler diaries, from their conception to the aftermath of destroyed reputations when the con was revealed. Harris' achievement with this book is to create a marvellously gripping and tense read despite the fact that the reader is aware of the outcome all along. A number of conspiracy theories about the purpose of the forgeries sprung up and continue to do so, but this story is interesting precisely because of the surprising lack of conspiracy. It would appear that nothing more than human carelessness, greed and vanity enabled the forger and led to the massive scale of the humiliation.
'Selling Hitler' also provides a chilling insight into the unhealthy fascination that Adolf Hitler continues to hold for a surprisingly large number of people. In tracing the origins of the diaries, Harris investigates sinsister ex-SS men and peculiar millionaires obsessed with Nazi memoribilia. The strong reaction to the diaries all over the world proved that Hitler and the Nazis still have the power to unsettle and disturb. The book also has interesting insights into how Germany and the Germans have coped with the legacy of the Nazis.
Above all, 'Selling Hitler' is an engrossing and fascinating read; I found myself literally unable to put it down as I got closer to the climax. It is extremely well crafted - like other well written non-fiction books such as 'Schindlers Ark', the writer refrains from any writerly showing off and tells the story in a straightforward and engaging manner. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Robert Harris's fast moving and journalistic account of the forged Hitler Diaries which appeared in the 1980s is outstanding. He notes that selling Hitler is easy because Hitler sells. "There are twice as many biographies of Hitler as there are of Winston Churchill; three times as many as there are of Roosevelt and Stalin. Only Jesus Christ has had more words devoted to hom than Hitler. The public appetite for these books is enormous." Hitler never revealed his innermost thoughts to anyone including his closest advisers such as Von Ribbentrop, Goering and General Jodl. "He was utterly self-contained, mysterious, unpredictable, secretive, awesome." It was the aim of many historians to penetrate the public Hitler and reveal his hidden personality.

On April Fools' Day 1983 Hugh Trevor-Roper, distinguished historian and Independent National Director of the Times, was told the German magazine, Stern, had discovered the private diaries of Adolph Hitler. Trevor-Roper was sceptical they were genuine but agreed to travel to Zurich on behalf of the Times to examine the material. When provided with copies of the documents he decided they were authentic. Trevor-Roper's opinion was important because he had produced several books on Hitler and, working on behalf of British Intelligence, demonstrated that claims Hitler outlived the war were without foundation. He turned his findings into a book, "The Last Days of Hitler", which was published in 1947. In 1953 he published "Hitler's Table Talk" which captured "the authentic voice of Hitler." This and his penchant for aggressive debate did not endear him to his fellow historians some of whom were delighted when the diaries proved to be forgeries.

Trevor-Roper believed the diaries would lead to new interpretations of history.
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Format: Paperback
After a recommendation from a friend I purchased this book. Overall, it is an excellent account of the fake hitler diaries which came to light in the early 1980's. Harris gives a detailed background of those involved before moving on to the actual circumstances surrounding the affair. I had read Fatherland and Engima (fiction novels by Harris) before reading this, and even though this is factual the quality of the book equals them in every way.
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Format: Paperback
Proof that truth is funnier than fiction. Harris's "Selling Hitler" is one of the funniest books you'll ever read. A brilliantly written account populated by amazing characters and astounding stupidity which must bring many other scholastic theories and historical research into question. The story is so well told in simple narrative form and the scale of the breathtaking fraud is steadily built up into epic proportions. It's cry out loud funny in places; you really can't believe how such an inept counterfeiter could escape detection for so long although you are really rooting for him by the end. Hilarious, fascinating and challenging in turn, this is a joy to read and always reminds me of Mel Brooks' film "The Producers".
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Format: Paperback
A very exciting account of the Hitler diaries forgery case. The front cover Observer quote "impossible to stop reading" was quite true and I raced through this at an unprecedented pace for non-fiction. The story says a lot (by which I mean not much) about human gullibility and the ability of people to see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe despite contrary evidence.
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Format: Paperback
This is a first class account of the fake Hitler diaries by Robert Harris - if it was a work of fiction you'd think it was far fetched. The pace never relents and it is at times genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. A story of greed, deception, naivety and stupidity, this is the sort of book that will keep you up until the early hours - it really is unputdownable.

It's quite staggering how small time forger Konrad Kujau managed not only to produce 61 volumes of fake Hitler diaries over an 18 month period, but to fool publishing houses, handwriting experts and historians (including Hugh Trevor-Roper) into believing they were genuine. And Harris tells the tale perfectly and in great detail and the humour of the sorry saga is not lost on him for one moment. Highly recommended - I've read this book three times in the past 15 years.
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