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Hitler: A Study in Tyranny Paperback – 29 Nov 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (29 Nov. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140135642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140135640
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Alan Bullock, Baron Bullock, was born in 1914. He studied at Oxford University and served as a research assistant to Winston Churchill while writing his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. He was a history fellow at New College, Oxford, helped found St Catherine's College, Oxford, and was Vice-Chancellor for the university. A renowned modern historian, Bullock was made a life peer in 1976. He died in 2004.


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Format: Paperback
This is a must-read for anybody interested in Hitler and the phenomenon that was the Third Reich. Although now dated, this is still a very detailed, dense and thorough biography of one of history's most fascinating characters.

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.
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If you read only one biography on Hitler, then this is the one it should be.
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.
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Format: Paperback
No study of World War II is complete without an understanding of the man most responsible for its origin and its course, Adoph Hitler. "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny" by Alan Bullock is the best source I have found on this topic thus far. This book examines its subject from his inconspicuous Austrian birth to his world changing death in the bunker in Berlin. As indicated by the subtitle, "Hitler" is truly a study, not merely a biography. It tells the story of his life and examines his beliefs, hopes and fears as well as the environments that formed them.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Bullock's achievement is one of demystiftying Hitler. One by one, the onion-skin layers of Hitler mythology are stripped away. Simple demonization makes way for an intelligent character study of a massively complex character, and simplistic Neo-Nazi whitewash is debunked.
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.
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Format: Paperback
As a book focused on Hitler, rather than the war, the holocaust, or military strategies/battles, this is a brilliant work. And people should be warned, this is not a World War II book, although much of the detail covered is interesting and informative. The books greatness is the simplicity of objective: looking at Hitler.

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.
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