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on 27 February 2014
The rise of Nazism told through the device of the unknown Austrian Corporal's progress from demobbed soldier to Chancellor and Head of State.
Never quite fully explains why Hitler managed to influence people ranging from the aristocratic Goering to the déclassé Himmler and the more left wing Strasser.
Deals well with the unravelling of the personal system of government. After adding Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht to his official positions he inevitably became identified with defeat in the East. As the author points out this severely weakened and eventually all but destroyed the element of charisma yet young Hitler Jugend still manned barricades against the might of the Red Army.
That being said throws an interesting light on a well told if still a shocking period.
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on 2 September 2013
Essential reading on the Mind and motivations of the man who became a monster and plunged Europe and the world into war.

Like all Rees' s books is a worthwhile purchase and excellently researched and written
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on 7 January 2013
Christmas present requested by family member. Excellent detail and photographs. Brilliant book which covers more than the bbc programmes did.
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on 13 April 2013
Fantastic read. Gives a great insight into the mind of Hitler. Highly recommended read. PS The BBC documentary did not give any justice to the book.
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on 28 February 2018
If I ever have to read the words "charismatic leadership" again, I shall scream.
As with many books relating to Hitler (so many), a hook is needed, as seen in the title of this work, a dishonest title at that. Constant repetition of those dread words "charismatic leadership", without pertinent analysis to explain that description, does not avoid the conclusion that this is another chronology of events regarding Hitler. I did not find a definition of charisma (a nebulous term at the very least), as used by the author, this would have assisted in understanding his premise. My own conclusion from the book was that charisma = power & dictatorial leadership.
A redeeming feature however, are the accounts of a diverse range of witnesses to those events, often illuminating, but not always by any means related to charisma.
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on 9 October 2012
The well written book explores the reasons why a sophisticated and intelligent nation of people could so easily follow a man like Hitler. The book is structured round the concept of Hitler's "Charisma", explaining that the concept is value free, and it explains all the dimensions of his charisma.

The book moves from the, felt to be, unfair settlement after the first world war, to the final days in the bunker. At all times the pace and style of the book is enthralling and I really understood how the German nation were persuaded blindly to follow a despot.

Lawrence Rees writes fluently and in a style that makes the book compelling for anyone with an interest in the topic. He has included excellent research references and the index is comprehensive.

A thoroughly good account , and well written.
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on 22 March 2016
was a present for someone, but im sure fitted the bill perfectly.
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on 26 April 2015
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on 11 February 2013
Superb book....allows the reader to observe Hitler as he was perceived at the time.
The section detailing the decisions that led to the holocaust were particularly abhorrent.
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on 2 February 2013
Every book I have read on the history of WW2 has been like a piece of a jigsaw. However, one question always remained, 'How did Hitler get to the position of power he did to lead such destruction?'. This book answers this question and many, many more quite brilliantly. It is superbly written in plain English with not a single sentence of waffle. Congratulations Laurence Rees this is an outstanding piece of work!
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