Top positive review
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Excellent biography (for people who generally don't like biographies)
on 26 November 2015
Ian Kershaw is one of the most widely read and widely respected scholars who have sought to address the age old question of whether Hitler was cause or effect. Would the world have been significantly different if Corporal Adolf Hitler had been killed in the Ypres trenches? Keeping this in mind keeps this biography from being that bane of history books, one damn thing after another. Kershaw listens to other scholars and uses varying approaches to analyse Hitler's role as both a follower and leader of German responses to German military defeat, occupation and economic turmoil. He never sees Hitler as merely a product of his times, nor as an all-powerful martinet, but as a brilliantly opportunistic chancer whose luck finally ran out only when the chaotic regime he had imposed just could not cope with the pressure of war. My only personal disappointment is that the academic debate I expected is missed, lost when the original two volumes became one (I'm told). But this was otherwise a delight. I could hardly put my Kindle down.