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New Hitler bio out ... opinions?

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New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/14/2019 6:33:48 PM   

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Oxford UP has a new Hitler biography out, by Peter Longerich. Done to death already, or is this a new take? I haven't read it (yet) hoping the library gets a copy soon. Just wondering what else he might unearth. Is this new bio really necessary?

Here's what was put in the promo email I got:

Investigates just how ruthless Hitler was in his path to power.

Shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Führer dictatorship', with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.

Argues that Hitler's political acumen has been underestimated, and that the belief in his 'charismatic' persona was largely artificially constructed by the Nazi propaganda machine.
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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/14/2019 9:42:25 PM   

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Not read it but its certainly a conundrum.

What allowed such a figure, an Austrian nobody, to become dictator of Germany? What was it about him that had people prepared to listen - to be gripped - by what he had to say, what led people - and I mean educated people like Speer - to follow him to the ends of the earth? What made EVERYBODY underestimate him - the German electorate who gave him 37% of the vote, educated bankers, industrialists, the army, his oldest comrade, Ernst Rohm, who thought he was untouchable, people from the highest echelons of the German political system who actually handed the man power on the basis they could control him, foreign leaders the world over?

Sometimes in life things happen and, looking back, I think it was just meant to be.... that is the only way I can rationalise Adolf Hitler coming to power. It was truly a perfect storm and, quite simply, shouldn't have happened. There were so many chances for events to have taken a different course but.....

Utterly ruthless? Cunningly Machiavellian? An evil genius? I'm not convinced on any of those counts. There has been plenty of more astute politicians, more people with real charisma and magnetic personalities, more truly clever, sharp minded, clear thinking, people, plenty of great military strategists, plenty of people with a massive capacity to work hard - there's even been more cruelly evil people (strange as that may seem) - but it all (supreme ruler of potentially the most powerful country in Europe) came to him - an art school reject, a loner, an oddball, someone who failed to advance particularly highly in the army even though that was supposedly the happiest time in his life.

There had to have been something about him - luck played a massive part in his story - but there had to be something more too. What was it? That is the million dollar question and I'm damned if I know.....

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 10/14/2019 9:48:02 PM >


England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805

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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/14/2019 10:19:07 PM   

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I’ve just looked at the book on Amazon. It mentions the following editorial review:

... a real biography by a genuine specialist... -- Richard J Evans, The Guardian

They have been selective picking those words. Richard J Evans ended his review by writing that the book does not come close to supplanting the standard modern biographies by Kershaw and Ullrich.


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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/14/2019 10:20:02 PM   


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Anything looked to be an improvement over Weimar.
Except it wasn't.
Probably a similar percentage to bring back the Kaiser.
Not a genius, but smart enough to warn against AH.

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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/15/2019 9:10:40 AM   

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Longerich wrote a good biography on Himmler and Evans wrote a solid three volume set on The Third Reich. It's probably well written.

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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/15/2019 11:02:47 AM   

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It is never one thing. The Armistice, economy, German politics at the time, Communism and more. It's a laundry list of people and events that came together at the perfect time for Hitler. Fortunately there was a USSR+Western Allies and an independent Japan to create a further chain of events to overcome him and his cronies.


"Getting back to reality...I'll only go as a tourist!"

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RE: New Hitler bio out ... opinions? - 10/15/2019 2:55:38 PM   

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Very true,

Hitler did not get there by himself, he had help from a number of factors.

He was a charismatic leader who rose to the head of the Nazi party which was easy for him;
Then he stepped into a perfect storm of dis-functional politics.

Harvard offers a free online course on WW2 that gives insights.

You all would be interested in Lecture 3 and 4.

German Article 48 emergency provisions which moved power from their parliament to the executive.
With Street fighting Germany lost control of democratic government.

Hitler is discussed and how he consolidated his power.

This strays into politics. War is a political event.

(in reply to Lobster)
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