Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness.
From his illegitimate
birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under
the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail,
strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths.
One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on
the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century.
Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the
character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a
Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German
nation that had tried and rejected democracy in the crippling
aftermath of World War I. With extraordinary vividness, Kershaw
recreates the settings that made Hitler's rise possible: the virulent
anti-Semitism of prewar Vienna, the crucible of a war with immense
casualties, the toxic nationalism that gripped Bavaria in the 1920s,
the undermining of the Weimar Republic by extremists of the Right and
the Left, the hysteria that accompanied Hitler's seizure of power in
1933 and then mounted in brutal attacks by his storm troopers on Jews
and others condemned as enemies of the Aryan race. In an account
drawing on many previously untapped sources, Hitler metamorphoses from
an obscure fantasist, a "drummer" sounding an insistent beat of
hatred in Munich beer halls, to the instigator of an infamous failed
putsch and, ultimately, to the leadership of a ragtag alliance of
right-wing parties fused into a movement that enthralled the German
This volume, the first of two, ends with the promulgation of
the infamous Nuremberg laws that pushed German Jews to the outer
fringes of society, and with the march of the German army into the
Rhineland, Hitler's initial move toward the abyss of war.
- April 2000
- 6.1 × 9.2 in
/ 912 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide, excluding Canada, the British Commonwealth and the European Union.
Also by Ian Kershaw