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The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler | [Laurence Rees]

The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader - fuelled by hate, incapable of forming normal human relationships, unwilling to debate political issues - and yet he commanded enormous support. So how was it possible that Hitler became such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the important question at the core of Laurence Rees' new book. The Holocaust, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the outbreak of the Second World War - all these cataclysmic events and more can be laid at Hitler's door.
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Publisher's Summary

Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader - fuelled by hate, incapable of forming normal human relationships, unwilling to debate political issues - and yet he commanded enormous support. So how was it possible that Hitler became such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the important question at the core of Laurence Rees' new book.

The Holocaust, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the outbreak of the Second World War - all these cataclysmic events and more can be laid at Hitler's door. Hitler was a war criminal arguably without precedent in the history of the world. Yet, as many who knew him confirm, Hitler was still able to exert a powerful influence over the people who encountered him.

In this fascinating book to accompany his new BBC series, the acclaimed historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees examines the nature of Hitler's appeal, and reveals the role Hitler's supposed 'charisma' played in his success. Rees' previous work has explored the inner workings of the Nazi state in The Nazis: A Warning from History and the crimes they committed in Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution. The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler is a natural culmination of 20 years of writing and research on the Third Reich, and a remarkable examination of the man and the mind at the heart of it all.

©2012 Laurence Rees (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

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  •  
    Dr Bristol, United Kingdom 24/11/2012
    Dr Bristol, United Kingdom 24/11/2012 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader and listener, psychologist by profession historian by nature

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent history of the leader of the third reich"

    An excellent account of the dark personal history of the most infamous man in history. Gripping and very interesting account of how this truly awful man had the german people in his hand for so long despite the turn in the war, read very well by Michael Jayston. The only negative is the relentless hatred of the man can be hard to listen to sometimes, for he was a truly awful awful man. Fans of history should give this a listen, great stuff.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. T. L. Brown uk 19/12/2012
    Mrs. T. L. Brown uk 19/12/2012 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why did they follow him?"

    This is a wonderful audiobook, which attempts to explain what made people follow what to us is a complete mad man, it is easy to listen too, wonderfully read and has taught me a lot about Nazi Germany and some of the reasons why so many followed Hitler to the very end in many ways blindly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Freeman HULL, United Kingdom 26/07/2013
    J. Freeman HULL, United Kingdom 26/07/2013 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating"

    A fascinating account of how Hitler lead a nation into a World War. Really spiked my interest in an area I have not previously read much about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Northampton, United Kingdom 28/03/2013
    Paul Northampton, United Kingdom 28/03/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "Cometh the hour, cometh the man..."

    Authoritatively and excellently narrated by Michael Jayston the book shines a light in assisting us toward an understanding of the potent mixture of madness, chaos, opportunism and delusion that supported the rise to power, of this extraordinary or perhaps very ordinary little man and why he became the embodiment of a national psyche to the detriment of all.

    A horrifying, tragic, cautionary and haunting tale concisely and clearly put across.

    "What would the Fuhrer want us to do?"

    My best selection on audible to date.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Artist England 02/08/2014
    Julie Artist England 02/08/2014 Member Since 2012
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    "review"
    What made the experience of listening to The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler the most enjoyable?

    Enjoyable seems an odd description of my experience of this book. I hesitated before purchasing it as I was unsure if the subject matter would be too uncomfortable. However, I found the book to be compulsive listening. My only interest in this period of history came from secondary school, but I found this book has reignited an interest in the Second World War and the lessons we can take from it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pace of the book and the balanced approach gave an insight into the characters and what drove them to succeed for a time with such a terrifying regime


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I enjoyed the whole book, and did not find any aspects of it boring, I wish history could be taught like this in schools


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    How one person given the right environment and supported by like minded individuals can cause such suffering to so many


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul S. Turner birmingham ,england 22/06/2014
    Paul S. Turner birmingham ,england 22/06/2014 Member Since 2014

    this is your life and it's ending one minute at a time

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly excellent insight"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Don't have much free time to read a print version


    What other book might you compare The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler to, and why?

    Nazi and the final solution is the closest book similar


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    From start to finish this was excellent


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Could have been longer as I didn't want it to end as it was fascinating

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Manning London 22/11/2013
    A Manning London 22/11/2013 Member Since 2009
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    "fascinating insight"
    What did you like best about this story?

    A fascinating insight into how someone with such evil intentions could rise to power and mobilise so many people to follow his will. And gave me an insight into the forces that shaped the environment that allowed Hitler to rise and fall.


    What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?

    Brilliantly read- tone and pace


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Ely, United Kingdom 11/08/2013
    Lisa Ely, United Kingdom 11/08/2013
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    2
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    "Excellent"
    What did you like most about The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler?

    After a run of really disappointing books I took a chance on this. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator was very good and very natural without being over powering. The pace of the book was good and although I have read many books on the subject I found this perspective to be very interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Robyn
    Modbury, Australia
    15/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Excellent in every way"

    This is a book both for beginners and for those who have already read a reasonable amount of WWII and Nazi history. As well as being a portrait of Hitler, it provides an overview of the main events of Germany history from WWI until May 1945. Laurence Rees' clever tactic of using Hitler's charisma as the central theme provides a different perspective from the usual biographical and war history works. In examining Hitler's rising popularity, Rees reveals much about the man and offers several inter-connected explanations for Hitler's ability to draw people in and to convert doubters to his point of view. He also devotes some time to people who did not fall under Hitler's spell and those who plotted to kill him. Rees goes on to document the decline of Hitler's power to influence as the direction of the war turns and Germany moves ever closer to defeat. The book is well written and Rees' central argument is well presented. Michael Jayston is a very competent narrator and his voice and presentation are perfect for the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cheryl
    Port Douglas, Australia
    27/01/14
    Overall
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    "Gripping and chilling."
    What did you love best about The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler?

    I was transfixed listening to this description of one of the most evil personalities in history. It was particularly interesting to have diary notes and personal observations of Hitler's closest staff describing his dark manipulation of millions, yet his inability to relate easily to smaller groups.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler?

    The potted history of how Hitler rose from virtual obscurity at a time when the German people needed to restore hope and pride after WWI. How one major event in world history led to the next. He was a maniacal no body who had the ability to persuade millions, then murder millions. I found the comments by some of those who met him expressing their dismay and horror at the thought of Hitler making it to the top, very disturbing and prophetic.


    What does Michael Jayston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was superb. Michael Jayston brought it to life, as if he was actually there.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. There is too much to absorb. I will probably listen to it again soon.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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