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 the 20th century.
Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his 30-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 and 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 people.
©1998 Ian Kershaw (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
Time well spent? yes, of course. The subject matter is fascinating and told with a uniquely unbiased tone. My one critique would be the narrator's unfamiliarity with the text which seemed to cause unnecessary gaps when ending sentences or pronouncing longer words and an altogether deadpan recital.
Attention to detail. Being able to flesh out the myth into a personable man whilst avoiding the full-on supervillain approach of some others
Perhaps someone more theatrical, capable of engaging with the listener just a little better.
Definitely, I think this would make a great film that stands alone from most other depictions of the man.
Don't get me wrong, the narration was just fine, but there were times I was being spoken at rather than being engaged with.
This book is clearly an incredible piece of work. However, I found the level of detail almost too much for an audio book and feel it would be more easily digested on the printed page. Unfortunately, this situation is not helped by the choice of narrator. In addition to mangling the pronunciation of a number of simple words Damian Lynch sounds like he is reading out a shopping list most of the time.
Yes, the print version is wonderful but is heavy going, Prefer the audio version
The chapters dealing with Hitler's early life. Fascinating to see the future Nazi leader as he lives the life of a wastrel and layabout.
Found the narration to be excellent all round
The chapter dealing with the holocaust and the awful suffering that was planned and inflicted on innocent people.
This is a one volume abridgement of Kershaw's original two volume set, even still it is the best biography of Hitler. Goes some of the way to explaining how Hitler came to rule in Germany and how he was able to cause the suffering he did. Extremely glad to have this available to us in the UK.
A superb performance with excellent pronunciation of the many technical terms and titles. A feat of endurance to listen to, given the content, but well worth sticking with it.
like the classics, non-fiction and big biographies
In depth, Informative and compelling
This biography of Hitler and the third Reich surpasses anything else written previously about this man and this moment in history. The sheer barbarity of the regime is compelling and that a country as civilised and cultured as Germany could be enthralled by theses gangsters for more than a decade makes one fear that it could happen anywhere and again
A highly recommended read for anyone interested in history and the fragility of political life!
44 hours well used to try and craft your own understanding of evil incarnate.
Great research, read well and kept me gripped until the end *** SPOILER ALERT *** he dies.
A masterful piece of work that recounts how a failed and insignificant artist from Austria could come to power and lead a civilised country to war and encourage many to plummet the depths of inhumanity. Using a range of evidence from historical events and recounts of eyewitnesses the text flowed and keep me engrossed from start to finish.
I find the narrator was excellent and kept my attention throughout.
"Well written, good performance."
I've been waiting for this book to appear on Audible for a long time. It was well written and well researched. I particularly liked the fact that Ian Kershaw contrast common explanations for the rise of Hitler with his own theories.
Damian Lynch has a pleasant voice to listen to and a good command of german pronunciation. A captivating book and a joy to listen to.
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