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Hitler's American Friends

The Third Reich's Supporters in the United States
Narrated by: Chris Ciulla
Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Hitler's American Friends, by Bradley W. Hart, is an audiobook examining the strange terrain of Nazi sympathizers, nonintervention campaigners, and other voices in America who advocated on behalf of Nazi Germany in the years before World War II. 

Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together. The less-popular truth behind this warm nostalgia: Until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided.  

Bradley W. Hart's Hitler's American Friends exposes the homegrown antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime.   

Some of these friends were Americans of German heritage who joined the Bund, whose leadership dreamed of installing a stateside Führer. Some were as bizarre and hair-raising as the Silver Shirt Legion, run by an eccentric who claimed Hitler fulfilled a religious prophesy. Some were Midwestern Catholics like Father Charles Coughlin, an early right-wing radio star who broadcast anti-Semitic tirades. They were even members of Congress who used their franking privilege - sending mail at cost to American taxpayers - to distribute German propaganda. And celebrity pilot Charles Lindbergh ended up speaking for them all at the America First Committee.  

We try to tell ourselves it couldn't happen here, but Americans are not immune to the lure of fascism. Hitler's American Friends is a powerful look at how the forces of evil manipulate ordinary people, how we stepped back from the ledge, and the disturbing ease with which we could return to it.

©2018 Bradley W. Hart (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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Profile Image for Laura
  • Laura
  • 09-05-19

Excellent Information

I really enjoyed this book. It was colloquial yet scholarly. Also answered some questions that have always nagged at me about the Americans who were part of the pro Nazi faction versus the anti intervention faction. I am afraid I see commonalities to the state of the US and the world today.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Duke of Waiheke
  • 25-12-18

Relevant reading in the age of Trump.

The 2016 election was not the first time a hostile power has interfered in American politics. However in the 1930s and 1940 the interference was unsuccessful.

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  • Brendan Rasmussen
  • 08-05-19

Story told through modern assumptions.

I suggest inserting left-wing wherever the author has inserted right-wing. If you approach this book assuming fascism is right wing then you will enjoy it immensely. The author assumes this in many many places in the book. Fascism rejects democracy, is anti-individualistic, and uses violence to accomplish its goals. This is the opposite of right-wing and epitomizes the violence and authoritarianism consistent with all leftist movements of the era. Early 20th century fascist movements were competing for power with the other leftist movements that sprang up prior to and after WW I. This is why fascists of that era hated Communists; they were competitors and did not account for race/nationality as Fascists did.

2 people found this helpful