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Summary

A new biography of Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler's chief architect and trusted confidant, reveals the subject's deeper involvement in Nazi atrocities.

In his best-selling autobiography, Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and chief architect of Nazi Germany, repeatedly insisted he knew nothing of the genocidal crimes of Hitler's Third Reich. In this revealing new biography, author Martin Kitchen disputes Speer's lifelong assertions of ignorance and innocence, portraying a far darker figure who was deeply implicated in the appalling crimes committed by the regime he served so well.

Kitchen reconstructs Speer's life with what we now know, including information from valuable new sources that have come to light only in recent years, challenging the portrait presented by earlier biographers and by Speer himself of a cultured technocrat devoted to his country while completely uninvolved in Nazi politics and crimes.

The result is the first truly serious accounting of the man, his beliefs, and his actions during one of the darkest epochs in modern history, not only countering Speer's claims of non-culpability but also disputing the commonly held misconception that it was his unique genius alone that kept the German military armed and fighting long after its defeat was inevitable.

©2015 Yale University (P)2018 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A devastating portrait of an empty, narcissistic, and compulsively ambitious personality." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Speer

As the other review says, it's not a complete book. Stops at a random point and no mention of the end of the war or post war. Pity as it was interesting until then.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Subject; Albert Speer

This book was about the war and not the Albert Speer story, it made no mention of anything that happened after the war, which to me was part of the reasons I wanted to listen to it.
I was disappointed.

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  • Douglas A. Brown
  • 02-05-18

End of book missing

I’m confused... there is no ending. Just stops. I was enjoying it. Good story, great details and the author does not glorify a man who should have known better. But it just ends. I wanted the entire book, not 3/4ths of it :(

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Howard
  • 25-04-18

Something is wrong

The story just ended at 9hours 33 minutes- in 1944- without recounting the last year of Speer work with the Third Reich... nor the last years of his life.
I tried re-downloading it- but same thing. It stopped mid chapter- seemingly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cletocat
  • 14-08-18

Overall excellent

This is not a book you can read on one sitting. In fact, parts should probably be read more than once.
Definitely, contributed to my overall knowledge of Hitler and the third reich.

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  • Molly
  • 28-07-18

The REAL Speer~ 3 stars over all~ way to long~

Plot: the detailed factual account of Albert Speer and job as Prime Minister of Armorments during WW2.

This is not a bio. This shows facts and figures of the German Armorments and manufacturing under The Todt Organization under Speer during WW2. It gives very little about his personal life. We lose interest in the overly "detailed" facts and figures of how he maintained Weapon production during the War. Why Bother? It does give a close up look at how Speer manipulated his role is the actual events that eventually prevent him from a death sentence and successfully help him with a 20-year prison sentence. And does for the first time show how aware he really was and his involvement in the slave labor of prisoners. And how he was able to keep the war production going in spite of bombing and decreased the availability of metals and oil to keep Germany able to make war. I give the reader 4 stars and the overly long detailed plot 3 stars.