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Adolf Hitler | [John Toland]

Adolf Hitler

Based on previously unpublished documents, diaries, notes, photographs, and dramatic interviews with Hitler's colleagues and associates, this is the definitive biography of one of the most despised yet fascinating figures of the 20th century. Painstakingly documented, it is a work that will not soon be forgotten.
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Publisher's Summary

Based on previously unpublished documents, diaries, notes, photographs, and dramatic interviews with Hitler's colleagues and associates, this is the definitive biography of one of the most despised yet fascinating figures of the 20th century. Painstakingly documented, it is a work that will not soon be forgotten.

©1976 John Toland (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

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4.6 (164 )
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  •  
    Chris Frenzy Virginia 10-09-14
    Chris Frenzy Virginia 10-09-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely fascinating, in depth and jarring."
    Where does Adolf Hitler rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audio books I've listened to.


    What other book might you compare Adolf Hitler to and why?

    This is a brilliant companion piece to "A World Undone" by GJ Meyer [a chronicle of WWI] and "No Simple Victory" by Norman Davies [WWII] in that it gives you an in depth look at how the world got from the First World War to the Second and even supports the premise that both were actually parts of a single World War.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Obviously well researched, one of the most jarring statements made in the book was that if Hitler had died in the mid 30s, he would most likely have been remembered as a truly great leader and savior of the German people.


    Any additional comments?

    Toland goes to great pains to avoid passing judgment on Hitler, Nazis, and so on. And to an astonishing degree, he is successful. The book is vivid, thorough, and detailed. And yet, somehow the 40-some hours have flown by.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 11-25-14
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 11-25-14 Member Since 2011

    I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strange Person"

    What can you say about a man who had this much impact on history? How could a person rise from such humble beginnings to mesmerize and captivate a nation, instilling god-like devotion in his followers and inspiring them to wage war on the rest of the world?

    This book provides some of the answers, but the true inner Hitler will always remain something of a mystery. He had an unusual early life: He was born in Austria, not Germany. His father was illegitimate and his grandfather may have been Jewish, no one knows for sure. In early adulthood he aspired to be an artist, but he struggled greatly to make a successful career out of this. His failure resulted in him living, for a time, on the streets, in dire poverty. At this stage there were no obvious signs that he was a monster: He loved and cared greatly for his mother and was heartbroken when she died. Strangely, he greatly respected the Jewish doctor who treated her for cancer.

    In World War One, he miraculously survived four years of trench warfare as a lowly corporal. Germany’s defeat was very painful for him, but he enjoyed and revelled in warfare more than any other activity. From this time onwards he was motivated by two main passions: the rise of Germany and the destruction of the Jews. In order to bring this about he needed to rise to power, and to acquire this power he used his extraordinary talent for oration. He was a brilliant speaker. Despite his unremarkable appearance and diminutive stature, he captivated his audiences wherever he went.

    He used this talent to harness the German people's patriotism, their fear of communism and their anti-Semitism, persuading them to go to war to create a new German Empire. His method of waging war, ‘blitzkrieg’, was innovative and immensely successful. This military success continued for a while, but it nurtured an unrealistic optimism in Hitler. As the tide of war started to turn, when the USSR and USA joined the fight against Germany, he continued attacking, against overwhelming enemy forces, in the mistaken belief that he could repeat his early successes. This approach, which incurred massive loss of life, continued right to Hitler’s end. In his final few days, even as he could hear Russian artillery fire from his bunker in Berlin, he was ordering counterattacks in the deluded belief that the war could still be won. Finally, when he realized that the war was lost, he committed suicide to avoid the humiliation of capture by the Russians.

    Why did he hate Jews and treat them so abominably? I didn't find an answer in this book. The Jews have been persecuted throughout history, so antipathy towards them is not particularly rare, but the extent of Hitler's hatred of the Jews and the appalling cruelty he perpetrated upon them was exceptional and truly shocking. Clearly, he used anti-Semitism as a means of motivating others to fight for his cause, but why he wanted to go as far as to commit genocide is unclear. There doesn't seem to have been an incident in his life where he was badly treated by Jews, so it is hard to identify how this came about.

    Listening, for 44 hours, to the story of the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler was certainly interesting, although there are certain feelings of guilt and self-accusations of morbid fascination associated with it! I wasn’t able to completely solve the puzzle of what formed this man’s character and how he succeeded so spectacularly, but I did gain some valuable insights into his life and times. If you are interested in history, this book is definitely worth listening to.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 02-27-15
    Teresa 02-27-15 Member Since 2011
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    "About as good as it gets."

    As an old history major, I can appreciate how difficult and depressing a subject this is. Toland not only writes very well, interspersing the narrative with interesting quotes and anecdotes, but manages to write very objectively. He succeeds in giving an understanding of what happened and to an extent, why, leaving partisan rancor to others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr 02-25-15
    Dr 02-25-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Good Read"

    An interesting and accurate account revealing some detail on lessor known events, interesting insight into Hitler's manner towards secretaries etc.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 07-16-15
    Saud 07-16-15

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A close look at the most influential villain of modern history"

    This book explores the story of Adolf Hitler from his early years to his end, acknowledging his sins but not making him into a quasi-cartoon villain like some other books about him seem to love to do. Overall, this is a story of a man who let his anger and indignation take him down a dark path full of death and destruction. A difficult listen, but a necessary one if you want to know the man behind the hate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian O'Neill 07-13-15
    Ian O'Neill 07-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An exceptional audiobook"

    It's hard to walk away with anything but horrible fascination as you learn of Hitler's rise

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Browning Staten Island, NY United States 06-13-15
    Tim Browning Staten Island, NY United States 06-13-15 Member Since 2014

    timbro68

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    "Well read and interesting documentary"

    Performance was very good, and this documentary of a truly remarkable if not stilted man gives a fair reflection of how a strong enough personality can make and break a nation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassandra 06-04-15
    Cassandra 06-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The making of a cult leader"
    Any additional comments?

    The main reason I bought this long book about Hitler is because I admire John Toland as a writer and historian, but my real interest was in trying to understand cult leaders and messianic personalities. It is amazing how much detail Mr. Toland has amassed about Hitler's life, and the reader is able draw their own conclusions and create a portrait from their own perspective.
    Kudos to Mr. Toland for setting the record straight about the Jesse Owen's story.
    For more info on cult leaders, I recommend "Prophetic Charisma" by Len Oakes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-26-15
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    "Excellent"

    A very well thought out exposition of the private life of one of history's most loathed tyrants, presented in a calm, thoughtful tone that manages to convey Toland's (almost) perfect impartiality while still holding the interest of the reader. A fascinating listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse E. Morlanne 04-22-15

    dmar01

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    "A detailed and facinating book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Adolf Hitler to be better than the print version?

    Equal


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Adolf Hitler


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

    Not the best, a little slow.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    World War II... Why


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone intersted in WW II

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Axel
    London, United Kingdom
    10/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "only as an audiobook I managed.."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, overall a very good overview over Hitler, quite long but as audiobook manageable. I doubt that I would have had enough stamina to read it myself


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Adolf Hitler?

    I preferred the early part where the author attempted to explore Hitler's childhood, youth and development.In later parts Hitler's psychology drifts in the background. I guess the author did not want to speculate too much, but I flt the earlier part was more interesting tas it attempted to explore the influences that may have shaped Hitler's inner world


    Any additional comments?

    I think audible should revise the questions it gives for the reviews, they are not applicable for non-fiction.I liked the narration very much. Ralph Cosham's voice is well suited for non-fiction, neutral but never boring.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Upminster, United Kingdom
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Factual and Flowing account of A Hitler"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare Adolf Hitler to, and why?

    None to date


    What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Long audio, Ralph keeps your listening consistent


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    neither


    Any additional comments?

    You Really get to know what A Hitler was all about, this was my primary goal in understanding, the boy, the man, the unbelievable leader (getting to power) and the lunatic. I would have like to got to know more on his interaction with Generals, his thought process and strategy on taking on Western and eastern fronts

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Antony
    Reading, United Kingdom
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deeply researched and well presented"
    What did you like most about Adolf Hitler?

    Accounts were presented as quotations from witnesses, very few judgements were made on the evidence but the potential bias in each of the sources was highlighted and I felt implicitly invited to draw my own conclusions


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Those involved in the 20th July Plot, brave men but tragically unsuccessful and probably too late to act. Both Anthony Eden and Winston Churchill admirably sounded early warnings as to Hitler's intentions but Eden appears to have preferred to resign than to continue his efforts to wake up the Western Powers, whilst Churchill was in the political wilderness until War began. When Churchill became PM, I had much admiration for his unwillingness to negotiate with the evil Axis regimes, even when it seemed that Britain would be next on the invasion list.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Difficult to enjoy any scene from such a tragic and calamitous subject, I guess the point at which the World finally decides to stand up to Hitler comes as a relief to the reader but, as everyone now appreciates, this stand was made far too late.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Making a new film about the life of Hitler would be unwise in my opinion. Any film would have to be appropriately aligned to highlight the ultimate human cost of his actions, I think "Downfall" did an excellent job of covering the final weeks and I wouldn't attempt to supersede this work.


    Any additional comments?

    There have been many comments about Ralph Cosham's narration being "dull" but I would counter this by saying that the tone is sobering and that this is appropriate - the very last thing I would want to hear would be a narration of Hitler's life story presented with razzmatazz and glamour in the name of entertainment. On the other hand there were ocassions where Ralph Cosham inserted an "aaa" sound before some words in a British Upper Class style that caused confusion under some circumstances where it sounded like singular "a" and I expected a noun to follow. In my opinion this quirk of dialect should have been avoided or edited out. Paradoxically, I have heard Ralph Cosham narrate some Sherlock Holmes stories and this time the British Upper Class style actually added to the story and gave it more authenticity but not appropriate here!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • antony core
    1/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Loved every minute of this audiobook. The narration was brilliant. Highly recommended. A A A

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trev_f100
    12/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Detailed and well read"

    An full detailed account of Hitler's Life, dispelling some myths as well as going into detail on some of the lesser known aspects. Very well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. D. Burnell
    7/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary"

    A massive work which made me see new subtleties in a man who is too often seen as a cardboard cut-out villain. To understand is by no means to forgive, but this excellent book is largely free of moral posturing, allowing the bare facts of the nazi crimes to speak for themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • North Norm
    UK
    7/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An insight into the horrors of war"

    Despite the subject the book seems to convey some features of the man that allows insight into the terrible happenings of that time. The narration was very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • david thompson
    5/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long and informative"

    This is a lengthy book which I probably wouldn't tackle as a conventional book but found the audio version was easy to listen to in bite size chunks and, for me with an interest in the events of WW11, very informative.
    Congratulations to the narrator who stuck at it for 40+ hours with an easy to listen to tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blindboymurray
    5/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Excellent portrayal of hitler and inner circle from his early to last days. Hail hitler!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • marcoscu
    Chorley,UK
    4/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling "

    Fascinating and compelling this still for me the finest account of the life and death of Hitler and the NSDAP state.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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