In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by 16 suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of $100,000,000 in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of brass vials housed glass capsules containing a clear liquid and a white precipitate: potassium cyanide. Joining Göring in the detention center were the elite of the captured Nazi regime - Grand Admiral Dönitz, armed forces commander Wilhelm Keitel and his deputy Alfred Jodl, the mentally unstable Robert Ley, the suicidal Hans Frank, the pornographic propagandist Julius Streicher - 52 senior Nazis in all, of whom the dominant figure was Göring.
To ensure that the villainous captives were fit for trial at Nuremberg, the US Army sent an ambitious army psychiatrist, Captain Douglas M. Kelley, to supervise their mental well-being during their detention. Kelley realized he was being offered the professional opportunity of a lifetime: to discover a distinguishing trait among these arch-criminals that would mark them as psychologically different from the rest of humanity. So began a remarkable relationship between Kelley and his captors, told here for the first time with unique access to Kelley’s long-hidden papers and medical records.
Kelley’s was a hazardous quest, dangerous because against all his expectations he began to appreciate and understand some of the Nazi captives, none more so than the former Reichsmarshall, Hermann Göring. Evil had its charms.
©2013 Jack El-Hai (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
leveled at this brilliant narrative concerning unnecessary length and lack of structure. As to the first, I wanted more, not less! I found the book remarkably compelling. As to the second, a stirring and intriguing story should not read like a sixth grade history book, but rather something like a novel. El-Hai accomplishes this wonderfully well here, weaving in and out of plot-lines, developing characters richly and fully along the way. This historical narrative is not nearly so much about Goering--or Kelley--as it is about those incredible accidental meetings of personalities and circumstances at the most telling times in history and how much of what becomes cultural consciousness is developed in dark rooms under conditions and by people of which most remain forever unaware. El-Hai's book is a mystery and suspense tale, told as though Poe or Hawthorne had penned an historical drama. It comes highly recommended from these quarters, especially for anyone who prefers a literary turn put to what would otherwise be dry classroom facts.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in the life of Dr. Douglas Kelley but not if you are hoping to read a book that takes an in-depth look at the life of Herman Goring from the perspective of a psychiatrist. This is a book more about Dr. Kelley and much less about his interaction with Goring and the other Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg. I feel like I was deceived into purchasing this book.
I'd either change the title of the book to more accurately reflect the content, or change the content of the book to more accurately reflect the title.
I really liked his smooth delivery and his soothing voice.
I was disappointed by the content but not by the performance.
I very much enjoyed this book. It was very captivating and well-written. A must-read for folks interested in learning more about the Nazi leadership, and their motivations.
This is not an easy review to write as I dont want to spoil this audiobook for the listeners to come.
This is an eight hour audiobook that should be only six hours long. The portions of this book dealing with the notable nazi leaders and the Nuremberg trials of 1946 are exceptional. This is not a book about the war crimes of the accused but rather an attempt as portraying the men
( mostly Hermann Goring ) clinically.
The main psychiatrist, Dr. Douglas Kelley, tries to locate "the nazi gene" that these defendents share that would possibly help in preventing such nazi horrors from reoccurring. Hermann Goring, the senior most nazi in custody, is also the most flamboyant personality. It is Goring that commands much of Kelley's attention. As the book progresses, both lives become inter entwined.
Where the book loses it is the two plus hours of the book that deals with Kelley's post Nuremberg life. Can anyone out there actually get excited about the personal life of a psychiatrist? I couldnt
If you buy this book, skip the last two hours
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