©1998 Ron Rosenbaum; (P)1999 Books on Tape
"Offers groundbreaking insights into the enigma of Hitler's psyche." (Publishers Weekly)
"Rosenbaum admirably sheds light on the many quarrels and inconsistencies in the literature." (Library Journal)
"Cultural criticism served up as riveting narrative history...with words and ideas that surprise, amuse, and even elevate the reader." (The Washington Post)
Industrial Engineer, Application Architect, Value Investor, Health Nut, Father, Amateur everything else.
The book is comprehensively researched, reviewing and comparing the various "Hitler explainers" over the years. The odd thing is that each explanation tends to highlight the holes in our knowledge, the speculation that we must by necessity adopt in order to try and understand the un-understandable.
Understanding Hitler's antisemitism is part of the problem and whether it was key to his personality, or was it a by-product of what he was really about? This is dealt with from many different explainers and angles.
One problem of Rosenbaum's collated explanations is that they all pretend to fully explain his actions rather than each being a partial answer taken together. What IS clear is that it was a miracle he came to power in the first place AND apparently succeeded in what he set out to do (if we can even speculate on that).
One centrally occuring questions: "how do we avoid granting Hitler posthumous victory?" is difficult to analyze and presents a conundrum until one realizes that unless we use what we know now to build a better world - without thought to whether he wins or not - then he does win!
What is amazing are the gaps in the literature - his "nervous breakdown" in 1919 - post traumatic stress disorder now being better understood than it was prior to recent world events. Tie that to his bitterness over the loss of WWI due to "industrialist" (Jewish?) treachery, and some formative experiences ... I still have lots of questions.
The one thing this book teaches me by reading between the explanations is that it may be impossible for a normal person to understand - Maybe that's why many try so hard but STILL CANNOT understand.
Ron Rosenbaum does not state this thesis explicitly in this excellent, comprehensive work, but it is the only conclusion I feel comfortable about. This book concludes many excellent peoples' journeys but for me it is only the starting point.
I listened to this book on cassettes many years ago, but I liked it so much I bought it on Audible to listen to it again.
Ron Rosenbaum does an excellent job presenting and sorting through all the theories of what made Hitler and the Nazis what they became. For anyone interested in seeing what hypotheses historians have put forward about Hitler, this is a must read.
I highly recommend this book.
This is a very interesting book for several reasons; the author Ron Rosenbaum has done a remarkable job with his views and reseach results in this very well written book.
Adolf Hitler was a gargantuan figure in history, his whole purpose in life was the total and complete destruction of the jewish people - period!!
Mr. Ron Rosenbaum not only reveals new insights into the horrible person of Hitler but also looks at the other persons views and distortions.
I highly recommend this book, It is a keeper!!!
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