We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Hitler Audiobook

Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939

Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A major new biography - an extraordinary, penetrating study of the man who has become the personification of evil.

For all the literature about Adolf Hitler, there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself. Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler's childhood, to his failures as a young man in Vienna, to his experiences during the First World War, to his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview.

Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression - but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.

Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase.

©2016 Volker Ullrich (P)2016 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Ullrich reveals Hitler to have been an eminently practical politician - and frighteningly so. Timely...One of the best works on Hitler and the origins of the Third Reich to appear in recent years." (Kirkus Reviews)

"An outstanding study...All the huge, and terrible moments of the early Nazi era are dissected...but the real strength of this book is in disentangling the personal story of man and monster." (The Guardian [U.K.])

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (336 )
5 star
 (242)
4 star
 (74)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.7 (299 )
5 star
 (221)
4 star
 (61)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.6 (300 )
5 star
 (208)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joshua 11-03-16
    Joshua 11-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worthwhile if you haven't read a Hitler biography"

    I've read every major historical biography of Hitler in my studies, so I picked this up on audible for ease. Honestly, it's ok. I would certainly say it's a good start off point, at least as good as Kershaw's and with some updated information. Ullrich also concentrates a lot more on Hitler the man and has a fairly differing POV with a lot of previous scholarship on questions about Hitler's personality. I certainly cannot complain about the research and writing, it's all good. Honestly though, I preferred reading it myself later. The narration isn't great.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 12-05-16
    Paul 12-05-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A new view of the man."

    A different perspective on his early life and great detail on the pre WWI Vienna years that makes his experience clearer. The rise to power is described based on multiple firsthand sources and provides the reader a very clear view of the motives of the players. At least that's what I came away with. A very clear and realistic picture of the man.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Can't Talk - Listening 11-14-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    24
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History we wished DIDN'T happen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hitler to be better than the print version?

    No comment.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The IMMENSE amount of research that must have gone into this compelling book. Clearly the writer, and others before him, spent many, many MANY hours hunched over desks reading millions of words to get what was needed for this material. No detail, no matter how small, was left untold.


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

    I felt like I was sitting in the room with Hitler at times, listening to him scream and spit, berating those around him just for the joy of it, seeing his face turn different shades of red, wondering who wouldn't be in the room the next day because of some perceived slight that set him off so. A truly frightening yet fascinating monster of a man. To bring the story to that kind of life was compelling, which is what I always hope for, but don't always get, in biographies. This one delivered with change to spare. this one belongs in any history buff's library for sure.


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

    "Like you've never seen or heard him before"


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew c strublic 11-12-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book!"

    This is perhaps one of the best woks on the subject I have come across. Personal details make this work come to life in a way that makes it most enjoyable to listen to. Highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lesley 10-22-16
    lesley 10-22-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    370
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    564
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read, don't listen"

    First: narrator would put anyone to sleep. Very sing-song voice lacking any variability even in passages that are dramatic and/or horrifying. I ended up reading the book in hardcover-- which also has the advantage of giving you very detailed references and footnotes.
    This is an invaluable addition to the many books about Hitler. The author had the advantage of more time having passed and more primary source material being available since previous biographies. Despite being long, the book is well-written and really holds the reader's interest. As you know if you've read reviews elsewhere, the author doesn't approach Hitler as a monster but as a skilled man who had absolutely no conscience and who perfected the dubious talent of manipulating people according to their greatest vulnerabilities. The truth was anything that advanced his power. Very timely in our country where so many are re-examining our form of government and what the citizen's role is in preserving our democracy.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 10-05-17
    Peter Middleton, WI, United States 10-05-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    61
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buried in detail"

    In light of the recent election of Donald Trump, this book is timely and eerily insightful. But as an American unfamiliar with German political parties and government it was hard to follow. But for me, the overarching take home message was and the the similarity between the Hitler populist nationalistic Nazi party and the current politics of the American populist right wing and its self-aggrandizing narcissistic leader. Perhaps American parties and politics would be similarly difficult for a German reader to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Kerns 09-08-17
    M Kerns 09-08-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mandatory reading on Hitler, Germany, and WWII."

    A detailed and disturbingly frank timeline on the rise of Hitler and the history of Germany during the first half of the 20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    iKlick NC USA 08-27-17
    iKlick NC USA 08-27-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Authoritative Work on an Authoritarian"

    To describe this book as thorough would be an understatement, and to listen to the entire audio book takes a serious time commitment. I would have been satisfied with a condensed version; I didn't need to know what kind of food Hitler ate or what his typical evening was like (in great detail). However, for anyone wanting to try to understand this twisted and evil man who brought such death and destruction to others, listening to this audio book will not be a waste of time. It is a master work, and the amount of research that had to have gone into its writing is almost incomprehensible.

    What I usually find most intriguing and fascinating is not Hitler the man, but how what appeared to be normal and reasonable people in Germany could have succumbed to him. Although this book does not expressly seek to answer that question, it does provide some insights, because it does an excellent job of conveying the times and German society, with economic pressures , class considerations and perspectives, and existing prejudices all playing a part.

    I was struck (more than I had anticipated) with some parallels of Hitler and what happened in the 1930s with what is happening in our time, and it brings to mind the saying (too often ignored) that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We most desperately need to learn from history, and listening to this audio book will aid that effort.

    Hitler could not have done what he did on his own, and so the men who surrounded him played a key role. The book does a good job in describing those men and explaining how they aided him.

    The book ends just before Poland is invaded in 1939. I look forward to the follow-up book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris calabrese 08-27-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Close to perfect"

    Really excellent work by me. Ullrich. I have read all the Hitler bios and this by far is my new favorite. Pretty much everything gets covered and the voice of the speaker is superb I high

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quin Dwyer Central NJ 08-17-17
    Quin Dwyer Central NJ 08-17-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Timely Story"

    Just after I hear about the Nazi machinations in Munich the Charlottesville crisis with American Nazis marching and chanting anti-Jew slurs takes place.

    This book proves relevant especially if you think like many Germans did back then- that it can't happen here, were too civilized a country.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • marcoscu
    Chorley,UK
    1/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book., well read."

    A conventional account of Hitler's rise, we'll read but with some strange translation quirks.





    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Narny
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    10/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative listen"

    Found the content very interesting with quite a few things I was unaware of.

    However the narration is a little laboured and took some getting used to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Hamilton-welsh
    uk
    8/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clearly well researched but bit dull and poor narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not as there are so many much better ones


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Forensic detail but got wearing - hard to listen to


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Don Hagen?

    Any of the big ones. Tried to enjoy the narration and it did get a bit better but not good. Dull.


    Do you think Hitler needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes story only half told but get a new narrator please


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.