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Hitler Audiobook

Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939

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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

4.7 (292 )
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4.5 (257 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joshua 11-03-16
    Joshua 11-03-16 Member Since 2016
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    "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 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lesley 10-22-16
    lesley 10-22-16 Member Since 2010
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    "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 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 12-05-16
    Paul 12-05-16
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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
  •  
    Michael Fitzgerald 07-17-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Nothing New"

    It was just okay. The language is the same used by all writers on this period (i.e. fait accompli seems to have no synonym and Goebbels never writes in his diary, he always "confides" to it, etc).
    There is one thing I never encountered until reading this book, and that is Private Hitler instead of Corporal Hitler. Perhaps it is an error in the translation?
    The reader is just awful! His monotone, soporific drone might be more tolerable if he didn't mispronounce every German word and name. It got to be hilarious after a while. "Ribbontrope" and "chancellry" we're my favorites.
    It is a typical biography from the strict conformist school of history.
    Toland's biography remains the only objective one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juanita G. 06-28-17
    Juanita G. 06-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "factual density overcomes narrative monotony"

    this book was amazing but have a secondary reference for all things german history and government. the delivery was either monotone or a euphemism for the slow creep of Hitler's takeover. I do wish there was a second edition. the lead up is not enough and it leaves much to be desired as far as german political climate is concerned. murchtenzie mehr.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose E. Alvarez Newton, MA USA 06-05-17
    Jose E. Alvarez Newton, MA USA 06-05-17 Member Since 2016

    JEA

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    "Outstanding"

    I loved this book. The most concise biography of Hitler. Waiting for the second part: Hitler's descend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Mr Ross Headley 05-11-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Info good reading not so much."

    Good information but difficult to listen to. The reader was a little sleep inducing. Part of it was parts that were a bit technical and hard to follow. With all the acronyms (NSDAP,SPD, ASPCA, ABCD, LMNOP) it can be easy to get lost. And changes in pronunciation made it hard as well. Ava Braun's name was anything from actual pronunciation to Brown.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dwayne 04-26-17
    Dwayne 04-26-17

    janet

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    "Surprisingly engaging for a 34 hour audiobook"
    What made the experience of listening to Hitler the most enjoyable?

    Well researched and logically presented story. The narrator is capable and pleasant to listen to--important for such a long audiobook.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Goebbels because he kept a diary of nearly everything and was a sycophant.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland and the other powers did nothing to check him even though Germany at the time was not strong enough to resist a concerted military effort by France and Great Britain. What horrors might have been prevented if action were taken promptly to check an obvious power thrust by Hitler?


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should know this history in order to prevent it from happening again as history is wont to do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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

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