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Speer

Hitler's Architect
Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 19 hrs
3.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A new biography of Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler's chief architect and trusted confidant, reveals the subject's deeper involvement in Nazi atrocities.

In his best-selling autobiography, Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and chief architect of Nazi Germany, repeatedly insisted he knew nothing of the genocidal crimes of Hitler's Third Reich. In this revealing new biography, author Martin Kitchen disputes Speer's lifelong assertions of ignorance and innocence, portraying a far darker figure who was deeply implicated in the appalling crimes committed by the regime he served so well.

Kitchen reconstructs Speer's life with what we now know, including information from valuable new sources that have come to light only in recent years, challenging the portrait presented by earlier biographers and by Speer himself of a cultured technocrat devoted to his country while completely uninvolved in Nazi politics and crimes.

The result is the first truly serious accounting of the man, his beliefs, and his actions during one of the darkest epochs in modern history, not only countering Speer's claims of non-culpability but also disputing the commonly held misconception that it was his unique genius alone that kept the German military armed and fighting long after its defeat was inevitable.

©2015 Yale University (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A devastating portrait of an empty, narcissistic, and compulsively ambitious personality." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but extremely biased

Ideally when you write a history book you do so without opinion and let the story speak for itself. However the author in this case sets out with an agenda, to destroy the legacy that Speer built in the post war years, which is a shame since had he just told the story without injecting his opinion I think this book would be a lot more useful. Instead it comes off as a 19 hour rant a lot of the time and brings the story to a halt. However there isn't anything else in depth about Speer on Audible, so this will have to do. From that perspective you do learn quite a bit and the story is often interesting when the author isn't ranting. While you learn a lot about Speer the author also leaves out a ton, it's like he's writing a counter history to some other unknown book, and without that other half the book is incomplete. So this is worth checking out so long as you realize you're reading about 50% propaganda (or as I'm sure the author would say it's counter propaganda). Also the authors version of the economy under the National Socialists is pretty laughable, I've read hundreds of books on WW2 and have a pretty good grip on how things run, and his version of events is again very much the propaganda of a modern socalist. The author also feels the need to constantly give his opinion on architecture, which is pure opinion, but presented as facts.

So to sum it up most of the above is negative, and that's the opinion I was eventually left with, but it was still interesting in spots and I still learned quite a bit, even if it's incomplete.

The reader does an OK job, he has kind of an annoying and pompous voice, but listening at 1.25x speed makes things a lot more bearable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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End of book missing

I’m confused... there is no ending. Just stops. I was enjoying it. Good story, great details and the author does not glorify a man who should have known better. But it just ends. I wanted the entire book, not 3/4ths of it :(

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The REAL Speer~ 3 stars over all~ way to long~

Plot: the detailed factual account of Albert Speer and job as Prime Minister of Armorments during WW2.

This is not a bio. This shows facts and figures of the German Armorments and manufacturing under The Todt Organization under Speer during WW2. It gives very little about his personal life. We lose interest in the overly "detailed" facts and figures of how he maintained Weapon production during the War. Why Bother? It does give a close up look at how Speer manipulated his role is the actual events that eventually prevent him from a death sentence and successfully help him with a 20-year prison sentence. And does for the first time show how aware he really was and his involvement in the slave labor of prisoners. And how he was able to keep the war production going in spite of bombing and decreased the availability of metals and oil to keep Germany able to make war. I give the reader 4 stars and the overly long detailed plot 3 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Howard
  • Concord, MA, United States
  • 04-25-18

Something is wrong

The story just ended at 9hours 33 minutes- in 1944- without recounting the last year of Speer work with the Third Reich... nor the last years of his life.
I tried re-downloading it- but same thing. It stopped mid chapter- seemingly.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Too evil to listen

I was interested in seeing what such an evil person (Hitler) might like in architecture. it was literally too evil to listen to. To hear of Speer's ideology of designing the "camps" among other items was too much to handle.

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A book on a mission

Although apparently well researched and detailed in its treatment of Speer, the author is seemingly bent on correcting an overly generous view of him that has been in vogue. As a result, the hostility towards Speer is evident from the first chapter, and is occasionally ludicrous, in my view. For example, on the way to building a picture of Speer as a self-promoter of modest accomplishments, the author claims to know that Speer went to visit Hitler in his bunker at the end of the war because he still harbored hopes of being named his successor. This is quite a claim, given the situation at that time. How does the author know this? Because it seemed "the most likely explanation." To whom? I detest this sort of presumption and gratuitous claims of knowledge on the part of a recorder of history, and I have little patience for unabashed bias in such an account, especially of a figure such as Speer, whose misdeeds should be evaluated and condemned in the most lucid way possible. I thought the narration was solid, though.

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Boring diatribe

The title is misleading; it should have been: 'A critique of a
Albert Speer'. The author's hostility towards his subject becomes very monotonous by chapter 3 already. Few will endure 19 hours of this vitriol.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Overall excellent

This is not a book you can read on one sitting. In fact, parts should probably be read more than once.
Definitely, contributed to my overall knowledge of Hitler and the third reich.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-09-18

Subject; Albert Speer

This book was about the war and not the Albert Speer story, it made no mention of anything that happened after the war, which to me was part of the reasons I wanted to listen to it.
I was disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CS
  • 04-09-18

Speer

As the other review says, it's not a complete book. Stops at a random point and no mention of the end of the war or post war. Pity as it was interesting until then.