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Ribbentrop by Michael Bloch
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Ribbentrop

by Michael Bloch

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591304,346 (3.71)None
Hailed in turns as 'excellent', 'intelligent', 'scrupulously fair', 'remarkable', 'impressive', and 'definitive', this superb book, by one of the pre-eminent writers of his generation, focuses on the life of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's Foreign Minister from 1938 until the end of the Third Reich. At the heart of German power during the war, this strange, sinister and intriguing character was violently anti-British, and encouraged Hitler in a policy that led to war with Great Britain. His grandiose attempts at alliance-building produced a disastrous military coalition with Italy and Japan, and the infamous Pact with the Soviet Union. It was a career that would end on the gallows at Nuremberg, where he headed the death procession. Written with verve, pace and the subtle intelligence of a world-class biographer, Michael Bloch's universally praised book vividly portrays this bizarre and historically neglected figure.… (more)

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This is an excellent and very readable biography of the Hitler-era German Foreign Minister, written by a biographer who knows a good deal of the period through his work on the Windsors and their connections to the Nazi regime. The book does not pretend to be a full birth to grave scholarly biography but is fully researched from primary sources and gives a very full account of Ribbentrop's ascent to his post through various diplomatic postings (and disasters), suitably laced with humour. It helps in reading the book to already have a fairly good grasp of the main characters of Hitler's court and the progess of the Second World War and the period leading up to it. The story of Ribbentrop's appearance at Nuremburg and his execution makes a sombre coda to this rather woeful tale of a life of a very ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary position. Bloch writes with sympathy and humanity but with no disguising the horrors at the heart of the regime. ( )
  ponsonby | Nov 25, 2011 |
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