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Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 by Volker Ullrich

Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

by Volker Ullrich

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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230672,587 (4.35)5



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This is a difficult book to rate. It is obviously an incredibly detailed look at the life of Hitler and his rise to power up to the German takeover of Czechoslovakia. The problem for me was the details. They were overwhelming. There were hundreds, if not thousands of names in this that I did not recognize and had a hard time following. At some points it felt as if this book was dealing with issues one day or one week at a time. It also focused almost exclusively on Hitler. Many history books would take a few pages as an aside to introduce important side figures. That was not the case here.

With all of that said, the story is fascinating. The knowledge of the author is simply incredible. I learned a great deal and feel like I have a deep understanding of the Hitler of the 1920s and 1930s. In terms of the history presented, this rating should be 5 stars. I gave it 4 stars because I just had a hard time slugging through many parts of it. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Highly recommended. A very in-depth and carefully referenced and accurate view of Hitler's rise to power that led up to WWII. It would be nice to assume something like this will never happen again, but when looked at in detail, and knowing societies' penchant for hysteria and hero worship (or cu;t of personality worship), it seems entirely possible for it to happen again. It is worth noting that at no time did it appear that a majority supported Hitler (even though elections seemed to say so once he was in power), so it doesn't even take a majority to lead a country down such a dark path. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
The book was well written and enlightening. Some will draw parallels to today's politics in the U.S. But this is heavy-duty, slow going read. I found it much more scholarly as opposed to journalistic historical treatment. ( )
  cohenja | Feb 13, 2017 |
A thorough but uninspired book about Hitler. Ullrich claims his wish is to focus more on the man than the times. To be honest, I could not see the difference. I never have a problem with biographers going over territory covered in the past. Some subjects are so important they deserve it. Ullrich, a meticulous yet completely uninspired writer, appears to be engaging prior books on this subject as much as his subject. Still, despite its 758 pages covering Hitler from birth to the eve of his invasion of Poland, there is a survey quality of the books: it reads more like a summary than a portrait. ( )
  byebyelibrary | Nov 20, 2016 |
Read this because of Michiko Kakutani’s amazing anti-Trump review. What does become clear is that Hitler was written off many times, but kept trying to get power; because he did so, he was prepared when, through the mistakes of others, the opportunity emerged. Unlike Trump, however, Hitler’s country background and probable illegitimacy left him insecure about his own intellect and determined to educate himself, though he only read things he’d agree with. Hitler combined amazing laziness with real charisma, something Ullrich argues is less apparent to us not just because we know how the story ends but because he became more of a caricature of himself the longer he was in power, and so his compelling personal presence is harder for us to understand. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
there is little here that is substantially new. However, Mr. Ullrich offers a fascinating Shakespearean parable about how the confluence of circumstance, chance, a ruthless individual and the willful blindness of others can transform a country — and, in Hitler’s case, lead to an unimaginable nightmare for the world.
Hitler cries out for explanation, and perhaps always will, because even when we know all the facts, his story remains incredible, unacceptable. How could so insignificant a man have become so potent a force for evil? How could the world have allowed it to happen? And always, the unspoken fear: Could it happen again?.... What is truly frightening, and monitory, in Ullrich’s book is not that a Hitler could exist, but that so many people seemed to be secretly waiting for him.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Volker Ullrichprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chase, JeffersonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagen, DonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"A comprehensive new biography of Hitler focusing on the dictator's personality"--Provided by publisher.

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