This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hitler: 1936-1945: Nemesis by Ian Kershaw

Hitler: 1936-1945: Nemesis

by Ian Kershaw

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1301410,978 (4.29)11
Recently added byprivate library, jbreten, MFam, jrsiii50, biblio-bot, lted, SergiNavarro, SPPColumbus, liz.mabry

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

English (10)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Sir Ian Kershaw has written the definitive biography of Adolf Hitler. Lord Kershaw is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on the history of Germany. He has written several other books about WWII and Hitler, but this work is absolutely the most thorough of any books on Hitler.

This book is actually two volumes. The first volume, "Hitler: Hubris," covers Hitler's life from birth to 1936. The second volume, "Hitler: Nemesis," covers 1936 to 1945.

Together the volumes make up over 1500 pages. Lord Kershaw himself abridged the two volumes into one book for those who don't want to take on such a long book.

What is so remarkable about this work is that it is so well documented without surmising, guessing or otherwise interpreting events to suit the author's preferences -- which so often happens with famous and infamous people.

An example of how meticulous is the research:

Other books about Hitler's early life and his joining the Democratic Socialist Party make claims about his being an early member of the party with a membership number in the single digits.

This claim is apparently untrue. His membership "card" was numbered in the 500s. It wasn't until he became a sought-after public speaker and leader of anti-Bolshevik sentiments that his card was changed to reflect an earlier membership number.

Many books about Hitler are really about WWII. This book, of course, covers the war, but it is an actual well-articulated biography.

I confess that I would never have gotten through these two volumes but for the availability of them in audiobook format. While it is faster to read, it is -- at least for me -- easier to listen while sometimes doing other things.

If you really want to know about Adolf Hitler and how he came to be the infamous -- but apparently charismatic -- person he was, read these two volumes. They are well worth your time. ( )
  ClassicMovieFan | May 24, 2017 |
This is the second volume of a very readable biography of Hitler. Although the two books are very long, they are a good investment since there is so much information to cover. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 10, 2016 |
Marginally less gripping than colume 1, simply because the ale of Htler in piwer has a grinding, megaloaniacal sameness in some ways after a while. ( )
  steve.lane | Nov 28, 2015 |
A nemesis is an inescapable or implacable agent of downfall, a very apt description of Adolf Hitler during the years covered in this book. This book is an excellent piece of scholarship that tells the story of the last nine years of Hitler's life in great detail. The author's knowledge of his subject is used with great skill to provide the reader with an accurate depiction of a man whose name stands as that of the chief instigator of the most profound collapse of civilization in modern times. The author tells his story with a skilled understatement that allows him to present his tale of horror without nauseating the reader. I found the life of Hitler to be full of surprises and contradictions.
A good example was his daily routine while he lived in Berlin. He was usually awakened between eleven and twelve o'clock by a knock on his bedroom door from his butler. He would eat his first meal of the day about one o'clock and then start his work for the day. He began with someone reading him a summary of the news of the day. Then he would meet with different members of the government or the party for a discussion of ongoing projects or new plans. The meetings were generally small groups or individuals. He did not hold a meeting of his official cabinet from 1938 until his death.
In the afternoon he would have tea and cakes and make small talk with his secretaries acting the part of a Viennese petite bourgeoisie. A typical dinner would include some of his inner circle who would be treated to a monologue by Hitler on topics from history to diet. Hitler loved to talk about the superiority of his vegetarianism. After dinner there would be more meetings or perhaps work on a speech that was coming up. Then beginning about twelve or one o'clock he often watched movies with many of the same people from dinner until he went to bed as late as five o'clock.
The only task he put serious work into was preparing and making speeches. He was chief propagandist for the regime. The speeches usually focused on the same themes; Jews, Bolsheviks and the enemies of Germany. The same program he set forth in Mein Kampf. Certain anniversaries, such as January 30 when his regime took power, would be the occasion for a speech. Often the speeches were made to mobilize the people for foreign policy events or internal Nazi Party campaigns. During the war, particularly after the attack on Russia in 1941, there were fewer occasions for speeches. This was the life of the leader of Germany and the Nazi Party.
The government was run by the civil service and the Party. Kershaw uses a concept he calls "working towards the Fuhrer" to explain how many of the government programs were planned and carried out. Some ambitious party member or government worker would come up with a program inspired by Hitler's ideas and either make a formal proposal to Hitler or begin carrying it out. Sometimes Hitler would take the lead as when he initiated the four year economic plan and appointed Goering to lead it. The author makes it clear that Hitler knew about and approved the Holocaust. It was part of his program from the beginning and he was careful not to leave any fingerprints on the workings of it. The administration of the German government was a hodgepodge of competing government and party functionaries all working to curry favor with the Fuhrer.
The Army was the third center of power in Germany. Hitler's plans for military expansion won their support at the beginning of his regime. After he took power all members of the military swore a personal oath of loyalty to Hitler. As the war progressed Hitler acted as commander-in-chief and spent most of his time in command centers established on the Eastern Front. After the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 Hitler purged the army high command and exercised closer personal control over all of the military. The attempt came very close to success.
Toward the end of the war he moved into the bunker next to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. As the Russian artillery moved closer and closer Hitler still had his afternoon tea and cakes and talked about victory. As he realized defeat was inevitable his last campaign was the destruction of Germany to destroy the future of the German people. They had failed him and did not deserve to survive. On his last day he married Eva Braun and then they both committed suicide and their bodies were burned. His last remains were his lower jaw bone and a partial plate.
The only emotion I felt at the end of the book was a deep satisfaction that Hitler was dead. He was a true megalomaniac who was able to get millions of people to join in his psychotic belief in himself. The author speaks of a pseudo-religious belief translated into the mysticism of national salvation and rebirth. The book is a chronicle of what happened I do not believe there is a rational answer as to how or why. ( )
1 vote wildbill | Mar 5, 2014 |
A very impressive continuation. I didn't find it quite as fascinating as Part One, though. I think the problem is that there's no real distinction to be made between a biography of Hitler after 1936 and a narrative history of the German role in the Second World War. To a first approximation, Hitler is "the causes of World War II". Even with Kershaw's detailed examination of the primary sources, there's not very much we can learn about Hitler-as-a-person that isn't already part of what we know about Hitler-as-a-diplomat or Hitler-as-a-general.
Kershaw's main concern seems to be to defuse the myth of Hitler as a master-strategist or a Machiavellian leader. The most Kershaw is prepared to allow him is a gift for timing his attacks. Kershaw stresses that Hitler only had one real strategy: to put himself into a situation where the only way out was forwards. Once he had overstretched himself and was facing defeat (from 1943 on) he had no response left, and simply went to pieces. Another thing that comes out very strongly is the chaotic way Hitler ran his administration. He seems to have been morbidly suspicious of any sort of collective decision-making process, so he tended to delegate vaguely-defined, overlapping powers to individuals and leave them to fight it out between themselves. As Kershaw points out, one consequence was that the most ruthless, radical policies tended to dominate, and another that Hitler himself was always at arm's length from any policy decision (hence people could say "if the Führer only knew..." and his individual popularity survived far longer than that of his party). ( )
  thorold | Nov 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393322521, Paperback)

George VI thought him a "damnable villain," and Neville Chamberlain found him not quite a gentleman; but, to the rest of the world, Adolf Hitler has come to personify modern evil to such an extent that his biographers always have faced an unenviable task. The two more renowned biographies of Hitler--by Joachim C. Fest ( Hitler) and by Alan Bullock ( Hitler: A Study in Tyranny)--painted a picture of individual tyranny which, in the words of A.J.P. Taylor, left Hitler guilty and every other German innocent. Decades of scholarship on German society under the Nazis have made that verdict look dubious; so, the modern biographer of Hitler must account both for his terrible mindset and his charismatic appeal. In the second and final volume of his mammoth biography of Hitler--which covers the climax of Nazi power, the reclamation of German-speaking Europe, and the horrific unfolding of the final solution in Poland and Russia--Ian Kershaw manages to achieve both of these tasks. Continuing where Hitler: Hubris 1889-1936 left off, the epic Hitler: Nemesis 1937-1945 takes the reader from the adulation and hysteria of Hitler's electoral victory in 1936 to the obsessive and remote "bunker" mentality that enveloped the Führer as Operation Barbarossa (the attack on Russia in 1942) proved the beginning of the end. Chilling, yet objective. A definitive work. --Miles Taylor

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:09 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Drawing on many previously underutilized resources--including the diaries of Joseph Goebbels--a portrait of Hitler encompasses events preceding World War II as well as the war years.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.29)
1 1
2 2
3 16
3.5 8
4 56
4.5 15
5 68

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,561,625 books! | Top bar: Always visible