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Hitler: A Study in Tyranny

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  731 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The classic biography of Hitler that remains, years after its publication, one of the most authoritative and readable accounts of his life. Here in an abridged edition.
Paperback, Abridged, 512 pages
Published June 5th 1991 by Harper Perennial (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,493)
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Mike Anderson
This book was recommended by a well-respected author focused on the period when Hitler came to power. I bought the book because I study human behavior in political systems and the rise of Nazi Germany is a classic example. Its easy to criticize the German people for their decision to elect Nazis to power but the real story is much more complex. The winds of the time (aftermath of World War I, economic depression) along with the state of politics and mass psychology are the real factors that allo ...more
Ira Therebel
A very good book on the topic. Hitler is definitely a fascinating historic figure and the events surrounding the Nazi time in Germany are very interesting. That doesn't mean I like him or what he did. At the same I don't like books that just portray Hitler as a monster, no matter how disgusting his actions were. By doing so people often give themselves the idea that this could never happen again because Hitler was so different from other people, which unfortunately isn't a reality. If we compare ...more
Helen Francini
An outstanding, exhaustively thorough recounting of the most famous life-that-never-should-have-been-lived of the 20th century. (I read the full length version, not the abridged.)

Especially intriguing is that Hitler's genius in speech-making, and therefore crowd control, lay in his ability to discern the mood of a crowd and reflect that back to that crowd. Clearly, he could not have become what he became without the approval of (too many of) the German population, at least at first. Of course, b
...more
William
Bullock's biography isn't a dry recitation of facts, but it does tend to hit the main notes in the life of Hitler. The highlight of the read comes in "The Dictator," the chapter that basically fills in the details of Hitler's personal life, his outlook, his interaction with his inner circle, and how he was able to hold such a hypnotic effect on both his followers and those who might not have been predisposed to follow him blindly. Hitler is a hard subject to write biographically - there isn't th ...more
Duncan
A classic based on the information available at the time. Compare with Hitler by Kershaw who has written the current critically acclaimed version of Hitler's life and times. My recommendation, read both and decide for yourself.
Maria
Good history book. I had to read this Junior year of high school. It was enlightening and taught me to consider the POV of the author as well as the information contained within a history book.
Gorgeousglenda
Slightly dated but virtually the best all round portrait of how one man's sad character can mirror a time and a place, playing out his emotional poverty on the world.
Brian Christopher
Authoritative and definitive. The First complete biography of the corporal from Vienna. All other scholarship is indebted to Bullock for his comprehensive study.
John Blair
While watching and listening to The Great Courses "A History of Hitler's Empire, 2nd Edition" by Professor Thomas Childers, I decided to read some of the books listed in his Bibliography. Here's what he wrote about "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny": "Although dated in some ways, Bullock's well-written and pioneering biography of Hitler remains one of the best one-volume attempts to capture Hitler and his times." The cover of the book shows a squib by W. L. Shirer: "Will long remain, I believe, the d ...more
Saintjono
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now and I've finally this month plucked up the courage to tackle it! Setting myself challenging but achievable reading targets...I ended up smashing them! The last 400 pages I got through in four days and that is no mean feat for a serious work of history like this one. I of course take no credit for the speed of reading, rather I can only commend Alan Bullock for writing an account of a truly terrible time in such a readable way.
I was
...more
Michael
Jan 09, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: German historiographers, Third Reich scholars, the Greatest Generation
Recommended to Michael by: serendipity
This was the very first complete biography of Hitler to be printed after his death, and it remains widely available in bookstores 60 years after it first appeared. My edition was revised slightly in 1958, but it on the whole it reflects the early post-war era and trends in understanding National Socialism from that time. As such, it may be of more value in studying attitudes and ideas of people in the victorious Western powers than in studying its subject. Hitler has been the subject of many bio ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 07, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Westerners
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
This is among the best of the biographies I've read about Hitler. The author, in this revised edition, is fully conversant with the works by Shirer and Trevor-Roper but essays more of a psychological portrait than they manage. Unlike Trevor-Roper, Bullock is less at pains to qualify his sources. Instead, he draws freely from the Table Talk and the memoirs and testimonies of those close to the dictator to come up with a credible characterization.
Shawn Michael Hartwell
Jan 29, 2015 Shawn Michael Hartwell is currently reading it
The go-to book for understanding more about Hitler's early years and the factors that drove him into the mad dictator he was to become. While a bit lacking on the greater aspects of the man(his public speaking ability, complex relationships, etc) this is the go-to biography for gaining a better understanding of the Third Reich.
Carol
A long, chilling, well-documented and detailed look at Hitler's rise to power and his maneuvering to build (and betray) allies that bolstered his drive to power in Europe. And, finally, how the egotism and complete lack of loyalty to anything or anyone but that obsession with power led to the collapse of Germany and his ultimate, cowardly suicide in that beleaguered bunker. The entire history has lessons to be learned about assessing the complexities of international relations -- and how letting ...more
Eric
Hitler was truly an evil man. This book details his life and rise to power in Germany. While the author makes several references to his hatred of the Jews, shockingly little attention is paid to his set-up of the many concentration camps he deployed while in power. This seems to lessen his evilness as presented by the author. I realize this is an abridged version of the full biography but the story of his life seems incomplete without a full detailing of this despicable act. I think much better ...more
George Root
Well-written account of the life of the worst madman in history
Mick
Written in the 1960's, A Study in Tyranny has long been considered the definitive English-language biography of Adolf Hitler. Reading it today, it's easy to see why. Bullock approaches subject as a strict historian, without any axe to grind. The result is an exhaustive and sober study of the life and character of Adolf Hitler, which corrects many mistakes, myths and falsehoods about the man which persist even today. Some of the conclusions and sources may be outdated, but this remains an excelle ...more
Alberto Godoy Eyzaguirre
Read the unabridged, it's a must.
Glen
Interesting book ...
Michal H
This book is an excellent biography on Adolf Hitler that covers almost everything you need to know about him from his early life to his death. It is not an easy read by all means but overall it is excellent throughout all the chapters.

I give its credit that it was published in the 50's but it is dated material, several bits of text in the book (mostly quotes) have been proven to be not genuine and fake but it is a good book and well worth reading.
Richard Thomas
The classic account of Hitler - superseded in history by more recent accounts of his life but it remains a thorough and penetrating analysis.
Scott
This book was an amazing account of hitlers life. It showed him in the most detail i think i have seen an account of hitler. It is an awesome book, but i would not suggest it to a friend unless you knew that they had an love for history or they were studying him/nazi germany for a class
Dewey Norton
Chilling analysis of evil. I had read so much about Germany and WWII, I did not see how I could learn much from another book on this, but it was a popular book at the time and the reviews were stellar, so I grimly read it and learned a lot.
Christie
One of the most authoritative biographies on Hitler. Although it is an advanced read, excerpts would be supportive of a unit on German aggression in Eurpore leading to WWII as well as Hitler as a major figure in the conflict.
imngrer
It takes me back to when I was 18 and thought it was the most boring book ever. I sincerely doubt I will ever go back and read it but I still own it (many years later) and that must mean something.
Andy Clarke
Without a doubt, the best biography I have read. Gives a great insight into Hitler and his life - provides both good and bad points of Hitler which proves to be very interesting.
Ricardo
Cuando la locura llega al poder, se escribe la historia. Una biografía completa y casi sin tendencias. Libro obligado para los estudiosos de la IIGM. No el mejor, pero necesario.
Charles
I thought it was really good. For good or ill, Hitler is a fascinating character. I despise what he stood for, but I still find him interesting as a character.
Iain
A highly readable account of Hitler.

This was written in the fifties and it would be interesting to read another biography written later to get a sense of distance.
Tsing Lin
This is actually a pretty interesting book, it's just that need a lot of time to actually finish, I'm looking forward to more exciting parts though
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