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Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Countless books, including five major biographies, have been devoted to the subject of Adolf Hitler. Yet, despite the mass of tantalizing detail uncovered over six decades, the man at the center of so much historical, psychological, and political analysis remains elusive. For some, he was evil personified, a diabolical tyrant driven by a lust for power; for others, he was ...more
Hardcover, 520 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Carl Rollyson
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
R.H.S. Stolfi, a military historian, takes aim at the work of what he deems the "great" Adolf Hitler biographers -- including Allen Bullock, Joachim Fest and Ian Kershaw, to name the three principal targets. Stolfi conducts his argument like a military campaign, probing his fellow biographers' weaknesses -- especially their penchant for denigrating Hitler's intelligence and personality, both portrayed as second-rate and vapid.

How could such an "unperson," as Kershaw calls Hitler, hav
George Serebrennikov
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
If the book by Professor Stolfi is your first book on the subject, I suggest you skip it. The book is not a biography, but rather controversial critical comments on major biographers of Hitler, such as Ian Kershaw, Alan Bullock, and few others. Basically, from Stolfi’s point of view, most of the “great biographers” of Hitler, view him as the incarnation of evil and as such incapable of possession of any human qualities. They deny his bravery in WWI, personal and political courage, his achievemen ...more
Mazen Alloujami
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another way for understanding Hitler’s personality. Very interesting.
نظرة جديدة وأكثر واقعية حول شخصية هيتلر. كتاب تاريخ يستحق القراءة
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
An engaging alternative view of a complex man.
David Peppin
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whenever you read a biography of Hilter or a history of WWII, you are reading the same exact take on the same story over and over. The West prides itself on free speech, yet usually that only means a hundred books that all have the same interpretation of any given historical event or figure. Ameica and it's allies are always right. Everyone else is wrong. If you're a right-leaning person the exception is Viet Nam, if you are left-leaning the exceptions are Viet Nam and Iraq.
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“Hitler derived several things from his experience and achievements in World War I, without which his rise to power in 1933 would have been at the least problematical, and at the most inconceivable. Hitler survived the war as a combat soldier—a rifle carrier—in a frontline infantry regiment. The achievement was an extraordinary one based on some combination of near-miraculous luck and combat skill. The interpretive fussing over whether or not Hitler was a combat soldier because he spent most of the war in the part of the regiment described as regimental headquarters can be laid to rest as follows: Any soldier in an infantry regiment on an active front in the west in World War I must be considered to have been a combat soldier. Hitler’s authorized regimental weapon was the Mauser boltaction, magazine-fed rifle. This gives a basic idea of what Hitler could be called upon to do in his assignment at the front. As a regimental runner, he carried messages to the battalions and line companies of the regiment, and the more important ones had to be delivered under outrageously dangerous circumstances involving movement through artillery fire and, particularly later in the war, poison gas and the omnipresent rifle fire of the skilled British sniper detachments.
--Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 96”
“In the well reported Kubizek period from late 1904 through mid-1908, with its additiona data from the circumstances of failure at school, lung ailment, and tragic episode of his mother’s death, the picture remains the same. Hitler’s character is one of bold license for a youngster, but not directed toward dissolute behavior or activity that gives a hint of evil. Hitler devoured grand opera and classical music, painted, sketched, planned a great new Linz; he wrote sonnets, communed with nature, and exuded politeness and reserve. These are activities and qualities that suggest potential, although overblown, aspirations to artistic genius. What we see, like it or not, is morally laudable behavior and aspiration on the part of a young man in his teens. But is there a dark side somewhere in this picture?

If there were a dark side, it probably would have been the light gray of the contempt that he had for many of his school teachers and his resistance to formal education. Hitler’s comments in Mein Kampf support such contempt and are buoyed by his indelible comment, about his tour of the customs office where his father worked, that the clerks and officials squatted about as monkeys in cages.

-- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 101”
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