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Goebbels: A Biography

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  95 reviews
From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.

In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlig
Hardcover, 964 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Random House (first published November 15th 2010)
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3.75  · 
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 ·  488 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.

This should teach me to pay more attention when I ask for an ARC.

I requested this from NetGalley on a whim when I saw the title, and I didn’t realize that I was getting a book that was almost a thousand pages.* I also didn’t consider that a kitten-squisher of a biography about a notorious Nazis wasn’t going to be ideal summer time reading. I’ve done my best to give it a fair review, but any critical comments I
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
Longerich has set the bar high for anyone to surpass this volume.

Peter Longerich is a German professor of history. He is regarded by fellow historians as one of the leading German authorities on the Holocaust.

Benefiting from the 1997 discovery of the microfilmed diaries in a Russian archive of Longerich’s work on Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister is a master class in biography.

In immense detail he covers the rise of Goebbels from journalist and wannabe playwright to Reich Chancellor
Tom Mathews
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII historians
Goebbels: a biography, published in German in 2010 and recently translated into English, may soon stand with Joachim C. Fest’s biography of Hitler as one of the key sources of information for those interested in understanding the personalities and events that brought about the advent of the Third Reich and all the horrendous events that it spawned.

Longerich’s biography of Joseph Goebbels, based largely on the Nazi propaganda minister’s voluminous diaries, begins in the early 1920s with Goebbels
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Goebbels – A masterpiece Biography

Goebbels by Professor Peter Longerich is a masterpiece biography with outstand research that over seven hundred pages covers all aspects of Joseph Goebbels. This biography delves in to the dark heart of Goebbels and shines a light upon aspects of his life that we think we know with excellent scholarship and we find out how important Goebbels was within the Third Reich.

Using Goebbels own diaries which he started in 1925, as he was then a failed novelist and playw
Donna Davis
Longerich has established himself as a scholar who specializes in writing about the Nazi thugs who surrounded and supported Hitler’s regime in the 1930’s and 40’s. Thank you to Net Galley and Random House for the ARC.

The fact is, despite my strong preference for meaty, well-documented, detailed historical works including biographies, I really struggled with this one. At first I thought it was my own fault for asking for 992 pages (about a third of which is documentation) about such a rotten guy
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
We'll just call this what it really is -- a meticulous academic examination of Joseph Goebbels. It's not interesting and the chances of your learning something new and mindblowing are almost nil. It isn't the author's fault. Goebbels made diary entries every day. What we know of him comes from those and other writings--some his, some not. The main problem is that Goebbels is a full blown narcissist. It's all about him. He's always right and he's always successful. What I don't understand is how ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Never having read a biography about a high-ranking Nazi, I feared Goebbels: A Biography might be too harrowing a read. Early on, though, I realized harrowing was not what this book happened to be, which made it easily readable. Yet, the more I read, the more I wondered if the way the book was written didn't make Goebbels and his kind seem too normal. By the time one reached the end of the author's conclusion, which was page 700, one is apparently suppose to believe Goebbels main problem was he w ...more
Casey Wheeler
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a prerelease e-copy of this book through NetGalley (publication date October 14, 2014) with the expectation that I will post a review on their site and others (my blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, etc.).

I requested this book as I have an interest in World War II and the leading characters in the conflict (regardless of which side they were on). This is the first book by Peter Longerich that I have read.

I found this book to be well written and researched.
Lewis Weinstein
I got this from NetGalley and am having trouble reading it on my kindle. Perhaps there's a way to get it in Word format so I can read it on my MacBook and take notes.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott Baker
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was conflicted about whether to give this book 3.5 or 5 stars, and finally opted for a four-star review. Please see my reasoning below.

Reason for a five-star review: Longerich has written probably the most comprehensive biography to date of Joseph Goebbels. The author has conducted meticulous research, going through all of Goebbels' diaries and putting together a detailed accounting of the propaganda minister's thoughts and concerns. two aspects of the biography I found most interesting were 1
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Clarifying biography by Petr Longerich about Goebbels, one of Hitler's most loyal followers

For his biography, Peter Longerich puts mainly out of Goebbel's diaries, which give a good insight in the thoughts and actions of this man. Some aspects that I learned:

He was totally devoted to Hitler, even allowed Hitler to enter in a trio partnership with his wife (with whom he regulary had difficult dealings), allowed Hitler to enter his private life while Hitler kept him out of his political activities
Alannah Clarke
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
*Recieved a free copy to review through*

Having studied Nazi History for so many years now, I think this last year (my third year in university) was the first year in which the Nazi party were not mentioned at all. Anyways, through my years of research, I had come to know one name quite well, Joseph Goebbels. But I didn't know that much about him, which is why I thought this book would be really interesting to me. Simply because this book seemed to promise some new viewpoints about
Mark Lonsdale
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
An important psycho biography of a monstrous individual - but at times makes him an almost comic figure and underplays his influence, which I found surprising. Raises, but does not really pursue, the potentially explosive idea of a three way relationship between Goebbels, his wife, and Hitler. You realise how personality driven (as opposed to process driven) was the Nazi regime -it was all about who had last spoken to Hitler. A key message is that we must be forever vigilant for politicians mass ...more
Kayla Tornello
Goebbels was definitely an interesting subject for a biography. The author did a great job of researching him and wrote an incredibly detailed story. I received an audio book edition of this story, and I had a very hard time focusing on it while I tried listening while driving in the car. I think that the narrative is just too detailed to translate well into an audio edition.

I received this book as a Goodreads First-Read. Yay!
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, this is a very well researched book about the Nazi propaganda minister. I was not aware before this of the very close relationship he had with Hitler. Even more surprising to me was his wife's relationship with Hitler.
I would recommend this book for anyone who is serious about researching the Nazi's.
Przemek Skwiercz
Niestety nie moge polecic tej ksiazki - mamy do czynienia z "streszczeniem" dziennikow Goebbelsa a nie jego biografia z prawdziwego zdarzenia. Szkoda, biografia Himmlera tego autora jest zdecydowanie lepsza. Chyba jednak siegnac lepiej po dzienniki.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Really dense book on the propaganda master of the Third Reich who was basically a whiny crippled emo guy. Very detailed, a good historical reference. However just reading about this pathetic loser wore me out.
Vikas Datta
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most important read for the present day..
Jan-Jaap van Peperstraten
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Een magistrale studie.
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a scholarly work of history and maybe not intended for the layman. Longerich obviously knows his subject and the writing is not bad at all. But all in all the book did not leave a good impression on me. I would expect from a lengthy biography about a well-known figure of the Third Reich that it illuminates either the man or the times, ideally both. At least, a book such as this should create the illusion that one understands a little bit more than before. (This is something that the Hitl ...more
Krisley Freitas
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
O autor define bem o papel de Goebbels tanto nos “tempos de luta” para chegar ao poder quanto no Terceiro Reich, papel esse que mudou consideravelmente no período de 1933 a 1945. Sua relação com Hitler é bem detalhada: a dependência emocional, a idolatria, a lealdade e como Goebbels mudava sua rotina para atender aos desejos de Hitler e como este interferia até em seu casamento com Magda.

O livro dá uma boa ideia das visões políticas, sociais e culturais do ministro da propaganda e como essas vis
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fbc-17
Meticulously researched and minutely detailed as it is, I found the extremely limited perspective of this book a bit exhausting. It's ruthlessly critical of the self-reported events in Goebbels's diary, picking apart each meeting that Goebbels wasn't invited to and each decision he falsely attributed to himself. Longerich never, ever ventures into what Himmler thought about this or what Speer thought about that, let alone what the Allies were up to. We get 100% Goebbels, even when he hears news ...more
Terri Wangard
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
What do you know of Joseph Goebbels, besides him being propaganda minister for Nazi Germany, making shrill, bombastic speeches glorifying Hitler and Nazi ways, attacking anything or anyone in disagreement. He and his wife murdered their five children and then committed suicide to follow Hitler in death.

But who was he?

Peter Longerich has written an illuminating biography of the man who is one of the most recognized faces of the Nazi Party. Reading Goebbels: A Biography can be quite aggravating. T

Tom Garland
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Peter Lonferich's biography traces the rise and fall of Hitler's Communication chancellor who was largely responsible for creating horrific messages and communicating them to manipulate the German population during World War II.

The book is meticulously researched from Goebbels recently translated diaries.

For most people, I suspect this will be way too much detailed information. I was intrigued about his relationship with Hitler and equally as much his wife Magda's relationship with Hitler. Goebb
Ally Kumari
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
In spite of being very wealthy on information I cannot give the book more than 3 stars. First reason is that the ammount of facts is extremely dense and wearies the reader out very quickly, secondly because while I learned a lot about what Goebbels did in his life, I still feel his personal life and his psyché were not presented well. Surely his relationship with Magda and his children, his mother and siblings, not to say other people around him, deserved more than an occasional passing mention. ...more
Sharyn Simcox
Others may like this book on Goebbels more than I did. I found it hard to follow and rather boring.I've read a great deal about the Nazis so I'm familiar with events. As a Psychology major I'm very interested in what made these people tick.This biography does offer insight into Goebbels .The Nazi leaders are portrayed as dum
b in a lot of the books I've read.Strange how they took over Europe. Before the Nuremberg trials the top leaders were tested and found to have high IQs Imagine what they cou
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
In light of recent political events, I have developed a thirst for learning about possible historical connections to determine whether they are real, exaggerated, or some place in between. This biography of Goebbels is written in an academic voice, which helped to understand this particular Nazi without any extraneous storytelling. The book's final chapter, Conclusions, sums up the main points of his life, evidence of which was shared throughout the book. I did learn what I'd hoped for, making a ...more
Jacob Frank
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history
The author's most salient point is that, rather than propaganda succeeding in seducing the German people, propaganda created the image of a seduced German people, through stage-managed spectacles directed at the world stage and by dominating the public spaces (e.g. film, radio, newspapers, etc.) in which any dissent or criticism might be expressed. The apparent effectiveness of propaganda is itself propaganda's product.
Didi Mack
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this thinking about the turmoil and hatred spewing out of today’s politics. It is chilling in parallel to what is happening today. Well researched and written clearly, an interesting and scary read.
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Great Companion Film 1 2 Sep 01, 2014 07:38PM  
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Peter Longerich (born 1955) is a German professor of history. He is currently director of the Research Centre for the Holocaust and Twentieth-Century History at Royal Holloway, University of London.
“amelioration.” The diary entry is a remarkable indication that” 0 likes
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