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Young Hitler: The Making of the Führer

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  33 reviews
WHEN ADOLF HITLER went to war in 1914, aged 25, he lived through what he would later call the 'most stupendous experience of my life'. Twice decorated for bravery, the future dictator thrilled to battle, relished violence and was willing to give everything for his beloved Fatherland.

He heard of Germany's defeat as he lay immobilised in a hospital bed, temporarily blinded f
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 30th 2017 by Random House Australia
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3.77  · 
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 ·  184 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How did a young man who wanted to be an artist end up one of the most reviled, evil men of recent history? As a mother, I have often wondered what horrible mistakes his family must have made to raise a son that ordered the deaths of millions of people. It turns out the answer really isn't as simple as a bad childhood or abuse or whatever go-to reason we might ascribe to it today. Paul Ham's book on the youth and young adulthood of Adolph Hitler is well researched and points out some pivotal time ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Paul Ham found nothing unusual in Adolf Hitler’s childhood to signal that he would be someone who would carry out large scale carnage. Ham builds the case that Hitler’s WWI experience shaped him. His world was shattered that Germany did not prevail. He latched on conspiracy theories and half truths. He needed to assign blame for his political career, as well as for himself, and found an easy target in the Jews.

Hitler was part of a blended family and the only surviving child of his doting mother,
Tariq Mahmood
This is an important book which tries to put the human element back into the monster and evil Hitler who has been judged as solely responsible for the death of millions in Europe. Hitler has emerged as a reclusive youth who managed to confront his youth armed with illusions of grandeur. With no family of his own he adopted his regiment and his beloved German people as his own. He also started off his political career as most other politicians, just looking from recognition from wherever, with no ...more
Glen Krisch
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not much new here, but still interesting.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historia, no-ficcion
Paul Ham takes us through Hitler's life, right from its very beginning, until he leaves prison after the failed putsch and he's ready to unleash hell. The book is very well researched and has an excellent balance of trivia (e.g. the state of Hitler's teeth), myth debunking (Hitler had one testicle) and deeper analysis of the sociopolitical context. It is not a heavy read and not academic at all, although there's a lot of bibliography documented. The tone is serious, but highly enjoyable.

Ham trie
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the factual stuff...but didn't need the Guardian-editorial concluding chapter/ which Ham parades his clear-and-present political a wishy-washy polemic worthy of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'!...even down to use of vituperative epithets (he's an Aussie!) & wild conjectures (ball-tampering?!) the possible dire consequences of dismaying elections around polyglot Europe in 2016-17....To blithely equate 1918-onwards with 2018-onwards is a poor a history gra ...more
Honestly, I was expecting to rate this book higher than I did. I don't feel like there's a lot out there about Hitler's formative years and the environment that shaped him into a genocidal megalomaniac; or, if there is, I haven't found it yet (part of this is due to Nazi censors, who went through and tried to get rid of all evidence that contracted the man and myth that Hitler portrayed to the German people). And the author did present a good deal of information that was new to me.

My main proble
Dennis Rutzou
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This should be required reading for everyone, because it not only tells the story of Hitler's childhood, growing up, early days and war service, it also traces how he formulated his policies and came to power. This gives us the lessons to avoid it happening again and although the author goes to great pains to point out the extraordinary time that Hitler lived through in terms of the economic and political dislocation of German society in the aftermath of the first World War I am not so sure as w ...more
Hans Brienesse
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that should be required reading for all budding do-gooders and reactionaries on the planet. This treatise very adequately explains the conditions that lead to the rise of the biggest mass murderer in modern history and the pitfalls of appeasement and apparent credibility. It delves deeply into the mindset of an embittered young man who finds himself rejected constantly whilst trying to fulfill his dreams. It tells of a person with great courage and possessed of an iron will finding his ni ...more
Angelique Simonsen
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
written very well. was interesting to learn of Hitler's experiences as a youth and young man. moments in the book where you actually feel compassion for him as he loses his mother.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well-researched historical account of Hitler's youth (pun not intended). Particularly praise the admittedly very difficult task of presenting Hitler in an objective light, and to move from here to build a historical picture of the various events which influenced the creation of one of the 20th century's most notorious genocidal mass-murderers. Stunning. Barbaric. Terrifying. The only comment I'd have is that the language was, at times, hard to grapple with. Not sure whether it's ...more
Donald Pryde
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A different look at personality

A short but very good book on how the first world war helped shape Hitler's personality as a person and a politician
Jason Aldous
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Made Hitler

excellent analysis! stays close to facts and convincingly argues that the Jew-hating Hitler didn't emerge until after the armistice and Versailles.
Jean Mehochko
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, filling in some blanks and attempting to rectify past misconceptions about Hitler and his rise to power. The author puts forth a credible view that Hitler's service in World War I was a major influence on his actions after. The $$ and resources that Germany expended to wage the war, the number of those killed, the sanctions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, the shame of the surrender -- all coincided with Hitler's increasing feelings that Germany was destined to rise again, ...more
Gerald Tipton
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking. Definitely has some parallels to what is happening in the American society today. As individuals we are responsible for assessing what we are being told by politicians and the media. We need to be humble, compassionate and helpful to others. Accepting of diversity and valuing each other as humans.
Hitler used race to stir the Germans and help him attain ultimate power and authority. With unquestionable devotion and thinking only he knows best.
Is America using religion to divi
A very short analysis into the impact of Hitler's experience during WWI on his subsequent "career". The focus was on Hitler's personality and behaviour. What is explained, is that during WWI Hitler was a loner, lacked connection to his family and pre-War friends, was nationalistic, passionate about winning, bizarre in his rantings, brave on the battlefield and shattered when Germany lost the war. I wanted more analysis but it is hard for the historians when so much of the original documentation ...more
Ruth Bingham
EBook - Read this out of curiosity about Hitler’s upbringing. He was his mother’s favourite and she spoilt him. He did not finish school so was not well educated . Would not get a job and ended up on the streets when he ran out of money from his mothers inheritance. Fancied himself as an Artist and painted postcards to get himself off the streets. Joined the Army during WW1 and enjoyed his time there, it suited him very well.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
The author unfortunately has a political agenda which undermines my confidence in his research and conclusions. The epilogue, in particular, squanders all his good work. It's a shame because he's a good writer and did, from what I can tell, first rate research. It's an important topic but this is not the book to learn about the monster who loved his mother, his dog and war.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I read about Hitler's biography. The book is easy to read and presents some aspects of personality formation from one of the best-known names in history.
I particularly find the book very informative, exciting, and that, unfortunately, seems more current than ever looking for the emergence of an ultra-right movement in the world political field.
Maria Hajeng
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
It does contain some surprising scoop about Hitler, but it has so many fillers. There are chapters that don't even mention his name at all. Perhaps the author meant to give us some background stories, but honestly speaking, they are pretty boring. However, these fillers make the book very detailed.
A well-written account of the early life of one of the worst madmen in history. All-in-all it is definitely a good book and would recommend it to anyone interested in WWII or early/mid 20th century German history.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have learned a lot about Hitler through this book. Very fascinating and was never boring. 10/10 will definitely read again in the future.
Chris Doelle
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
95% good stuff and 5% political hack piece. Full review --->
Flora Dogadkin
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well written. Thoroughly researched.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a short biography of Hitler’s youth that “focuses on one episode that has received relatively little attention: the impact of the First World War on Hitler’s life and career”
Born on the 20 April 1989 at Braunau on the Inn, a little town in Upper Austria, Adolf Hitler was the fourth son of Alois and Klara Hitler, but his three preceding brothers died in infancy, leaving him as the only one surviving, therefore his mother devoted him her maternal love and care. Nevertheless, the relat
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expectations Off

I am uncertain if my expectations were off...but I thought this would delve more into what made Hitler so vile, from his childhood, rise in the Nazi party to his death. The first portion, describing his childhood, hit the mark. i liked reading about his one friend, his abusive father and his love of his mother. However, after that I felt it became repetitive, boring and too detail-oriented when I yearned for big picture. Too many details on war scenes when I wanted more analysis
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Informative and quick

I thought this book was quite well written for a short insight to Hitler's early life. Possibly hints to what made him "tick." Perhaps he would have been evil no matter what. Each individual chapter, from early childhood to arrest goes pretty quick and fast. Yet doesn't leave the reader wanting more.
The theme of the book seems rather unbiased. The author is quick to point out hyperbole and propaganda coming from either pro or anti Hitler persons who had known him.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at the young Hitler

This is a fairly brief account of Hitler in Vienna and a longer look at his time in WWI. There is quite a bit about his fellow soldiers. I liked it. I just read August Kubizek's memoir and I'm re-reading Hamann's "Hitler's Vienna." It fits right in.
Eileen E Cartwright

Fascinating but scary read. Very well researched. I had not realized that quite so much hatred of the Jews existed in Germany BEFORE Hitler. It was there for him to harness.
Sean Noble
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Very well researched. Gives great insight into the precursors from WW I that help shaped Hitler's mind going into WW II. Highly recommend to those interested in historical research of both world wars.
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PAUL HAM is a historian specialising in 20th century conflict, war and politics. Born and raised in Sydney, Paul has spent his working life in London, Sydney and Paris. He teaches narrative non-fiction at SciencesPo in Reims and English at l'École de guerre in Paris. His books have been published to critical acclaim in Australia, Britain and the United States, and include: 'Hiroshima Nagasaki', a ...more
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