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5.0 von 5 Sternen One of History's most Reviled, yet Intriguing Leaders
Ever wonder what made Adolf Hitler one of this century's most reviled, yet powerful political leaders? Ever wonder what drove Hitler to his incessant desire to rid the world of Jews and all people of the "non-Aryan" race?

Well, if these questions continually vex you, you ought to read John Toland's splendid and provocative biography on Adolf Hitler...
Am 14. Oktober 1997 veröffentlicht

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3.0 von 5 Sternen A Rather Admiring Account
Having read much about Hitler and Nazi Germany, I must admit this is one of the more flattering biographies of the man ever written. While, the sheer volume of the work, as well as it's rare photographs are impressive, one cannot help but walk away from this tome with the impression that Toland genuinely admired Hitler. For some insightful criticism of Toland's...
Am 18. Januar 1999 veröffentlicht


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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of History's most Reviled, yet Intriguing Leaders, 14. Oktober 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Ever wonder what made Adolf Hitler one of this century's most reviled, yet powerful political leaders? Ever wonder what drove Hitler to his incessant desire to rid the world of Jews and all people of the "non-Aryan" race?

Well, if these questions continually vex you, you ought to read John Toland's splendid and provocative biography on Adolf Hitler. It is well-written, and very thorough, as it chronicles Hitler as a young boy growing up in Austria, to the founding of the Nazi party, and culminating with Hitler's ascension and command of the Third Reich. Toland provides probing insight into the forces (both in his personal life and the external political environment in Germany) which drove Hitler to relentless anti-Semitism, and the reasons for his obsession to rid the world of Jews.

He also delves into Hitler's troubled personal life, detailing his close relationship with his mother, and his somewhat ambiguous relationship with his wife, Eva Braun.

But Toland also describes other elements of Hitler's life which were more positive, such as the construction of the autobahnen (auto routes) for military transport, and the founding of the Volkswagen (the People's Car). While these are rather prominent cultural icons in today's society, who would attribute them to a man as hated and reviled as Hitler?

For anyone interested in obtaining a "complete" and "objective" picture of Adolf Hitler as a man who achieved great power and influence in one of the most economically advanced countries in the world, and not just a chronicling of his anti-Semitic actions (which should not be minimized), then I would strongly recommend John Toland's fascinating biography,"Adolf Hitler."
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A good narrative of Hitler's life, 9. Juli 2000
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Kevin Brianton (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
John Toland's work is ignored by the academics, but he is a great writer and can weave a narrative over 1000 pages. For anyone interested in Hitler there is no better starting point. However, it is only a starting point, Toland has no real ability at telling you why things happened. He cannot get beneath the surface, but that is a small fault. The book needs better footnoting and some of the references are weak, based on interviews that cannot be followed, but overall it is a well-written and compelling account of Hitler. It is certainly the most accessible biography of Hitler available.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Single Best Biography of Hitler Yet Written!, 21. Juni 2000
Von 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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For anyone truly interested in finding and reading a definitive biography of Adolph Hitler, this is the book. This work is at once carefully documented and scholarly yet is also eminently readable and entertaining. Although there is no single volume that adequately explains the mysterious truth of Adolph Hitler the phenomenon, author John Toland delivers a most informative and exhaustively researched manuscript that does help us to understand Adolph Hitler the man. Toland spent several years researching this book with intensive interviews by surviving principals, and had access to a wide range of archival data and previously unpublished data and facts. The result is this magisterial work.
This is a book much like Toland's previous efforts in that it concentrates heavily on interviews with a literal torrent of people who had significant contact and knowledge of Hitler, from those who surrounded him in his rise to power, and who followed him into the ash and ruins of the embattled and besieged Third Reich. From his early days in Austria, to his school boy experiences and the discouraging failures of his early adulthood, through the heady but painful days as a volunteer in the front lines during World War I, Toland faithfully traces the rise and growth of this strange young man as he falls prey to a variety of venomous and unfortunate ideas and prejudices that mark him for life, and set the path to the kind of pathological aberrances that characterized his beliefs and behaviors from that point on.
Yet Toland makes a painful effort to be non-judgmental, and carefully presents all the facts as he can best determine them. This sometimes makes him err on the side of presenting personal and perhaps subjective opinions of others as fact, and this is typical of the Toland approach. While recognizing the dangers in presenting a lot of information into the record that might be inaccurate, twisted, or fanciful, he also wants us to hear the whole story from all of the participant's viewpoints so we can make our own informed judgment. In this sense Toland has a somewhat archaic belief in the historical reader's critical skills and to be well-enough formed as thinkers that he lets us judge for ourselves based on our interpretation of the 'facts' he presents rather than pre-digesting and coming to his own conclusions for us.
The busman's tour he takes through pre-war Germany, observing and describing the collection of rag-tag malcontents accompanying Hitler in his rise to power is quite interesting, as is his casual and matter-of-fact presentation of what is certainly a horrifying plethora of unbelievably provocative, ruthless and despicable acts on the parts of Hitler and the national Socialists. Yet this is also history at its best, unblinking, without comment or sentiment, and in-your-face. Much of what you will read you can find elsewhere, but nowhere else can you find it presented in the style and grace that Toland brings to the printed page. Simply stated, this is an outstanding piece of historical biography, and is also truly the standard against which all other, more recent works on Herr Hitler must be judged. Enjoy!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Remarkable View of Adolf Hitler, 25. Juli 2000
Von 
Cody Carlson (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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It is easy to write off Adolf Hitler as a monster, or a man of pure evil, but these labels only serve to hide what Hitler truly was- A human being. John Toland's facinating biography is must reading for anyone interested in just how one man could be responsible for such horror. From dispelling myths surrounding the death of Hitler's niece, Geli Raubal, and his involvment in the Reichstag fire, to his ghastly orders to carry out the final solution, we see Hitler the man. And while his motives often times seem unthinkable, Toland nevertheless manages to convey the feelings and emotions that led to Hitler's unrelenting policies of destruction. What truly makes this work remarkable is Toland's presentation of the facts seemingly without bias. The facts are presented as they happened and the reader is left free to come to thier own conclusions. For decades people the world over have tried to understand the madness of Nazi Germany. Toland's biography will no doubt educate and help to give a measure of understanding to anyone who reads it. Truly a great work.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Best biograpy on Hitler, bar none, 26. Juni 2000
Von 
Candace Scott (Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
I had the opportunity of corresponding and meeting John Toland when I was a teenager and he was a remarkable man and a great writer. This is by far the best and most readable biography ever written on Hitler. Toland eschews, thankfully, the ridiculous psycho-babble which ruins many other major Hitler biographies.
Toland interviewed over 300 people close to Hitler: Tradul Junge, his secretary, Max Wunsche and Richard Schultze, his adjutants, Eva Braun's best friend and many others. He went to the source and his oral interviews constitute a tremendous historical resource.
Toland shows that Hitler was sexually normal, which is important since Hitler's supposed "deviant sexuality" is the lynchpin of many inferior books.
If you are to read one book about Adolf Hitler, make it this one. Nothing better has come down the pike in the 25 years since this books publication. For anyone interested in the history of the 20th century and World War II, this is a must read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen John Toland ist ein großer Erzähler, 27. Dezember 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Es ist genial wie Toland so ein umfangreiches Material hauptsächlich aus Interviews und Memoiren gesammelt zu einem wunderbar lesbaren zusammenhängenden und nicht zu weitschweifigen Ganzen organisiert. Und dabei tausende wissenswerte Einzelheiten im passenden Kontext schildert, abwechselnd in direkter zitierter Rede und zusammenfassenden indirekten Wiedergaben. Der Stil ist kunstvoll. Ein schönes Englisch.
Inhaltlich ist besonders zu bemerken:
1) die Konzentration auf die Person Hitlers, zu lange Exkurse zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus und zum Verlauf des zweiten Weltkriegs vermeidend
2) die Achtsamkeit auf Objektivität, d.h. die bloße Wiedergabe von Ereignissen oder Aussagen - ohne Bewertungen, Deutungen, Erklärungen, Psychologisieren usw.
Und so erfährt man eine ganze Menge über Hitlers Taten und Ansichten und die Meinungen diverser Zeitzeugen darüber.

Ich habe nebenbei auch Tolands Autobiographie "Captured by History" gelesen. Auf 50 Seiten schildert er dort die Jahre 1970 bis 1976, in denen sein wohl erfolgreichstes (meistverkauftes) Buch entstand. Anfangs schreibt er:
"My first task in researching Adolf Hitler was to learn enough German to conduct my own impromptu interviews .... on October 1, 1970 I left for Munich on the first of three extended trips to Europe during the following year. I would conduct more than 150 long interviews with people directly involved in Hitler's private and public life. These would help me portray him, as objectively as possible, as a man, politician, and a military leader. I hoped to reveal a figure even more frightening than the traditional caricature by giving the demon a human face........
I trailed Hitler from his birthplace to all the scenes of his youth, following him to the end by revelations from those who were close to his personal life, and by his military attachés, his dietitians, his party leaders, his doctors, his devoted followers, and his enemies. I learned from those who loved and those who hated him, from those who believed he was the Saviour of the World and those who believed him to be the greatest criminal in history." (p.287)

Im Vorwort zu "Captured by History" schreibt er:
"Of course, I compared one person's version of a particular event with another observer's version...... They knew I was cross-checking; they knew I was talking to everyone I could, even those who would contest their versions of events or possibly attack them. And they didn't mind. I gave each person I interviewed, for all of my books, my word of honour that nothing I wrote about them, particularly when I was quoting them, would be published without my giving them an opportunity to read it first, and if anyone objected to anything I had written, I would cut it out of the book. I did not promise I would do anything more than that.
If I had clear evidence that I was being given an untruthful or malicious account of any event, I simply would not use it. I also discarded self-serving and untruthful stories when cross-checking proved them to be misrepresentations or at least not the whole truth. I have to tip my hat to Albert Speer - he was the most accomplished fabricator of the lot and had a genius for mixing truth and fiction. He fooled me several times......." (Prologue xii-xiii)
and:
"Not many historians work the way I do - and I have been critcized for being "uncritical" and "easily taken in." Like Amrose Bierce, I attempt to see things as they are, not as they ought to be." (xiii)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Best ever biography of Hitler!, 18. Juni 2000
Von 
Gary Gardner "Your resident dillettante" (Ellsworth, ME United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
This book has to be one of the longest biographies ever written about a historical figure, but it is greatly the worth the effort expended to read it. John Toland is as good a historian as one will ever experience in the modern era. His books, to a one, are eminently readable. There is no historian who has the ability to make his subjects appear so lifelike, even to those who lived long after the events he writes about. By taking actual quotes and putting them into proper context, Toland marinates a genre long known for its aridity. Hitler the man was as complex a person on the political stage as any that preceded him, or have followed. Toland wades through Hitler's many complexities and seeming contradictions, and sheds light on what drove the Fuhrer's madness and his need to bring Europe (and later the world) to the brink of destruction. Toland offers plausibility to what drove Hitler to vilify and massacre the Jewish race in Europe, his goals of conquest, and his political system...areas in which historians have argued about for generations. We learn many things about Hitler's childhood and early adulthood, things which may shed some light on the future dictator's raison d'etre. From a disappointing childhood to dreams of being an artist and architect in Vienna, Austria, to his service in the German army during World War I, Hitler's dreams of a Germanic empire are mapped out every stage of the way. Toland's treatment of Hitler is fair, which is deeply hard to do, as the leader of Germany's Third Reich has caused much misery and destruction to people all over the world. His detachment makes Hitler appear much more scarier. It is hard to envision a man who would hold so true to his demonic visions over a span of twenty years, as Hitler did with his blueprint for domination of Europe and the Soviet Union. If you love twentieth-century history, particularly that of World War II, this book will satisfy your craving...and then some! I highly recommend all of Toland's books relating to the World War II era, particularly "The Last 100 Days" and "Infamy," which is about the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan on the U.S. on December 7, 1941, and the apparent subsequent cover-up by the government of its foreknowledge of the attack. Toland has also written a couple of fictional books that are not quite as good, but worth a look-see.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen John Toland : Hitler, 12. Mai 2000
The key to approaching this book is given by the author in his forward : " My book has no thesis, and any conclusions to be found in it were reached only during the writing ". Indeed, this book is certainly no study on Hitler, Nazism, German or European history, in the sense of a penetrating historical analysis or acute psychological understanding of the individuals or the peoples involved. It is nonetheless an extremely informative work on Hitler's life, abounding in details and information gathered by a multitude of sources most of which were close to Hitler and those surrounding him, and presented in a form that is highly readable. From his early childhood years to the last bunker days his life is being narrated by numerous first hand witnesses, adding to the great amount of information provided by the author's research. Even some Hitler boyhood poetry finds it's way through these pages.
The book relies heavily on interviews and memoirs of people who were close to Hitler and his inner circle. On the one hand this approach is what gives the reader a sense of familiarity with the details of Hitler's life and habits that no other book can even come close to present. On the other, this fact is something that every cautious reader continuously has to bear in mind - that almost every one of these sources was a strong Hitler devotee, or strong admirer at best and thus these records are not to be considered as models of objectivity and thoroughnes. Toland has chosen not to be critical on the presentation of most of his first hand material, and numerous passages in the book are presented as matter of fact knowledge while in essence they only come from someone's personal testimony. Not all such testimonies are biased on misleading of course - the majority could very well be quite accurate - but with the deep emotions and reservations involved in reminiscencing of those events, this is something to always have in mind and Toland has not made that clear to his readers to the extend that he probably should. Why has the author chosen not to adopt a more critical attitude towards his material ? He states in his forward that " ... I have done my utmost to subdue my own feelings and to write of him as if he had lived a hundred years ago ", and to this he has indeed succeeded completely. There is not the slightest trace of emotion from the part of the author ( in contrast to every other book dealing with the topic ) but at the cost of an almost absolute lack of involvement from his part as well - it is as if his aim was achieved by the presentation of material and not by any accompanying analysis. Many people consider this as their prefered method of historical writing ( presenting facts and leaving the conclusions to the reader ) but many more must have felt disapointment in not geting some deeper input from an expert so deeply involved in the history of that period. Toland has been attacked as being a sympathizer of Hitler's ( from Lukacs in his book on Hitler's biographies ) but this is not suported by his efforts in this book - he clearly states in whose decisions the Final solution had it's origins and the pathological hatred of Hitler for Jews and "lower" races. It seems that some people choose to consider an attempt at objectivity as a covert expression of sympathy towards Hitler, which is of course an unacceptable way of judging historical writings.
Many parts of Hitler's life are covered as well - or even better - as one can find in any other Hitler book. The Vienna years, Hitler's WWI front line experience, the Rohm affair, the Czech crisis, the road to war and the July plot are very well presented, while the rise to power and the war years mainly focus on Hitler's actions and doings and not on any external accompanying elements or factors that decisively influenced the course of events ( there is a limit obviously to what one can put in a single book, even if it runs to a thousand pages ). The one thing that is dearly missing is a discussion on Hitler's decisions and actions that led to the recovering of German economy and social conditions after his assumption of power - there is very litle in this book on the one true outstanding achievement of the Hitler regime, as well as in matters that dealt with reforms aiming towards education, the Arts, social life and the establishment of the police state in Germany.
There is no definitive book covering Hitler, a person of such high complexity who was also the prime force behind actions whose mere mention produces the highest degree of emotions and pations. However this book definitely has a place within the group of select works that collectively come closer in giving an accurate understanding of the man and his actions.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating, 16. Juni 1998
I am currently in the middle of this rather large book and am thoroughly fascinated with the both the historical and personal aspects of Mr. Toland's writing. I am recommending the book to others who, like me, may not appreciate all that Hitler represented to Germans and other Europeans and why his rise to power happened as it did. I see the book as a strong reminder of the need to involve oneself in the matters of civil life and the delicate balance between government and citizenry. I thank Mr. Toland for his detailed, yet objectively reported, inclusion of the personal details of Hitler's life. From these facts an individual can form their own thoughts about the evolution of this horrid piece of modern history. Hitler and the swastika are disturbing imagery in the current world yet, I feel it is by educating oneself on this dreadful history we are most able to protect ourselves from its reoccurrence. Mr. Toland makes this possible with a thoroughly human portrayal of the real Hitler.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating Account of One of History's Most Important Men, 9. Juli 1999
This is a very fascinating account of the life of one of history's most important, if notorious, figures, Adolf Hitler. Although a lengthy book(over 1,000 pages) it reads like a suspense novel and is rarely if ever dull and plodding. I have always had a "morbid" fascination with Hitler and I thought I knew just about everything about him. But this book revealed to me much that I never knew before. There are many interesting insights into the people around Hitler as well. Also, we learn many lessons about the coddling of dictators by the world's democracies which can be applied to current events in such places as Kosovo. I recommend this book without hesitation.
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