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5.0 von 5 Sternen An authoritative examination
Ian Kershaw's book is simply exceptional in every way. His grasp of the primary and secondary sources on Hitler and Germany is astonishing. Despite what might appear to be a weighty tome, with thousands of footnotes, Kershaw has organized his material and presented it in elegant prose that drives the Hitler story along at a brisk pace--and draws the reader along...
Am 7. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Informative, but Kershaw can do better than this
This is the first biography of Hitler that I've read. Kershaw is a social historian who admits his bias against biography in the preface. His discomfort with biography shows, and this book suffers in comparison with his earlier book on "The 'Hitler Myth,'" a study of Nazi propaganda that is better written, more interesting, and mercifully shorter.
Even...
Veröffentlicht am 3. Februar 2000 von Daniel R. Baker


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5.0 von 5 Sternen An authoritative examination, 7. Dezember 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Ian Kershaw's book is simply exceptional in every way. His grasp of the primary and secondary sources on Hitler and Germany is astonishing. Despite what might appear to be a weighty tome, with thousands of footnotes, Kershaw has organized his material and presented it in elegant prose that drives the Hitler story along at a brisk pace--and draws the reader along too.
Perhaps more impressive than Kershaw's research and writing, is his analysis. The reader will come away from this book with, at this point in time, the most cogent, insightful interpretation one can find of how Hitler came to power. Kershaw brilliantly lays out how Hitler's "belief" system was formed, where it fit into the Germany of Hitler's time, and how Hitler was able to match his talents as a propagandist and mesmerizing speaker to the "needs" of the German people. Kershaw does not accept simplistic explanations about Hitler's rise to power--there was nothing inevitable about it, it was not the "nature" of the German people that produced Hitler, etc. Instead, Kershaw presents a sober, balanced account that clearly lays out in detail the political, economic, and social situation in Germany, the times, and the man--and his luck--all of which led, as he notes in his final setence, Germany into the abyss.
This book does not attempt to sensationalize Hitler. Rather it is an extraordinary piece of scholarship, analysis, and writing--this is the one book about Hitler and Germany that should be read. I look forward with great anticipation to a second volume.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Hitler's rise to power is cannot be believed., 1. Mai 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
There is much most people donot know of Hitler and his rise to power in Germany. Professor Kershaw's book explains his rise in such detail. It is very revealing. What most interested me is that Hitler had very little to do with his ability to rise to the peak of power. He was a ne'er do well growing up before World War I. He swindled his Mother and Aunt of their savings. He showed little talent during the war. While he was an artist, I suspect he had little talent. He showed very little ability except for public speaking. In this endeavor he was able to rally the blue collar workers to his causes, which were few in number and non-sensical . He was very illogical in his beliefs about Jews and Bolsheviks. He condemned the Jews for their Bolshevik beliefs and for their Capitalist positions. How contradictory? It seems he was always at the right place at the right time. It seemed as if history carried him along rather the he directing history. The right wing industrialiststs thought they could control him, but discovered how little power they had. Even the leaders of other countries were fooled. This book should be recommended reading in the high schools and colleges. It is written in a prose style that's easy to read and comprehend. I am looking forward to Professor Kershaw's second volume.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent...This is a page turner...in a biography., 25. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
The author does a superb job in putting into context the rise of Hitler. He examines the forces that led to the rise of Hitler including Hitler's own skills with emphasis on the underlying support that Hitler received from others. Hitler's struggle for power succeeded as a result of his nationalistic views,anti-semitic and anti-marxist views which found a willing audience during the economic calamity and social unrest of the time. Through his personality - his negotiatiing skills that tended toward brinksmanship, all or nothing attitude, and his careful articulation of ideas through appropriate propaganda machines he managed to become the spokesman of an extreme nationalistic party. But as the author effectively contends there was a power structure for which he became the spokesman. It is in understanding the nature of this power structure - the people behind the Nazi votes and their psychology that one can get an insight into how a non-German leader with genocidal tendencies could have become the leader of one of the major western powers.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Meticulously researched, judiciously balanced biography, 4. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
One might think all that needs to be said about Hitler has already been said. Kershaw's biography proves the opposite. What matters is fresh interpretation of facts, and in this respect the author provides an interesting new approach. He places Hitler firmly in the context of his times, both before the First World War and after the Versailles settlement. He argues that Hitler was not some monstrous Uebermensch but a demagogue and prejudiced fanatic who was propelled to power largely because of the type of society Germany was in the 1920s. It sounds like a semi-sociological approach, but Kershaw's keen sense of the historian's discipline makes his book anything but faddish. He also corrects some long-held errors about Hitler's early life and career that have lasted since Bullock's biography of 40 years ago. Highly recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A fantastically detailed summary of Hitler's rise to power, 11. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This book is the most detailed account of how and why Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany. Minute detail regarding letters, notes, conversations, opinions of important associates and Hiter's whereabouts on almost a daily basis are interwoven by Kershaw to answer the question of how Hitler rose to power. Though the book is rather long I was totally engrossed in it and finished it within days of receiving it. Now I eagerly await the second volume which will begin with accounts in 1936 and continue to Hitler's death in 1945.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Hitler's misunderstood rise to power..., 29. April 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
...is especially relevant given the sad recent events in the US by gun nuts who assert that Hitler was only able to reach power because of gun control. In fact, this book does a lot to dispel that common fallacy by going into the very interesting parliamentary manuevers which had to take place in order to get Hitler to the critical amount of power necessary to turn the Weimar Republic into the Hitler dictatorship. Highly recommended - I can't wait for the followon.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolutely Extraordinary, 7. Oktober 1999
Von 
Sam Wesley Denham III "WD" (Jacksonville, FL USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This is the biography not just of Adolf Hitler, but of the Germany in which he lived. Again and again, Kershaw explains the interactions of a peculiar individual with peculiar times and how, so often, so achingly, history might have been different.
Occasional turgidity of prose can be pardoned for the brilliance of his analysis and the astonishing labor of his scholarship.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Superb Biographical Treatment of Hitler's & The Times!, 13. Juni 2000
Von 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This superb book draws the reader closer to understanding this historically enigmatic and often bizarre human being who so changed the world of the 20th century. Although there are a myriad of such books that have appeared in the half-century since Hitler's demise in the dust and rubble of Berlin, this particular effort, which draws from hundreds of secondary sources, many of which have never before been cited, paints an authentic and masterful portrait of Hitler as an individual. This is an absolutely singular historical work; and it will almost certainly displace other, older tomes as the standard text on the early life and rise of Adolph Hitler.
Although I must confess that I intensely dislike reading through the early years of most biographies as depicted in so many other treatments of famous individuals, I loved reading this particular book. Kershaw takes a quite different and novel approach, and it is one I enjoyed. Here, by carefully locating and fixing the individual in the context and welter of his times, it yields a much more enlightening approach toward painting a meaningful comprehensive picture of how a neglected and conflicted boy meaningfully became such a terribly flawed and troubled man. Thus, we see the boy grow and change in whatever fashion into a man, tracing the rise of this troubled malcontent from the anonymity of Viennese shelters to a fiery and meteoric rise into politics, culminating in his ascent to rule Germany. Kershaw memorably recreates the social, economic, and political circumstances that bent and twisted Hitler so fatefully for the history of the world.
Hitler was, in Kershaw's estimation, a man most representative of his times, reflecting a widespread disaffection with democratic politics, steeped in the virulent anti-Semitism of his Viennese environment, twisted and experienced in the cruelties and absurdities of the First World War, thrust by circumstance and disposition into the sectarian, dyspeptic, and rough & tumble politics of the 1920s, and rising by finding himself the most unlikely of politicians with an unusual ability to orate and emote. It is also interesting to discover that Hitler had an unusually acute (though uneven) intellect, is rumored to have possesed a 'photographic memory', and was said to have an amazing ability to discuss and quote facts and figures and then subsequently casually weave them into a conversation that witnesses found spellbinding and convincing. He was also unquestionably quite charismatic and charming.
From the beginning Kershaw argues it is impossible to understand 'why' Hitler without understanding this extremely toxic and strange combination of social, economic, and cultural factors that characterized Germany in the post-war era. Thus, by the time he begins his ineluctable rise to power, we much better understand both 'how' and 'why' such a seemingly unlikely cast of characters as the Nazis succeeded so wildly beyond what one would expect to be possible in a sane and sophisticated modern industrial state.
This is fascinating stuff, as is his treatment of the concomitant rise of the slugs, thugs, and under-life accompanying him into the corridors of power and influence. Here is the world's greatest single collection of otherwise underachieving bullies, fanatics, pseudo-intellectuals, and fellow travelers, who clashed into an uneasy coalescence that formed the nucleus of the single greatest force for collective evil seen in the modern world. One's mind reels at the scene at the book's conclusion, as the newly formed Nazi power structure begins applying the progressively strangulating neck-lock on Germany's Jews, religious leaders, and other 'malcontents'. I await the publication of volume two of this effort with eager anticipation. Enjoy!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The rise of Evil, 24. März 2000
Von 
Frank J. Konopka (Shamokin, PA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
For some reason, before I began this book, I expected it to be boring. I was quite incorrect: this is a riveting work, detailing the rise to power of the Ultimate Evil of the 20th century. Kershaw uses the sources wonderfully well, and his prose never degenerates into scholarly babble, able to be interpreted only by others in academia. He's clear (if not precisely concise), and even a general reader understands what's happening. I eagerly await the next volume!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Biography, but be warned, 9. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
If you have an interest in European history, Germany, Hitler, important historical figures in general, etc, you will want to read this. The author is thorough and manages to avoid obvious, simplistic, or trite criticisms of Hitler. I have one criticism and one warning about this book.
Critisim: Kershaw does not make a real effort to explain Hitler's hatred for Jews and does not mention Gypsies at all (though comment on Gypsies may come in the second volume).
Warning: Kershaw's audience seems to be other Ph.D historians, or at least people highly familiar with inter-war German politics. Since I am neither, I know I missed some of his more subtle points.
Still, can't wait for the second volume.
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