Joseph Goebbels: Life and Death

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Joseph Goebbels was the most notorious demagogue of the twentieth century, and Hitler's closes confidant. This book uses his complete diary from 1923 - 1945, only recently released from the former Soviet Union, and a range of other sources, to present a challenging new interpretation of his life. It charts Goebbel's rise from provincial obscurity in the Rhineland, through his emergence as the most dynamic speaker of the Nazi Party and the Gauleiter of Berlin in the 1920s, to his appointment as Hitler's Propaganda Minister in 1933. Combining analysis of Goebbels' relationships with women and of his political career, it argue that there were clear threads running through his life, from a turbulent adolescence through to his death. Goebbels' love of German culture, his obsession with 'sacrifice', his fascination for Hitler, and his hatred of the Jews led him into a fatal involvement with German politics which culminated in his suicide, together with his wife and six children, in Hitler's bunker in 1945.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'...a welcome addition to the burgeoning library of 'perpetrator studies'.' - Literary Review 
'…a detailed and well-written insight into the man at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine….In his examination of Goebbels, Toby Thacker has produced a valuable addition to the printed history of the 1930s and 1940s.' - Britain at War Magazine 
'Thacker's reassessment is convincing and welcome. Crucially, his new biography is the first to be written since the entire set of Goebbels' diaries has been published. He writes well, and offers the reader a number of important new contentions and insights.' -BBC History Magazine
'Judicious, insightful and the first biography based on the entire available diary record. This book is a must for anybody interested in Hitler's Germany and the origins of the Holocaust'.
 - Brendan Simms, Peterhouse, Cambridge University, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230278660
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 804,711
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

TOBY THACKER is Lecturer in Modern European History at Cardiff University, and has published two previous books relating to Nazi Germany: Music after Hitler, 19451955 and The End of the Third Reich: Defeat, Denazification, and Nuremberg, 1944-1946.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgements xi

A Note on Translation xiii

Introduction 1

1 'This Awful Waiting' 10

2 'Starting to Find Firm Ground' 33

3 'The Coming Dictator' 56

4 'You Are the Nobility of the Third Reich' 78

5 'We Will All Three Be Good to One Another' 100

6 'These Masses Are What Matter' 124

7 'We Are Not Suited to Be Executioners' 152

8 An 'Indissoluble Community of Destiny' 178

9 'This People's War Must Be Carried Through' 204

10 'A Life and Death Struggle' 227

11 'We Have Done the Right Thing' 250

12 'How Distant and Alien this Beautiful World Appears' 276

Epilogue 305

Notes 333

Bibliography 380

Index 392

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