"A valuable service . . . serious, entertaining, provocative and distinctive." Cleveland Plain Dealer
In the fifty years since his suicide amid the ruins of Berlin, Adolf Hitler has been the subject of more biographies than any comparable figure of our timeand at the center of a crucial historical debate over the nature of evil and moral responsibility in the twentieth century. In this brilliant and original book, the historian John Lukacs climbs above the fray to produce a definitive "history of a history: the history of the evolution of our understanding of Hitler's life and our debates about its meaning."
Like an expert attorney, Lukacs puts the biographies on trial, identifying their strengths, weaknesses, and hidden agendas. And through their intersecting and conflicting accounts, he addresses the enduring enigmas surrounding the demiurge of the Third Reich. Was Hitler a revolutionary or a reactionary? How successful was he as a statesman and a strategist? What was his primary motive for the extermination of the Jews? The Hitler of History answers these questions as fully as any modern work can hope to, with an intellectual boldness that makes it absolutely essential to any understanding of the post-Hitler world.
"Lukacs is a shrewd historian and an engaging writer . . . a sharp and sober portrait." Philadelphia Inquirer
John Lukacs was born in Hungary and came to the United States in 1946. Now emeritus, he has been a visiting professor at various universities. The recipient of the 1991 Ingersoll Prize, he is the author of eighteen other books. He and his wife live in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Hitler of History 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
"The Hitler of History" by John Lukacs, is a wonderfully written rethink of one of history's most studied characters. Lukacs uses simple common sense mixed with very intellectual logic and reasoning to break down decades of incorrect or misinterpreted facts and assumptions that have demonized one of histories' most famous villains. The book begins with addressing how the fascination and sheer volume of research and written works, has impacted the image we have of Hitler today, then begins to talk about more specific points such as Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf", and the effect each time period had on Hitler's image. Written from a historian's perspective, this book is set apart from others like it due to the matter-of-fact delivery style and moves well which I enjoyed. One problem I had with the book however was the obvious gap in intelligence between the author and myself. The word choice is of the highest intellect but the author compensated by being thorough in his explanations, making sure his point is conveyed. This book is a great read for anyone looking to gain a better picture of who Hitler really was, or anyone wanting a brain-stimulated read to sharpen the mind.