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Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography par [Toland, John]
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Longueur : 1120 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“The first book that anyone who wants to learn about Hitler or [World War II] in Europe must read. . . . A marvel.” —Newsweek

“Toland weaves the epic tapestry of popular history, meshing together thousands of details into monumental narratives of wartime drama.” —Chicago Tribune

“An unusually revealing picture . . . highly detailed . . . marvelously absorbing  . . . must be ranked as one of the most complete pictures of Hitler.” —The New York Times

“A significant contribution.” —Houston Chronicle

Présentation de l'éditeur

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil affect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt.

Toland’s research provided one of the final opportunities for a historian to conduct personal interviews with over two hundred individuals intimately associated with Hitler. At a certain distance yet still with access to many of the people who enabled and who opposed the führer and his Third Reich, Toland strove to treat this life as if Hitler lived and died a hundred years before instead of within his own memory. From childhood and obscurity to his desperate end, Adolf Hitler emerges , in Toland’s words, "far more complex and contradictory . . . obsessed by his dream of cleansing Europe Jews . . . a hybrid of Prometheus and Lucifer."

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 63549 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 1120 pages
  • Editeur : Anchor; Édition : 1st (23 septembre 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x91f4ffe4) étoiles sur 5 196 commentaires
169 internautes sur 182 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91e517b0) étoiles sur 5 The Single Best Biography of Hitler Yet Written! 21 juin 2000
Par Barron Laycock - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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!
109 internautes sur 119 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91e51804) étoiles sur 5 Of the ones I've read this is the DEFINITIVE one! 29 février 2004
Par Mannie Liscum - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As an amateur student of WWII history I have tried hard to understand more about how the major "players" came to be, thought, and operated before, during, and after (when applicable) the war. John Toland's biography of Hitler is an amazing piece of historical literature!! If you've ever read any of Toland's books (I've read "Battle: The Story of the Bulge" and "The Last 100 Days" - both excellent) you know he can convey a story that makes the words feel alive. He does that here equally as well in a 900 page masterpiece. He starts with a historical background of the Hitler lineage (and possible Jewish blood!) and ends in with various Nazi elites and their capture, deaths, etc after the fall of Berlin and Hitler's suicide. In between we get a marvelous picture of a child Adolf - his closeness to his mother and estrangement from his father; a young man searching for his place - time spent in Vienna flop houses struggling to survive, failing to acheive and finding his place in the political upheaval leading to the Great War; his time at the front - from runner to gassed Iron cross winner; his "Time of Struggle" in forming the NADSP and leading a failed putsch, prison, and release to a country ready to embrace him; to his rise to Chancellor, dictator, statesman, warlord, self-proclaimed Christ, mass murderer; to a broken, pre-aged, sickly man how ultimately takes his own life to avoid paying the butchers bill. Toland weaves a story that is both easy to read and historically engaging. I learned a lot and had fun doing it - just the way I love history!!!
Highly recommended.
119 internautes sur 131 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91e51b1c) étoiles sur 5 Best ever biography of Hitler! 18 juin 2000
Par Gary Gardner - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91e53060) étoiles sur 5 Most unique figure of the 20th Century 23 mai 2005
Par Wayne Engle - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In most biographies of Adolf Hitler, the "monster of evil," the "madman," the "mass murderer" have loomed so large that the man has been obscured, if not completely submerged. This is one point among many where John Toland's book parts company with most that have come both before and after. This is not just the best Adolf Hitler biography I've ever read - it's the best biography of ANYONE I've ever read. I never would have believed such a long book could be such an enjoyable read, yet be so totally informative, well-researched and well-documented.

Toland makes no apologies or excuses for the monstrous crimes Germany committed at Hitler's behest - nor do I. I firmly believe that Adolf Hitler stands condemned before the bar of history, and on Judgment Day, with responsibility for those crimes.

But there is more to any man than just whatever evil he has done. This book shows Hitler the loving son, who mourned his mother from the day of her death until the day of his own, 38 years later; the lover of animals who befriended a homeless dog on the front lines in World War I, and was heartbroken when the dog was stolen by another soldier some months later; the man who was very fond of children, and who was "Uncle Adi" to numerous young offspring of high members of the Nazi Party; the powerful national leader who put on no airs, wearing only a regular officer's uniform with one medal pinned on it - the Iron Cross, First Class, he had earned in World War I. According to Toland's well-researched book, Hitler treated the "little people" around him - secretaries, valets, chauffeurs, and the like - with unfailing respect and graciousness.

It all reminded me of an editorial I once wrote for the newspaper where I work, concerning the death of one of the Soviet leaders who came just before Gorbachev. TV news had shown the visitation for this leader, and standing by his casket were his son and daughter, the woman weeping, the man looking as if he had just lost his last friend. I wrote something like, "It showed that even a dictator can have a family who loves him, and who deeply mourns his loss."

John Toland shows us in this book that monster, evil genius or whatever one chooses to call Adolf Hitler, he was the most unique historical figure of the 20th Century.
34 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91e51900) étoiles sur 5 John Toland : Hitler 12 mai 2000
Par loe green - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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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