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From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost the Second World War, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital questions of how and why the Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Drawing on prodigious new research, Ian Kershaw, an award-winning historian and the author of Fateful Choices, explores these fascinating questions in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the death of Adolf Hitler and the German capitulation in 1945. The End paints a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps.
Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-41 offers a penetrating insight into a series of momentous political decisions that shaped the course of the Second World War. The hurricane of events that marked the opening of the Second World War meant that anything could happen. For the aggressors there was no limit to their ambitions; for their victims a new Dark Age beckoned. Over the next few months their fates would be determined. In Fateful Choices Ian Kershaw re-creates the ten critical decisions taken between May 1940, when Britain chose not to surrender, and December 1941, when Hitler decided to destroy Europe's Jews, showing how these choices would recast the entire course of history. 'Powerfully argued . . . important . . . this book actually alters our perspective of the Second World War' Andrew Roberts 'This fascinating, closely-argued book adds to our understanding of a terrible war' Alan Massie 'A compelling re-examination of the conflict . . . Kershaw displays here those same qualities of scholarly rigour, careful argument and sound judgement that he brought to bear so successfully in his life of Hitler' Richard Overy 'A splendidly lucid and impeccably argued exposition of the greatest political decisions of the Second World War' Max Hastings 'How fortunate that it is Ian Kershaw bringing his immense knowledge and clarity of thought to the task . . . brilliantly explained . . . an immensely wise book' Anthony Beevor Ian Kershaw (b. 1943) was Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield from 1989-2008, and is one of the world's leading authorities on Hitler. His books include The 'Hitler Myth', his two volume biography Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris and Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, and Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941. He was knighted in 2002.
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century. Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried and rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of World War I. With extraordinary vividness, Kershaw recreates the settings that made Hitler's rise possible: the virulent anti-Semitism of prewar Vienna, the crucible of a war with immense casualties, the toxic nationalism that gripped Bavaria in the 1920s, the undermining of the Weimar Republic by extremists of the Right and the Left, the hysteria that accompanied Hitler's seizure of power in 1933 and then mounted in brutal attacks by his storm troopers on Jews and others condemned as enemies of the Aryan race. In an account drawing on many previously untapped sources, Hitler metamorphoses from an obscure fantasist, a "drummer" sounding an insistent beat of hatred in Munich beer halls, to the instigator of an infamous failed putsch and, ultimately, to the leadership of a ragtag alliance of right-wing parties fused into a movement that enthralled the German people. This volume, the first of two, ends with the promulgation of the infamous Nuremberg laws that pushed German Jews to the outer fringes of society, and with the march of the German army into the Rhineland, Hitler's initial move toward the abyss of war.
This is a biography of Hitler from birth to 1936, and his creation of The Third Reich, i.e., Nazi Germany.
The climax and conclusion of one of the best-selling biographies of our time. The New Yorker declared the first volume of Ian Kershaw's two-volume masterpiece "as close to definitive as anything we are likely to see," and that promise is fulfilled in this stunning second volume. As Nemesis opens, Adolf Hitler has achieved absolute power within Germany and triumphed in his first challenge to the European powers. Idolized by large segments of the population and firmly supported by the Nazi regime, Hitler is poised to subjugate Europe. Nine years later, his vaunted war machine destroyed, Allied forces sweeping across Germany, Hitler will end his life with a pistol shot to his head. "[M]ore probing, more judicious, more authoritative in its rich detail...more commanding in its mastery of the horrific narrative."--Milton J. Rosenberg, Chicago Tribune
"Magisterial . . . anyone who wishes to understand the Third Reich must read Kershaw."--Niall Ferguson "The Hitler biography of the twenty-first century" (Richard J. Evans), Ian Kershaw's Hitler is a one-volume masterpiece that will become the standard work. From Hitler's origins as a failed artist in fin-de-siecle Vienna to the terrifying last days in his Berlin bunker, Kershaw's richly illustrated biography is a mesmerizing portrait of how Hitler attained, exercised, and retained power. Drawing on previously untapped sources, such as Goebbels's diaries, Kershaw addresses the crucial questions about the unique nature of Nazi radicalism, about the Holocaust, and about the poisoned European world that allowed Hitler to operate so effectively. Some images in the ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.
Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, was born to power and command. Scion of one of Britain's most aristocratic families, cousin of Churchill and confidant of the king, owner of vast coal fields and landed estates, married to the doyenne of London's social scene, Londonderry was an ornament to his class, the 0. 1 percent of the population who still owned 30 percent of England's wealth as late as 1930. But history has not been kind to "Charley," as the king called him, because, in his own words, he "backed the wrong horse," and a very dark horse indeed: Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Londonderry was hardly the only British aristocrat to do so, but he was the only Cabinet member to do so, and it ruined him. In a final irony, his grand London house was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in the blitz. Ian Kershaw is not out to rehabilitate Lord Londonderry but to understand him and to expose why he was made a scapegoat for views that were much more widely held than anyone now likes to think. H. L. Mencken famously said that "for every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. " The conventional explanation of the coming of World War II is a simple story of the West's craven appeasement of Hitler in the face of his bullying. Through the story of how Lord Londonderry came to be mixed up with the Nazis and how it all went horribly wrong for him, Ian Kershaw shows us that behind the familiar cartoon is a much more complicated and interesting reality, full of miscalculations on both sides, miscalculations that proved to be among the most fateful in history.
The Penguin History of Europe series reaches the twentieth century with acclaimed scholar Ian Kershaw's long-anticipated analysis of the pivotal years of World War I and World War II. The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to 1949, was unprecedented in human history--an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation. This new volume in the Penguin History of Europe series offers comprehensive coverage of this tumultuous era. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I through the rise of Hitler and the aftermath of the Second World War, award-winning British historian Ian Kershaw combines his characteristic original scholarship and gripping prose as he profiles the key decision makers and the violent shocks of war as they affected the entire European continent and radically altered the course of European history. Kershaw identifies four major causes for this catastrophe: an explosion of ethnic-racist nationalism, bitter and irreconcilable demands for territorial revisionism, acute class conflict given concrete focus through the Bolshevik Revolution, and a protracted crisis of capitalism. Incisive, brilliantly written, and filled with penetrating insights, To Hell and Back offers an indispensable study of a period in European history whose effects are still being felt today. From the Hardcover edition.
This is the first edition to be published in English since 1955 and it corrects many changes made for reasons of political correctness. It also includes important sections which were excised from the original English translation. August Kubizek met Adolf Hitler in 1904 while they were both competing for standing room at the opera. Their mutual passion for music created a strong bond, and over the next four years they became close friends. Kubizek describes a reticent young man, painfully shy, yet capable of bursting into hysterical fits of anger if anyone disagreed with him. The two boys would often talk for hours on end; Hitler found Kubizek to be a very good listener, a worthy confidant to his hopes and dreams. In 1908 Kubizek moved to Vienna and shared a room with Hitler at 29 Stumpergasse. During this time, Hitler tried to get into art school, but he was unsuccessful. With his money fast running out, he found himself sinking to the lower depths of the city: an unkind world of isolation and 'constant unappeasable hunger'. Hitler moved out of the flat in November, without leaving a forwarding address; Kubizek did not meet his friend again until 1938. The Young Hitler I Knew tells the story of an extraordinary friendship, and gives fascinating insight into Hitler's character during these formative years. A must for Hitler scholars.
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