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SPOTLIGHT: Best Books on Hitler

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My novel THE BEAST'S GARDEN is a retelling of the Grimm brothers' version of 'Beauty & the Beast', set in the underground German Resistance in Nazi Berlin. 

The story takes place between Kristallnacht in November 1938, and the fall of Berlin in April 1948. Hitler himself makes a cameo appearance in the novel, and is - of course - an omnipresent force of malevolence and darkness throughout the whole story. I thought I would share the books that best helped me to try to understand some of the forces that drove him. I have to say it was soul-harrowing spending so many hours staring into his soul ... 

 

HITLER - Ian Kershaw

A magisterial biography of the dictator, with a broad and all encompassing interrogation of his life, his acts, and its consequences. An absolute must-read for anyone who is interested in Adolf Hitler.


THE DARK CHARISMA OF ADOLF HITLER: Leading Millions into the Abyss  - Laurence Rees

This is a shorter and more accessible biography of Adolf Hitler, with a strong emphasis on his messianic appeal to millions of people. Utterly fascinating. 

IN THE GARDEN OF THE BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin - Erik Larson 

A brilliantly written look at the life of the American ambassador to the Third Reich, William E. Dodd, and his family in the lead-up to the Second World War.  It shows very clearly how Hitler managed to dupe the world into thinking he only wanted peace, and shows how Dodd and his family slowly became aware of the true horror of Nazism. Riveting reading (you can read my longer review here.) 

HITLER'S SECRET LIFE : The Mysteries of the Eagle's Nest - Glenn B. Infield

This is an old book - published in 1979 - and is full of prurient speculations about Hitler's sex life. His supposed affair with his niece Geli and her subsequent suicide, his obsession with cowboys, his weird personal habits, his interest in the occult, his taste for very young women are all recounted in the breathless manner of the trashiest newspapers. For example, Hitler's mistress (who never appeared in public and was never interviewed) is quoted as saying, 'Sometimes he doesn't even take his boots off, and sometimes we don't get in the bed. On the floor he is very erotic.'  HITLER'S SECRET LIFE is, nonetheless, fascinating (and sometimes revolting) reading. 

1938: Hitler's Gamble - Giles MacDonogh

An intense, month-by-month examination of the crucial year of 1938, when the Fuhrer at last showed his hand. 

INSIDE NAZI GERMANY - a History Channel collection of documentaries on Hitler. Includes:

The Rise of the Third Reich

The Fall of the Third Reich

Hitler & the Occult

The Private Voice of Hitler

Hitler & Stalin: Roots of War

Hunting Hitler

Elite German Forces of WWII 

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT - I LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

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