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“The best single volume available on the torturous life and savage reign of Adolf Hitler.” —Time

A bestseller in its original German edition and subsequently translated into more than a dozen languages, Joachim Fest’s Hitler has become a classic portrait of a man, a nation, and an era.

Fest tells and interprets the extraordinary story of a man’s and nation’s rise from impotence to absolute power, as Germany and Hitler, from shared premises, entered into their covenant. He shows Hitler exploiting the resentments of the shaken, post–World War I social order and seeing through all that was hollow behind the appearance of power, at home and abroad. Fest reveals the singularly penetrating politician, hypnotizing Germans and outsiders alike with the scope of his projects and the theatricality of their presentation. Perhaps most importantly, he also brilliantly uncovers the destructive personality that aimed for and achieved devastation on an unprecedented scale.

As history and biography, this is a towering achievement, a compelling story told in a way only a German could tell it: “dispassionately, but from the inside” (Time).
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About the author

Joachim Fest is a highly acclaimed historian and journalist, and the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including The Face of the Third Reich, Plotting Hitler’s Death, and Speer. Fest worked closely with Albert Speer as the editor of Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. He lives near Frankfurt.
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Published on
Feb 1, 2013
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Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / Europe / Germany
History / Military / World War II
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At the end of the nineteenth century the United States swiftly occupied a string of small islands dotting the Caribbean and Western Pacific, from Puerto Rico and Cuba to Hawaii and the Philippines. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State reveals how this experiment in direct territorial rule subtly but profoundly shaped U.S. policy and practice—both abroad and, crucially, at home. Edited by Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, the essays in this volume show how the challenge of ruling such far-flung territories strained the U.S. state to its limits, creating both the need and the opportunity for bold social experiments not yet possible within the United States itself. Plunging Washington’s rudimentary bureaucracy into the white heat of nationalist revolution and imperial rivalry, colonialism was a crucible of change in American statecraft. From an expansion of the federal government to the creation of agile public-private networks for more effective global governance, U.S. empire produced far-reaching innovations.
Moving well beyond theory, this volume takes the next step, adding a fine-grained, empirical texture to the study of U.S. imperialism by analyzing its specific consequences. Across a broad range of institutions—policing and prisons, education, race relations, public health, law, the military, and environmental management—this formative experience left a lasting institutional imprint. With each essay distilling years, sometimes decades, of scholarship into a concise argument, Colonial Crucible reveals the roots of a legacy evident, most recently, in Washington’s misadventures in the Middle East.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE TELEGRAPH • From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.

In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels’s lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.

This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’s ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media—film, radio, press, and the fine arts—Longerich’s Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of “total war,” and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels’s twisted personal life—his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.

A harrowing look at the life of one of history’s greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.

Praise for Goebbels

“Peter Longerich . . . has delved into rarely accessed material from his subject’s diaries, which span thirty years, to paint a remarkable portrait of the man who became one of Hitler’s most trusted lieutenants.”—The Daily Telegraph

Praise for Heinrich Himmler

“There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich’s massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw’s Hitler, Ulrich Herbert’s Best and Robert Gerwarth’s Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situate Himmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality.”—London Review of Books

“[An] excellent and comprehensive biography.”—The New York Review of Books

From the Hardcover edition.
Ένα βιβλίο-σταθμός, η συγκλονιστική μαρτυρία του δημοσιογράφου και ιστορικού Joachim Fest (Γιόαχιμ Φεστ) για το πώς πέρασε την παιδική του ηλικία στη ναζιστική Γερμανία ως γιος ενός αρνητή του ναζισμού. Το χρονικό της ζωής μιας οικογένειας που δεν συνεργάστηκε με το ναζιστικό καθεστώς, που μάτωσε για να διαφυλάξει τις αρχές και τις αξίες της, συγκρουόμενη με τον κομφορμισμό και τη βαρβαρότητα.
Ο μικρός Γιόαχιμ θυμάται ότι ο πατέρας του το 1933, λίγο μετά την άνοδο του Χίτλερ στην εξουσία, όχι μόνο έχασε τη δουλειά του ως πολέμιος του καθεστώτος, αλλά του απαγορεύτηκε εν γένει η οποιαδήποτε εργασία. Από τότε η οικογένεια Φεστ άρχισε να αντιμετωπίζει σοβαρά προβλήματα, τα γεύματα έγιναν πολύ λιτά, τα ρούχα άρχισαν να μπαλώνονται, οι φίλοι αραίωσαν τις επισκέψεις τους και στο σχολείο αυτός και τα αδέρφια του ήταν δακτυλοδεικτούμενοι – ο ίδιος ο Γιόαχιμ αποβλήθηκε καθώς χάρασσε καρικατούρες του Χίτλερ στο θρανίο του.
Όταν κάποια στιγμή η μητέρα του Γιόαχιμ έσπασε και ζήτησε από τον άντρα της να αλλάξει γνώμη και να γραφτεί στο Εθνικοσοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα, γιατί η αναλήθεια ήταν ανέκαθεν το όπλο του απλού κόσμου απέναντι στους ισχυρούς, εκείνος της απάντησε: «Εμείς δεν είμαστε ο απλός κόσμος. Όχι σε τέτοια ζητήματα!».
Μια αυτοβιογραφική αφήγηση, γραμμένη στον ρυθμό μιας μελαγχολικής μουσικής δωματίου, που αποτυπώνει μια εποχή και αναδεικνύει το πορτρέτο ενός ανθρώπου που η ηθική του ακεραιότητα αφυπνίζει και εμπνέει.
Una de las autobiografías morales más importantes de la historia alemana del siglo XX, y entre los mejores libros que se han escrito sobre el nazismo.

Nadie se ha esforzado tanto como Joachim Fest por comprender los rasgos y mecanismos del nazismo. Su ponderado análisis del Tercer Reich, sus biografías de Adolf Hitler y de Albert Speer, así como la magistral descripción de los últimos días vividos en el búnker de Hitler que hace en El hundimiento, cuentan con millones de lectores en todo el mundo. Pero ¿cómo vivió él mismo, nacido en 1926, el nazismo, la guerra y la derrota de Alemania?

Para Joachim Fest -que falleció poco después de terminar este libro-, la profunda tragedia alemana fue la incapacidad de las élites culturales de hacer frente al nazismo. Atípico y conmovedor, este libro recoge la resistencia al régimen nazi de una familia católica alemana desde la profunda convicción moral de su padre, que asumió la pérdida de privilegios y la precariedad por resistirse a las presiones de unirse al partido nazi y a las estructuras del régimen.

En estas memorias de sus años de infancia y juventud, Joachim Fest nos ofrece por primera vez una visión íntima de sus vivencias más directas durante esos años oscuros. La temprana prohibición de ejercer la enseñanza que sufrió su padre, su propia expulsión del colegio, su iniciación en el mundo de la ópera berlinesa, sus lecturas durante el servicio militar, o su intento de fuga de un campo de prisioneros americano, son algunos de los episodios protagonizados y narrados en primera persona por un observador nato. Pero sobre todo Fest revela cómo, a pesar de las dificultades, era posible enfrentarse al agobiante acoso ideológico del régimen desde la humildad, la firmeza de principios, la cohesión familiar y la dignidad.

«En este espléndido libro se acredita la existencia de una porción de alemanes que intentaron resistir defendiendo la libertad y que sufrieron las consecuencias de la guerra.»
Rogelio López Blanco, El Cultural

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