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Hitler A Study In Tyranny [Paperback]

Alan Bullock
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1991 Penguin History
This book covers the whole of Hitler's life, from his obscure beginnings through his advance to supreme absolute power and then his final decline and suicide in the bunker as Russian shells fell around him. Bullock divides the narrative into three main sections. The first deals with Hitler's early life, his rise to party leader in the years following the First World War, and his gaining of the Chancellorship in 1933. The second part describes how he consolidated his position and extended his power once he was in office. The third and final part is about his actions in the Second World War.

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About the Author

Alan Bullock, Baron Bullock, was born in 1914. He studied at Oxford University and served as a research assistant to Winston Churchill while writing his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. He was a history fellow at New College, Oxford, helped found St Catherine's College, Oxford, and was Vice-Chancellor for the university. A renowned modern historian, Bullock was made a life peer in 1976. He died in 2004.

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First Sentence
Adolf Hitler was born at half past six on the evening of 20 April 1889, in the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in the small town of Braunau on the River Inn which forms the frontier between Austria and Bavaria. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straight Forward, Comprehensive Study Oct. 4 2001
In "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny," Alan Bullock stated that, as an author, he has no axe to grind. He adhered to that statement. Bullock offered a very balanced and plausible account of Hitler's life atempting to understand the dictator not as a demon but as a human being.
Readers interested in tantalizing controversy will be disappointed with this book. Bullock chose not to assert blame for such things as the Reichstag fire. Bullock dismissed the popular claim that Hitler changed his name from Schicklgruber (man, I got tired of my teachers reiterating that bit of misinformation) and the myth that Hitler resorted to astrology in decision-making. As for Geli Raubel, Bullock finds her best to be left as "a mystery." Bullock took a conservative stance in his analysis focusing only on the known fact's about Hitler's life.
Bullock offers a thorough study of Hitler's days in Vienna before the First World War and the ways in which this experience formed his political views. Hitler is presented not as the originator of future Nazi principles but as a product of the anti-rational, anti-intellectual, and anti-Semetic ideas that had been circulating in Europe for the previous hundred years. His understanding of propaganda, oratory skills, and pratical exposure to street politics helped Hitler gain a following. Ultimately, it was Hitler's determination that prompted him to turn down enticing offers of political position by Franz von Papen and Bruening that were less than what he sought: the Chancellory. During the Second World War, Hitler's "warlord" image was transformed: "the human being disappears, absorbed into the historical figure of the Fuehrer." Bullock also pointed out that this devotion to power led eventually to Hitler's downfall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I first read this book the best part of fifty years ago.

It stands up remarkably well, even when read with a subsequent background of many books about World War II, several biographies of Hitler and other major war figures, plus smaller specialized studies.

This is not a full biography, Hitler's early years receiving fairly brief treatment. It is precisely what its subtitle says of it, a study in tyranny, and I don't believe another book offers quite the same intense exploration of the subject.

Allan Bullock writes as a genuine scholar, albeit an unusually articulate one. When Bullock is uncertain about the factors contributing to a certain event, he says so, along with giving readers a clear explanation of the alternatives. Bullock had studied the vast literature available in his time and little of substance escaped his analytical mind.

Hitler surely represents three extraordinary historical phenomena.

First, the outline of his rise is remarkable, almost unparalleled in history, rising from a tramp, would-be artist, a man with limited formal education, to become absolute leader of Europe's most important nation and then achieving a series of dazzling successes until megalomania struck, sending Europe into a ghastly spiral of horrors and destruction.

One of the few comparable rises I can think of is that of a man who shared none of Hitler's dark obsessions and hatreds: I refer to Lincoln, a man who rose from life in a dirt-floor cabin and a year and half of formal education to become a successful corporate lawyer, president of the United States, and leader of what remains America's bloodiest war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER
No study of World War II is complete without an understanding of the man most responsible for its origin and its course, Adoph Hitler. "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny" by Alan Bullock is the best source I have found on this topic thus far. This book examines its subject from his inconspicuous Austrian birth to his world changing death in the bunker in Berlin. As indicated by the subtitle, "Hitler" is truly a study, not merely a biography. It tells the story of his life and examines his beliefs, hopes and fears as well as the environments that formed them.

Growing up in the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler became a German nationalist who resented the upstart Czechs and other races who were demanding their place in the Hapsburg sun. We read of the indifferent student who lived the vagabond life of an unsuccessful artist in Vienna before becoming a Bavarian sergeant who was shot and gassed in World War I. It was out of the disillusionment with the post-war world and Germany's place in it that Hitler found a purpose and a cause to devote his life to. This Hitler the politician and author would attract collaborators who would be his liege men for life before drawing a major world power into his grasp.

On these pages the reader becomes acquainted with the Beer Hall Putsch, his involvement with political movements, his rise in those organizations and the milieu in which he worked his way to supreme power. Here we meet the magnificent politician who could outmaneuver his domestic rivals and outguess his generals in predicting the reactions of foreign leaders to his aggressive advances. In the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia Hitler knew that Britain and France would not march.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in its time now a little dated
The unabridged version was the first major work dealing with Hitler in the English speaking world. As such it was widely read for years and made compulsory for many university... Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2001 by Tom Munro
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick overview of the Nazi Era and Adolf Hitler's life
Having read several books about the Nazis, I was interested in picking this title up for a couple of reasons. First of all, in William L. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2001 by Old account of ChristianBk
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding for its time
Contemporary readers may not be as impressed with this biography as they ought to be, as it has been so influential that its conclusions have been widely adopted by subsequent... Read more
Published on July 13 2000 by Jussi Bjorling
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely dated and at times inaccurate: He's bettered this
I'll be brief here because this is more of a warning than an admonition. Alan Bullock's Hitler: A Study Of Tyranny was, at the time of its release (let's cast all the way back... Read more
Published on April 26 2000 by Jeffrey Blehar
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the Facts
This is the basic book that the "WWII" industry has standardized in the field. It provides a great deal of factual information, moving beyond esoteric analyses of... Read more
Published on June 22 1999 by carries_bulldog@usa.net
4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate depiction of Hitler
I studied this book in high school; this is a history book.
This is by no means a complete depiction of Hitler's life and generally focuses on historical events rather than... Read more
Published on Dec 11 1998 by Conrad Hoss
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent biography on Hitler by a British author.
A well researched book. I would have given it a higher mark but the anti-nazi comes out a little too strong from this author. Read more
Published on May 29 1998 by B. Magnus (tiamat88@hotmail.com)
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