Hitler Downfall, 1939-1945

Volker Ullrich, 1943-

Book - 2020

"From the author of Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939--a riveting account of the dictator's final years, when he got the war he wanted but his leadership led to catastrophe for his nation, the world, and himself."--

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BIOGRAPHY/Hitler, Adolf
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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2020.
Edition
First American edition
Language
English
German
Item Description
"This is a Borzoi book."
Physical Description
ix, 838 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781101874004
1101874007
9781101872062
1101872063
Main Author
Volker Ullrich, 1943- (author)
Other Authors
Jefferson S. Chase (translator)
  • Unleashing the War
  • Poland 1939-40: Prelude to a War of annihilation
  • Decision in the West?
  • Strategic stalemate
  • Operation Barbarossa
  • The War Turns, 1941-1942
  • The road to the Holocaust
  • Stalingrad and the battle for oil
  • Total War and ethnic-Popular Community
  • On the defensive
  • Operations Overlord and Bagration
  • The Berghof during the War
  • The Stauffenberg assassination attempt and its aftermath
  • Final rally
  • Decline of a dictator
  • Staged exit
  • The final days in the bunker
  • Hitler's Place in History.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

German critic/historian Ullrich follows up his New York Times best-selling, Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning Hitler: Ascent, 1889–1939 with a wrap-up volume to this major biography of Adolf Hitler. Here he focuses on Hitler's conduct of the war, highlighting der Führer's supreme insecurity, micromanaging tendencies, blind risk taking, never-take-the-blame attitude, and, in the end, desire to punish the German people for letting him down. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Journalist Ullrich offers a magisterial but unoriginal sequel to Hitler: Ascent, 1889–1939. With the first volume, Ullrich depicted Adolf Hitler's 50-year rise to power; here, he traces the dictator's apex and downfall during World War II. Elegantly translated by Chase (Inciting Laughter), this biography steers a course between the structuralist view of historian Ian Kershaw, who sought to explain Hitler through historical and social context, and the great-man school of history represented by Joachim Fest, who emphasized Hitler's "singular personality." According to Ullrich, "only the reciprocal influence of individual and collective sensitivities and neuroses can explain Hitler's otherwise baffling rise." Ullrich contends that Hitler radicalized his social inheritance of resentment, hawkishness, and the German political right's fear of Jews and Bolsheviks. He enacted the German nation's social pathologies to their utmost. Thus, Hitler was "both a continuity in German history and a fundamental caesura." None of these insights are original, but they are lucidly formulated for a new generation of readers and scholars. VERDICT A cogent retread of old ground, much of this densely detailed volume is about World War II and not Hitler personally; readers expecting a psychological deep dive should look elsewhere.—Michael Rodriguez, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From the author of Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939--a riveting account of the dictator's final years, when he got the war he wanted but his leadership led to catastrophe for his nation, the world, and himself."--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From the author of Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 comes an account of the dictator’s final years, when he got the war he wanted but his leadership led to catastrophe for his nation, the world and himself. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From the author of Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939—a riveting account of the dictator's final years, when he got the war he wanted but his leadership led to catastrophe for his nation, the world, and himself. In the summer of 1939 Hitler was at the zenith of his power. The Nazis had consolidated political control in Germany and a series of foreign-policy coups had restored Germany to the status of a major world power. He now embarked on realizing his lifelong ambition: to provide the German people with the resources they needed to flourish and to exterminate those who stood in the way. Yet despite a series of stunning initial triumphs, Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union in 1941 turned the tide for good.Now, Volker Ullrich offers fascinating new insight into Hitler's character and personality, vividly portraying the insecurity, obsession with minutiae, and narcissistic penchant for gambling that led Hitler to overrule his subordinates and then blame them for his failures; and, ultimately, when he realized the war was not winnable, to embark on the annihilation of Germany itself in order to punish the people who he believed had failed to hand him victory. This is a masterful account of a spectacular downfall, and an essential addition to our understanding of Hitler and the Second World War.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A riveting account of the dictator’s final years, when he got the war he wanted but led his nation, the world, and himself to catastrophe—from the author of Hitler: Ascent“Skillfully conceived and utterly engrossing.” —The New York Times Book ReviewIn the summer of 1939, Hitler was at the zenith of his power. Having consolidated political control in Germany, he was at the helm of a newly restored major world power, and now perfectly positioned to realize his lifelong ambition: to help the German people flourish and to exterminate those who stood in the way. Beginning a war allowed Hitler to take his ideological obsessions to unthinkable extremes, including the mass genocide of millions, which was conducted not only with the aid of the SS, but with the full knowledge of German leadership. Yet despite a series of stunning initial triumphs, Hitler’s fateful decision to invade the Soviet Union in 1941 turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. Now, Volker Ullrich, author of Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939, offers fascinating new insight into Hitler’s character and personality. He vividly portrays the insecurity, obsession with minutiae, and narcissistic penchant for gambling that led Hitler to overrule his subordinates and then blame them for his failures. When he ultimately realized the war was not winnable, Hitler embarked on the annihilation of Germany itself in order to punish the people who he believed had failed to hand him victory. A masterful and riveting account of a spectacular downfall, Ullrich’s rendering of Hitler’s final years is an essential addition to our understanding of the dictator and the course of the Second World War.