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1. Alexander Hamilton
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2. Ben Hogan : An American Life
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3. Inside Hitler's Bunker : The Last
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4. The Hoax
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5. The Hogan Mystique
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6. Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third
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7. Adolf Hitler : The Definitive
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8. Until the Final Hour : Hitler's
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10. Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos
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13. Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos
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14. Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris
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20. Stauffenberg : A Family History,

1. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200092
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 45
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Building on biographies by Richard Brookhiser and Willard Sterne Randall, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton provides what may be the most comprehensive modern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start, Chernow argues that Hamilton’s premature death at age 49 left his record to be reinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. Hamilton’s achievements as first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death by strident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernow delves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles that make up Hamilton’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, a romantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity.

One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of Hamilton’s excellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chernow’s account of the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes Hamilton’s final hours as pious, while Burr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the news of Hamilton’s passing.

A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent of slavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow argues that in contrast to Jefferson and Washington’s now outmoded agrarian idealism, Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebear of modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did." With Alexander Hamilton, this impact can now be more widely appreciated. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of American History's Shining Stars
There have NOT been enough biographies of Alexander Hamilton, and Ron Chernow has restored this often maligned founding father into his deserved spotlight. The marvelous opening passage describes the longings of Hamilton's widow, Elizabeth, for her husband who had died nearly 50 years previously. This romantic image sets the tone for this brilliant book, as it explores the heart as well as the mind of Alexander Hamilton.

For those who do not know, Hamilton was not merely a capitalist and economist who happened to die in a duel with Aaron Burr. True, he was the founder of The Bank of New York and was America's first Secretary of the Treasury. But Hamilton was also a tireless abolitionist, a brilliant lawyer and writer, General Washington's right-hand-man, a war hero, founder of the New York Post, and a swash-buckling romantic. Taken on their own, these achievements are amazing enough, but given the enormous obstacles and tragedies he had to overcome during his youth, it's just mindboggling. To take it a step further, he accomplished all this in just 49 years, which was his age at the time of his death.

A life as full, as dramatic, as IMPORTANT as Alexander Hamilton's deserves volumes. Ron Chernow's extensive biography is a long book but, even so, the amazing life he is describing requires such length. And, to Chernow's credit, the book achieves just the right balance of admiration and criticism, romanticism and realism, speculation and fact. Hamilton's life swung between often contradictory ideas and emotions, and Chernow presents them all to us, rather than sticking with one overriding image. ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow is perhaps the most important book written about the nascent years of our country since Ellis' FOUNDING BROTHERS, which would make an excellent companion to this book. I would also strongly recommend McCullough's JOHN ADAMS, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Important American Figure Never to Become President
During the 1980s, during the period when Bank of New York launched its hostile take-over of Irving Bank, the following anecdote circulated.

As Alexander Hamilton was getting into the boat to be rowed across the Hudson River to Weehawken where he was scheduled to duel Aaron Burr, he turned to his aide and said, "Don't do anything until I return."

The story concluded, unfortunately, the aide and all of his successors took Hamilton at his word.

The anecdote, though funny at the time of the take-over, could not have a weaker historical foundation. Ron Chernow's biography relates the details of an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan who rose to become George Washington's key aide-de-camp, battlefield hero, Constitutional Convention delegate, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Federalist Party head and the country's first Treasury Secretary.

Hamilton was a rare revolutionary: fearless warrior, master administrator and blazing administrator. No other moment in American history could have better employed Hamilton's abundant talents and energy.

As Treasury Secretary, the country benefited from his abilities as a thinker, doer, skilled executive and political theorist. He was a system builder who devised and implemented interrelated policies.

As in the Revolution, Hamilton and Washington complemented each other. Washington wanted to remain above the partisan fray. He was gifted with superb judgment. When presented with options, he almost always made the correct choice. His detached style left room for assertiveness. Especially in financial matters, Hamilton stepped into the breach.
Washington was sensitive to criticism, yet learned to control his emotions. Hamilton, on the other hand, was often acted without tact and was naturally provocative.

Perhaps the main reason Hamilton accomplished so much was Washington agreed with his vision of 13 colonies welded into a single, respected nation. Chernow presents a well-written and nuanced portrait that arguably is the most important figure in American history that never attained the presidency. Though his foreign birth denied him the ultimate prize, his accomplishments produced a far more lasting impact than many who claimed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars True Founding Interests
The best all around depiction of a pivotal charecter in the founding of our country. With all of Mr Hamiltons accomplishments and pitfalls of character. Hamilton created almost single-handedly the modern capitalist society in addition to making huge implications into the manner which our government took shape that so many Americans take for granted. I would encourage anyone interested in the formation of the American experiment and a capitalist society read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Life
After Ronald Reagan died, I recall a TV commentator saying that there was a movement to replace Hamilton with Reagan on the $10 bill. Paraphrasing, "Hamilton was an easy target because he lacks a 'constituency'". Chernow's outstanding biography not only demonstrates why Hamilton is on the bill, but that his constituency should be all Americans. Of the "Founding Fathers", it is Hamilton who, if he could come back today, would be generally pleased at the United States he would find; his vision of capitalism, free markets and a central government has come to fruition.

The book details his youth growing up in the West Indies of questionable legitimacy, emigrating to the "Colonies", receiving an education, serving on Washington's staff in the Revolutionary War, his authorship of the Federalist Papers, his role in the Constitutional Convention, first Secretary of the Treasury, prolific writer, lawyer. His was a truly a phenomenal life. Chernow remarks that "No immigrant did more for the United States than Hamilton." After completing this book you can't help but "second" that statement.

The book paints vivid portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Burr as well as the political climate. The role of his family and particularly his wife are well chronicled along with his faults. This book adds to the number of outstanding biographies that are being written about this period of our history. Back to Reagan, who quoted Hamilton on numerous occasions, I think if he had a say in who should be on the Ten, he like me would vote for Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This is the best biography I have read in years. After the wonderful biographies out recently about Franklin and Adams, it was a thrill to learn about Alexander Hamilton, who has been so maligned and sidestepped by history. Buy this book. It is beautifully written, will hold your interest, and you will come away--as I did--with a new take on the founding of this country. ... Read more


2. Ben Hogan : An American Life
by JAMES DODSON
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385503121
Catlog: Book (2004-05-11)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 4612
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Biography of a Complex Champion
Kudos to James Dodson, who enthralls readers with his account of the life of golfing legend Ben Hogan. From the suicide of Hogan's father, his newspaper hawking at crowded train stations to help his family make ends meet, and his dogged pursuit of caddying opportunities and, ultimately, his single-minded quest for success in the world of professional golf, Dodson portrays a great champion that was full of contradictions. Hogan craved solitude, yet occasionally basked in the adulation of his many fans. He could be short and rude with reporters, yet gracious and generous with so many others outside of the glare of cameras or the pens of reporters. Hogan suffered some epic tournament collapses as he struggled to master his game, yet he became one of the greatest fourth-round players in PGA history. Along the way, he fashioned one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, emerging from a potentially fatal and debilitating automobile accident to enjoy his greatest victories in tournament golf.

Dodson uses his unprecedented access to primary source materials and correspondance from Hogan's life to masterfully tell the complicated tale of this amazing champion. This book is a "must read" for any fan of golf, or anyone who cherishes stories of human triumph in the face of incredible adversity.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Hogan
I am so grateful for this book. A previous, unauthorized biography based much on the author's conjecture, painted a less than flattering picture of arguably golf's greatest hero, the only man to win five U.S. Opens, and nearly several more. This authorized biography, resplendent with stories and comments from family, friends, fellow golfers, employees, etc., reveals the real man the public seldom saw and the reasons why. It rivals the best of Horatio Alger's rags to riches stories and it is true.

The rich description of life on the Tour before the days of television was particullarly interesting, telling the story of how the Tour was really built by the likes of Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Demaret, and the other champions of their era. Their efforts and perseverance created the wave that latter day stars rode to unbelievable popularity via the benefit of TV.

Congratulations and thanks to Dodson for a wonderful work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth 10 stars
Finally a book that lets you see the golfer and the man more clearly than ever before. This is simply a great read about a complex and driven individual. Having been a Hogan "nut" for many years, this book is a close as we will ever get to him. It is also extremely well-written and I hated for the story to end. Not just for golf fanatics, this is a biography about an American who lived the dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Specatular Biography
I have read other Biographies on Ben Hogan but none are even in the same league. A subject with this much substance needed a more detailed view and this book delivers in a big way. I would rank this in-depth look into what some believe to be the best golfer ever to be one of the best stories ever told. With apologies to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, I now believe that Ben Hogan is the best golfer of all time...read the book, see what he went through, and decide for yourself.
Hogan was (and remains) one of the most enigmatic sports figures ever but the reader should come away with a different opinion of the man after reading the book. The level of detail is fabulous but the book is easily readable. I enjoyed this book more than I have enjoyed reading anything in years. I would never usually consider reading a book twice but this will probably change with this one. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are a golf fan but I know that any fan of golf will devour the book. This is a great American story...the epitome of what one can accomplish with an exhaustive work ethic and incredible perserverance...Hogan literally built an incredible career, became a permanent American icon, and ruled his sport like nobody had ever done...from scratch, out of the dirt. There are some great lessons in this book about the price to be paid to make it big. Read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Biography That Anyone Can Savor
During the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Oklahoma, sportswriter Dave Anderson asked golfer Tommy Bolt to compare the careers of Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan, two golfers who dominated previous decades of professional golf. Bolt's response was immediate. "Well," he drawled, "I've seen Nicklaus watch Hogan practice. I've never seen Hogan watch Nicklaus practice. Thus is the mystique of golfing legend Ben Hogan. He was the golfer's golfer, the man who other golfers sought to emulate. To capture the essence of a great man's life is a difficult task. BEN HOGAN: An American Life by James Dodson accomplishes that task in superb fashion. The biography is a homage to a man who overcame incredible obstacles to become the greatest golfer of his generation. It captures the essence and spirit of the sphinx-like man known to many as the Garbo of golf. Like all great biographies it builds on the life of its subject by allowing the reader to live in the Hogan era; to experience his accomplishments and share the disappointments of his life.

Those with even the slightest knowledge of golf history are familiar with the defining event in the life of Ben Hogan. In 1949, after having achieved stardom on the professional golf circuit, Hogan was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus on a foggy two-lane Texas highway. Doctors feared for Hogan's life and doubted that he would ever walk again if he survived. Hogan not only recovered, but in 1950 he won the U.S. Open at Merion, a grueling physical feat that required Hogan to walk and play 36 holes of golf on the final Saturday of the tournament. Hogan's triumphant comeback was a story that Hollywood producers would reject as one that audiences would never believe.

Hogan's physical recovery in 1950 was not the first time that he overcame travail to achieve success in the golfing world. Dobson recounts several events that affected the bantam Texas golfer as he sought to achieve his goal of professional achievement and acceptance. As a young boy Hogan suffered a dark and terrifying event when his father committed suicide before his eyes. In today's Oprah confession society, Hogan would probably share such an event with a national audience. But in the post-depression era Hogan stoically kept the details of the incident to himself. Even his wife Valerie was unaware of the true facts concerning the death of Hogan's father until they had been married for many years.

Hogan was also required to overcome professional doubt as he attempted to succeed on the fledgling professional golf tour. It was not until his third attempt that he began to win with any regularity. Even though he won many tournaments, the goal of a victory in a major championship still eluded him. Three times he came to the final hole of a major event needing only to make a birdie putt for victory. Each time, he three-putted the final green to snatch defeat from potential victory. Through it all, the grim but dogged Hogan silently plodded onward, determined to become the greatest golfer in America. That he finally reached his goal was a tribute to his unremitting work ethic and self-reliance.

Any great biography is more than a story of one person's life. It must also be the story of those who touched the subject's life and the times in which the subject lived. BEN HOGAN: An American Life has all of these elements, and more. It is the story of Hogan and his wife Valerie, a woman as determined as her husband and perhaps equally as shy. She would travel with her husband to each tournament but could not bear to watch him on the course. She was with him in his car on the day of the accident, and his movement to shield her from the collision probably saved his life. She was his life partner who shared in his success.

James Dodson has also captured the essence of the early era of professional golf. The legends of golf in the 1930s and '40s all appear. Sam Snead and Byron Nelson who, in the public's eye, were everything Hogan was not, are an integral part of the story. Hogan's major championship victories, from the Masters to the British Open at Carnoustie, are recounted in detail. The reader is with Hogan for every critical shot and, like bantam Ben, probably reaches for a cigarette at a tense moment.

There is so much more of the life of Ben Hogan to experience in this extraordinary biography. Hogan was a unique and enigmatic man. Dodson has captured the true Hogan in this epic work. BEN HOGAN: An American Life is a book that golfers and non-golfers can savor. It is a must addition to any golfer's library and an inspirational saga of an American icon.

--- Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman ... Read more


3. Inside Hitler's Bunker : The Last Days of the Third Reich
by Joachim Fest
list price: $21.00
our price: $14.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374135770
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 24924
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There is nothing in recent history that comes close to the cataclysmic events of the spring of 1945.Never before has the defeat of a nation been accompanied by such monumental loss of life, such utter destruction.Author Joachim Fest shows that the devastation was the result ofHitler's determination to take the entire country down with him; he would make sure that his enemies would find only a wasteland, where once there was a thriving civilization.

Fest describes in riveting detail the final weeks of the war, from the desperate battles that raged night and day in the ruins of Berlin, fought by boys and old men, to the growing paranoia that marked Hitler's mental state--his utter disregard for the well being of both soldiers and civilians-- to his suicide and the efforts of his loyal aides to destroy his body before the advancing Russian armies reached Berlin. Inside Hitler's Bunker combines meticulous research with spellbinding storytelling andsheds light on events that, for those who survived them, were nothing less than the end of the world.
... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars The last days of a fallen empire....
Fest, who is the author of one of the most authoritative biographies on Hitler, focuses on the final few days of the Third Reich in his new book. This is a really riveting book, and once you get past the first 15 or so pages, you won't want to put it down. Fest does a great job at describing the general disorganization and confusion of those final days, and showing just have bad Berlin had been destroyed by the Russian and American assault upon it. I think Fest does raise some good questions about Hitler and his importance in history. Also, the speculation that Hitler's aims and goals for the Third Reich were not for the betterment of civilization, but for the eventual destruction and enslavement of it, is an apt assessment. Also, Dembo's translation is much better than the translators for some of Fest's other works, and I think this also had a lot to do with why the book was so good. The reson why I gave it only 4 stars as opposed to 5 is that it does seem a little sketchy at times in its treatment of the Bunker, but then again, much is speculation anyway. Another reason for the 4 stars is that Fest really gives no dramatically new information here, but he makes other excellent observations and such that you just can't stop reading. A good companion to this tome would be UNTIL THE FINAL HOUR by Traudl Junge, Hitler's last secretary in the Bunker, so that one can get a historical, as well as personal, perspective on the events surrounding the fall of the Third Reich.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dark Ending to a Dark Time
Joachim Fest is a distinguished German journalist and the author of an acclaimed biography of Hitler. In "Inside Hitler's Bunker," he focuses on the last days of the Third Reich, beginning his narrative on April 16, 1945 as the Soviets open their final offensive against Berlin. The book explores the surreal and miserable world of the "Fuhrer Bunker" under the Reich Chancellery, the fanatical resistance and eventual collapse of the German armies defending Berlin, Hitler's delusional attempts to command armies that had been wiped out, and the astonishing willingness of soldiers and civilians to obey his orders until the very end.

This is a highly readable and very powerful book, and the translator (Margot Bettauer Dembo) deserves high marks for the result. I read the book avidly, and as soon as I was done my wife picked it up and did the same.

"Inside Hitler's Bunker" may be somewhat disappointing for those who have read a great deal about the Battle of Berlin or Hitler's last days (the book does not appear to break a great deal of new ground), but it will prove to be a gripping narrative for those who are new to the horrors of Berlin in 1945. Part of the continuing fascination of this dark time is the challenge of trying to understand the incomprehensible: how could a madman like Hitler stay in control of Germany in the last weeks of April 1945, and why did so many Germans follow him as he dragged them into the final catastrophe?

The answer to those questions may lie in the 12 years of indoctrination that preceded those fateful days in 1945. For a brief and readable perspective on this period (which has been thoroughly explored in numerous more massive tomes), you may want to try "Inside Hitler's Germany: Life Under the Third Reich" by Matthew Hughes and Chris Mann.

4-0 out of 5 stars No Footnotes? Say What?
Personally, I'm not a big fan of having a tremendous amount of footnotes in a book. Then again, any book of history that doesn't contain any is immediately suspect. Generally speaking, "historians" who don't use footnotes are either: 1) Elderly; 2) Egotists; 3) Lazy; or 4) Glorified journalists.

Here's Joachim Fest's reason for not using footnotes in his book "Inside Hitler's Bunker":

"This volume contains no footnotes. Every citation or incident mentioned can be traced to a source, however. I decided not to use footnote references because of the hopeless confusion in the statements and testimony of the witnesses, much of which can no longer be cleared up. Too often a reference would have to be compared with one or more differing statements or descriptions."

In other words, this book is historical fiction. It's still worth reading, but then again, lazy, unaccountable scholarship should not be tolerated, especially for a subject as important as this one. Was Fest hoping that, because he wrote an acclaimed biography of Hitler, that he was therefore an "expert" and could get away with this sort of thing?

Sure, I'm not blind to the fact that there are so many contradictory accounts concerning Hitler, that the logistics of unravelling the truth about his reign are formidable. Then again, that is what HISTORIANS do. Surely at least a FLAVOR of the problems in writing this sort of book might have been attempted to be conveyed in a few judicious notes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting But...
Fest has written a very good account of Hitler's and the Reich's last days. However, there is a glaring error or at the very least, an ambiguity that I have not heard others mention in their reviews.

Page 111 states that Hitler had his last meal at 2 P.M. on April 30, 1945, the historically accepted day of his suicide. However page 115 mentions that "...some witnesses say they heard one shot at about 3:30 in the morning." That would make it May 1, 1945. Page 123 then goes on to say that Hitler died on the afternoon of April 30, 1945.

Additionally, page 116 says that Hitler died on a '"...flowered sofa." while the sofa may have had flowers in the pattern, the primary motif was a Russian Cossaack on horseback with sword drawn.

Joachim includes interesting details that some accounts fail to mention. He accurately records that Hiter was shot with a 7.65-mm Walther pistol (not a revolver). He also mentions that Eva Hitler was found with a pistol that was unfired. He excludes the fact that the smaller gun was in fact also Hitler's, the one he carried since the 20's in a holster built into his pants.

This book is an excellent addition to others about Hitler's last days in the bunker, but not the best work on the subject .

4-0 out of 5 stars A FITTING END
As World War II was coming to an end and the Russian armies were marching towards Berlin, Hitler and some of his most die-hard supporters hid themselves in a secret bunker deep underground. This excellent book lays out the events that were happening inside the bunker and also in the streets outside as the dream of a maniac was coming to an end.

As you read you see a Hitler who still has dreams of the Americans and Russians turning against each other and Hitler coming in as the cavalry to aid the US. The bunker was a fertile playground for pipedreams of still being able to win the war even as the cement was falling from the ceilings as bombs struck overhead. It made me think of the Iraqi press officer in the recent war as Americans were invading the country saying that all the Americans had been kicked out and defeated.

The portrait of Hitler that emerges is the mentality of a gang leader. He wasn't a visionary. He wanted to kill, loot, and pillage. The world was nothing more than a theater of death to him. He refused to almost the end to surrender, instead bringing needless destruction and death to his people. It seemed that he resented the German people in a way simply because they were gullible enough to do everything he said. My god, where was a voice of reason in the Germany of that era? To me, it seems as though it was a terrorist state.

Another disturbing aspect of it was the devotion of his followers and the idealism of the Nazi way of life. For example, Magda Goebbels, on realizing the end of the war, became so depressed that she killed all her children and then committed suicide along with her husband. These people really thought they were mideval knights, holding up some code of chivalry and social codes while they were killing millions of Jews, Russians, and Americans. It almost felt good to read about the end of this horrible state and the absurdity as the people around Hitler struggled amongst themselves to be his successor like there was a future for the Nazi party. ... Read more


4. The Hoax
by Clifford Irving
list price: $22.00
our price: $22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0932966144
Catlog: Book (1981-06-01)
Publisher: Permanent Press (NY)
Sales Rank: 151264
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The ultimate caper story, novelist Clifford Irving's no-holds-barred account of the literary hoax of our time--his "autobiography" of Howard Hughes--was published in Great Britain in 1997, where it became a bestseller.But no American hardcover house would touch THE HOAX until now. One major publisher offered a $500,000 advance when the book was nearing completion, drew up the contract?then abruptly bowed out.Why?The answer is implicit in this classic tale of daring, treachery, and corruption. As fast-paced and exciting as any spy novel, it involves the reader at every devilish twist and turn. In this first U.S. hardcover edition, Clifford Irving tells how the hoax developed, like a Chinese puzzle, from its madcap beginning to the final startling confession--a witty and nail-biting story of international intrigue and beautiful women, of powerful corporate executives and jet-set rogues, of cover-ups and headlines. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth is more Complex than Falsity
This book has the ring of truth to it, and that is unmistakeable. It's the story of a writer who hoodwinked the world by writing the hoax autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes, and paid the price by going to prison. It reads like a novel, in the sense that it's thrilling, and you understand Clifford Irving to the bone. It's well-paced, filled with memorable characters and incidents, and if there were ever a book to nail down the sin of greed in both individuals and corporations, this is it. I loved it.

2-0 out of 5 stars At Least This One was (Maybe) Honest
This is a good read, a good read about a master forger and a man who refuses to repent. A sociopath in action. Mr Irving claims this book is honest, the truth, but since he is writing about a giant lie, it's hard to believe this is as honest as he would have us believe. If you are are interested in the mind of a sick man, then this book is for you. ... Read more


5. The Hogan Mystique
by Martin Davis, Jules Alexander, Dave Anderson, Ben Crenshaw, Dan Jenkins, Ken Venturi
list price: $60.00
our price: $60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 188014185X
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: American Golfer
Sales Rank: 463664
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No one executed a shot with more force or authority than Ben Hogan," begins Ben Crenshaw's vivid recollection. Hogan won all of golf's major tournaments--the Masters, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and a record five U.S. Opens--and his golf swing became the model for generations of golf aficionados.

The unmatched scenes in this rare, elegant archive portray every aspect of Hogan's game, from his signature white linen cap to his Maxwell shoes from England (custom-made with an extra spike), along with thrilling close-ups of some of Hogan's most memorable shots. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Be sure to understand what you are getting
Whether you find this book worth the money will depend on whether you think Ben Hogan was the God of Golf (or at least one member of the Trinity). It is a large-format book, and the quality of the photographs (all black-and white) is excellent. I believe they were all taken on the same day, when Hogan allowed Jules Alexander to accompany him. They pretty much just show Hogan at work on the course, and they do capture who he was. The accompanying comments and essays are interesting, but the photographs are the stars of the book. Just make sure you realize that you are getting a series of photographs taken on one day -- this isn't a retrospective of Hogan's career, and there are no swing sequences or anything like that. If you are a Hogan worshipper, however, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have work for the Hogan fan
This book is appropriately titled. The photos are truly classic and do a wonderful job of portraying the on-course Hogan, particularly his steely focus and gorgeous swing. The accompanying text is solid. I most enjoyed Ken Venturi's comments which accompanied the photos, as well as Dan Jenkin's recounting of the man behind the mystique. I was somewhat disappointed that the photos are all from the late 50s, mostly from the same tournament. Yet, this is only a minor issue. Every true Hogan fan should add this work to his or her collection. ... Read more


6. Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich
by David Irving, Walter Frentz
list price: $90.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1872197132
Catlog: Book (1997-12-09)
Publisher: Focal Point Publications
Sales Rank: 785051
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars New insights into the Nazi hierarchy
In his biography of Joseph Goebbels David Irving has provided some masterful and provocative insights into the inner workings of the Nazi hierarchy. However, the book is sometimes confusingly organized and Irving's use of the present tense when describing past events can be irritating and seem a bit amaturish in so seasoned a writer.

With these caveats in mind, this is still an important book and necessary reading for any student of World War II. Mr. Irving is neither a Holocaust denier nor a proponent of the Nazis or their ideology; he simply has a different point of view. It's amazing how vociferous and censorious the academic history establishment can become when their 'established' truths are challenged; and in this book, Mr. Irving has done just that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Look At European Turmoil Around WWII
This is fascinating treatise! It is the first book by David Irving I have read, but there will certainly be others. Although the dust jacket pays the obligatory homage to Goebbels' "evil genius" and the "holocaust," the book itself is a highly refreshing and readable account. Irving is the first to actually use Goebbels' personal diaries, and what emerges is a picture of a quite understandable, albeit rather sad individual. Of far more interest to me personally, is the study of others in the Third Reich such as Hitler, Strasser, Streicher, and others as seen THROUGH GOEBBELS' EYES! Irving is a true objective historian who writes a well-researched and documented book without feeling he must dish up the sort of pap usually provided by the dominant media to those interested in this period of history in Europe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Europe's Machiavelli
It's amusing in the extreme to see so many people froth at the mouth over David Irving. If he is "so discredited," why is he thrown such a fit about? The fact of the matter is that history should never be written about until fifty years after the occurences in question.

Remember, Watergate was first derided as lunatic conspiracy theory, and one that eventually toppled Richard M. Nixon...

Here, Irving neither "apologizes" for Nazi Germany or its architects, nor does he simply goose-step in unison with the current gospel according to the cereal box. What he has done was to obtain 1,200 plates of glass upon which were written heretofore unavailable Goebbels diaries entries, that were "missing" when Louis Lochner released his work of Goebbels' diaries circa 1943-1945, and utilize them to take the reader into the mind of the man who was Hitler's "false prophet."

A brilliant portrait of a perverse, twisted and sad soul that impacted the world in an (ultimately) destructive fashion.

I suggest you read, and judge for yourself.

I suggest you read, and decide for yourself.

2-0 out of 5 stars its fiction, not history
Unfortunately, this interesting bit of history relies on fictional details to support its larger claims. There is documentation about the falsities in this volume that came to light at David Irvings libel trial in London that removes any value to this book other than the interesting and fascinating way that Mr. Irving is able to weave his stories. If you like other WWII fiction you might enjoy this. If you are looking for REAL history then you are better off reading Goebbels diary entries in their original German than relying on David Irvings misguided attempt to channel the Third Reichs thinkers in this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Covering Up For Hitler
David Irving's "biography" of Goebbels is a cover up which is full of distortions. Some of the more serious distortions were the subject of the civil trial in London where Irving attempted to have Deborah Lipstadt's book, "Denying the Holocaust", banned in England. Professor Richard Evans, a real historian of the Third Reich, was able to show as an expert witness for Lipstadt's defense that Irving had distorted a number of crucial points in this "biography" of Goebbels.

Two of the crucial distortions Evans showed were (1) Irving's claim that in 1932 31,000 Jews were guilty of insurance fraud in Germany when the total number of all such frauds, Jewish and non - Jewish, was 74 and (2) Irving's citing a document which he claimed proved that the German authorities attempted to prevent Kristallnacht when the actual document shows the exact opposite - i.e. the authorities were encouraging the destruction. The reader of "Goebbels" is seriously encouraged to read Richard Evans' "Lying About Hitler."

Also, John C. Zimmerman's book "Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies" has a lengthy chapter on Irving's dishonest methodology which shows the way Irivng manipulates and distorts information. Zimmerman also demonstrates that Irving has distorted key incriminating entries from Goebbels' diary and has deliberately ignored other key entries which prove the existence of the Holocaust. ... Read more


7. Adolf Hitler : The Definitive Biography
by JOHN TOLAND
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0385420536
Catlog: Book (1991-12-01)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 35309
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars Adolf Hitler
No book written before "Adolf Hitler" ever presented the positive sides of Adolf Hitler. John Toland does an excellent job of removing the normal evil and hate thoughts from the facts. Mr. Toland presents Adolf Hilter in a very fair way and provides a good insight to people to consider. The book leaves no doubt that Adolf Hilter was wrong in his ideas and take over of Germany. This book should be read by any person that truly wants to gain the truth of the years between 1933 and 1945 and of Germany. This book provides the elements that are missing from such books as "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer. It is written without the normal emotions. I recommend reading this in order for the individuals to come to a more fair and unbiased judgement of the German people. People that read this book should also read "Inside the Third Reich" by Albert Speer and "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". I beleive that a person can then come to a better understanding of the power and hate which was created in Germany during the Third Reich. Yes, John Toland has accomplished what very few historians ever do. He has written an unbiased book that is not that difficult to read. Like most historical books, the book is not for a person that is wishing to just relax and read for pleasure. Instead, John Toland's "Adolf Hilter" is a book to learn of how history is created and tyrant's can rise to power.

Tom

5-0 out of 5 stars Good first biography
I read this book behind Mein Kampf (MK) in 1991. I was 16 then, and much of what was in MK was confusing and hard to understand. Hitler meant MK to be read by adherents to the Nazi party and, therefore, those people would know the history behind what was written in the book. John Toland does a wonderful job in writing an easily accessible and understandable biography for the person who is just beginning to study this complex era in our world's history. His research is well documented throughout the book, and one can get a good sense of what Hitler was like and how life was under his rule from 1933-1945. Also, this book gives a good insight into the men and women who supported the National Socialist movement and how their influence dictated the rise and fall of the Third Reich. One can easily find themselves studying other influential people in Hitler's circle as well as Hitler himself. Toland does a very good job of not painting a judgemental picture of the subject of which he is writing about.

I would highly recommend this tome for anyone who is interested in learning the basic information regarding Hitler and the Third Reich. (Of course, it should be no substitute for Mein Kampf. If you want to know what Hitler was thinking....why not read his own words for yourself?)

5-0 out of 5 stars Of the ones I've read this is the DEFINITIVE one!
As an amateur student of WWII history I have tried hard to understand more about how the major "players" came to be, thought, and operated before, during, and after (when applicable) the war. John Toland's biography of Hitler is an amazing piece of historical literature!! If you've ever read any of Toland's books (I've read "Battle: The Story of the Bulge" and "The Last 100 Days" - both excellent) you know he can convey a story that makes the words feel alive. He does that here equally as well in a 900 page masterpiece. He starts with a historical background of the Hitler lineage (and possible Jewish blood!) and ends in with various Nazi elites and their capture, deaths, etc after the fall of Berlin and Hitler's suicide. In between we get a marvelous picture of a child Adolf - his closeness to his mother and estrangement from his father; a young man searching for his place - time spent in Vienna flop houses struggling to survive, failing to acheive and finding his place in the political upheaval leading to the Great War; his time at the front - from runner to gassed Iron cross winner; his "Time of Struggle" in forming the NADSP and leading a failed putsch, prison, and release to a country ready to embrace him; to his rise to Chancellor, dictator, statesman, warlord, self-proclaimed Christ, mass murderer; to a broken, pre-aged, sickly man how ultimately takes his own life to avoid paying the butchers bill. Toland weaves a story that is both easy to read and historically engaging. I learned a lot and had fun doing it - just the way I love history!!!

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars FROM SOUP TO NUTS!
Whew! This was quite a long biography, but how can a person like Adolf Hitler be written in a short and sweet version. This is without a doubt, one of the best biographies I have ever read, this book deals with Hitler from before birth until after his demise. We are not just shown the war time Hitler, we are shown Hitler the Artist, Poet, Architect, the homeless man (yes he was broke living on the streets at one point folks) and Hitler the demigod. There are no sides taken in this novel it plays out to you like a whirlwind of information getting stories from various people within his inner circle.
This book is very easy to read, and not too heavy with names nor does it dwell on just one topic of his life. I thought it was a very good depiction of the dictator. I especially liked how Jon Toland would describe Hitler's demeanor when he would receive news of victory or defeat.
After reading this book I can see parallels between Hitler and Saddam Hussain. These men have been in power so long that they come to believe that they are Gods to there people and that only they can lead them to glory, despite the obvious doom and destruction that will eventually occur.
After reading the book, I have to say, the early Hitler had some good points, had he only stayed in Germany and made it a great nation he would have gone down in history as one of the greatest leaders. However what he later did can never be forgiven. Well, the guy never got a college degree, what can you expect. He died a madman no doubt about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Hitler
Historian John Toland's "Adolf Hitler" stands as the greatest of the many works that have been published about the 20th Century's most fascinating and diabolical leader. Toland doesn't content himself by merely reporting the facts, rather he makes a real effort to get inside the man's head and determine how he came to be such an explosive package of brilliance and insanity. The story of Hitler the man is so improbable that had this been a work of fiction, no one would have found it plausible. He was a self-man who, against all odds, seized absolute power in a Europe in which until his own adulthood, heredity usually dictated one's station in life.

Though daunting at over 100 pages, Toland has a good stroytelling touch, making the book quite readble. Toland thoroughly chronicles Hitler's life, from his abused upbrining, through his service in the First World War, to his rise as a young politician, and finally his seizure of power and all the evil that followed. The book is generously sprinkled with photographs and other illustratins to help the reader.

Overall, an outstanding historical biography that is as monumental as its subject. ... Read more


8. Until the Final Hour : Hitler's Last Secretary
by Traudl Junge
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 1559707283
Catlog: Book (2004-04-02)
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Sales Rank: 26457
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Intensely disturbing, well written memoir
Junge's story of her relationship with Hitler is intense, disturbing and thought provoking. The translation and editing are excellent and the reader almost can feel the claustrophobia of life in the bunker, and the clock ticking down to their ultimate defeat.

Most fascinating and enfuriating is the very human side of the Fuhrer detailed by the author. He is often depicted as pedenatic...a frail, old gentleman, polite and artistic, rather than the mad annihilator we know him to truly have been. This contributes, of course, to the always impossible to understand appeal of his message to the masses.

Historians and buffs alike will be compelled to read this very interesting, detailed account of one woman's experiences of life inside the Third Reich.

5-0 out of 5 stars WW II Account Of A Would-Be Ballerina Who Worked For Hitler
First of all I would like to correct a statement made elsewhere that this book was previously published in 1989 under the title Voices From The Bunker. That volume, reviewed elsewhere under its title, was co-written by Pierre Galante, author of The Berlin Wall, Operation Valkyrie, The General, and Malraux, as well as being a writer for Paris Match, and Eugene Silianoff, a one-time Bulgarian diplomat who was working in Switzerland during WW II and who has also contributed to Paris Match.

In their volume they do refer often to Traudl Humps who, at age 22, still dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina, right up to the day in 1942 when she got a job as one of Adolf Hitler's private secretaries.

But this book is HER account of those days, culled from her journal which she began writing in 1947 following exhaustive questioning by the Western Allies and the Soviets, and was co-written with Melissa Muller who provides the background. The name Junge was the result of her brief marriage to one of Hitler's valets, Hans Junge of the Liebstandarte SS, who was killed in action in the year following their wedding.

To the time of her own death at age 81 on February 10, 2002, shortly after the book's launch under its original title of To The Last Hour, she claimed that her appreciation of the momentous and horrendous events going on around her never really struck home until the years immediately following the war. When she started jotting down her thoughts in 1947 she did so from the perspective of one who had no choice but to acknowledge her naivety and who now realized she would have to live the rest of her life with the guilt of actually having been fond of "the greatest criminal ever to have lived."

When she worked for Hitler she'd found him to be a "pleasant older man and a good employer" - was naturally fascinated by this charismatic character - but recalls her duties as being mostly the taking of shorthand and then the typing of non-controversial material, and at times helping to make tea.

There are many who scoff at her oft-stated ignorance of the holocaust and other monumental war crimes during her days as a secretary but, whether or not you choose to believe her claims, her book detailing that part of her life offers a fascinating insight into the day to day functions, and the slow but steady mental and physical deterioration, of one of history's most evil men. It certainly will be the last first-hand account by a member of his inner circle.

In addition to touching upon the powerful people around him, and relating daily routine, she describes in chilling detail the events of April 28, 1945. With Russian artillery shells pounding the outer portion of the bunker in Berlin, ironically being defended by the Charlemagne SS Division made up primarily of Frenchmen, Hitler called her in to dictate his last will and testament. He told her to "make three copies and then come in ... I wrote as fast as I could ... my fingers worked mechanically and I was surprised that I hardly made any typing mistakes."

This is typical of the information imparted in her book and, as such, it's a great companion to Voices In The Bunker. But it's not the same book.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Information--Even for those who think they've read all
What I like best about this book is that it gives new insight into the Nazi's that isn't found in other books. The author has nothing to hide (like Speer may have) and it is an incredible experience to read first hand what it was like being with Hitler socially and in the final days before his suicide.

In most books about Hitler seems to be almost an inhuman supernatural monster. In this book he is shown more as an egomaniac surrounded by people who are ineffective at advising him. His coolness and evil are even more chilling when his portrait is fully drawn and he is not simple an evil caricature as in many biographies.

The author shares how she was drawn in by Hitler and later felt betrayed.

So many books about the Nazi rehash the same facts without a personal perspective. The author had lunch and dinner with Hitler almost every day for a year!

This is a must read for anyone interested in this period of history.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you're new to Hitler, this is good
For people who haven't read much about Hitler, this will be an interesting book. Traudl Junge was one of his secretaries from 1942 until his death three years later. She never knew him as well as Schroeder, Wolf or Gerda Christian, his other secretaries, and this is because she arrived so late on the scene. Hitler had deteriorated physically and mentally by 1942, so she was never privy to the full range of his charisma; she saw him in the period of his marked decline.

For those who think Hitler behaved as "movie Hitlers" act, then you'll be shocked to see that in private, he was a charming, fatherly fellow, at least to his inner circle. Hitler's dark, maniacal side was reserved for Himmler, Bormann and others. Junge grew attached to Hitler and enjoyed his company, even the interminable nightly monologues.

This entire book was previously published in 1989 and was called "Voices from the Bunker." Junge died in 2003 and this has been rushed out because of her recent demise. If you're well-versed in Hitler, there is nothing new here, Junge was interviewed exhaustively for years before her death. I was able to meet her, in Munich, twenty years ago, and she was a reserved, rather withdrawn woman, oppressed with guilt because she had served a mass murderer. I think anyone with an interest in Hitler will enjoy the book, but don't expect any new or revealing material.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hannah Arendt Was Right
Evil is banal. It also is anethesthetizing. It also has a morbid illumination (Ger. "grelles Licht") about it. The late Traudl Junge's account of her secretarial service to Adolf Hitler confirms the observations.
In her quite interesting memoir, helped along by editor Melissa Müller, we see the images of a young woman whose dream for life is so like our own that we get caught up in its hum-drum nature. But -- what, then, do many secretaries do that is not a matter of daily routine and technical correctness? Any person who took dictation and then prepared a memo knows what is needed: a perfect piece of work. Junge seems to tell us that her efforts met the mark. Banal life.
She was caught up in Hitler's informal inner circle, like it or not, and saw images of the man not many others did -- from a safe distance. She was numbed by his common nature -- a man, she states, who cared about walks in the alps, his dog (which he, a dictator seemed very good at ordering around), and his consummately bland personal lifestyle. One opines he and Eva Braun never had sex because, per Junge, he felt he would not make much of a father. How numbing.
Her report is mysteriously apart from reality. However, it may be a very correct appraisal of Adolf Hitler, from stem to stern: the monster lived in a world other than ours, at least in his head.
Traudl Junge seems to have been about as close to Hitler's personal mind as anyone except Eva Braun (who must have longed for a broader anatomical scene, but generally was unrequited) if one believes what one has read. Morbid illumination....
This is a story well worth reading and I recommend it to serious historians. Had the editor's handling of its technical aspects produced a smoother narrative, I would have gone Five-Star. ... Read more


9. Hitler And Stalin : Parallel Lives
by ALAN BULLOCK
list price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394586018
Catlog: Book (1992-03-17)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 116851
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This dual biography is excellent.Bullock is an excellent writer with an uncluttered style and the content of this book reflects Bullock's considered judgements based on a careful reading of a large volume of scholarship.The balance between the narratives of Hitler's and Stalin's lives, explanations of the relevant contemporary history, and efforts at psychological insight is excellent.While a very thick book, it is a gripping read.
Bullock shows very well the distinct courses of Hitler's and Stalin's lives, a function both of their very different circumstances and personalities.Hitler rose to power in a partially democratized society, his success based on charismatic leadership, demagogic mass politics, and shrewd exploitation of the political weaknesses of his opponents.Once in power, he delegated power to trusted subordinates and presided over an anarchic state composed of competing power centers jockeying for his approval.Stalin, on the other hand, was a consummate bureaucrat and backroom politician. A tireless worker and masterpolitical infighter, he largely constructed the state apparatus that was the instrument of his power.His serial purges had the effect of elimnating any potential rival seats of power.
The major question, of course, is why produce a combined biography instead of 2 separate books?It is true that Hitler's and Stalin's lives intersected in very important ways but these issues could easily have been handled in separate books.The advantage of Bullock's approach is that it demonstrates, both implicitly and explicitly, the convergence of the Nazi and Stalinist states.Both were based on personal rule, crude but powerful ideological constructs that held the loyalty of the leaders and numerous followers, ruthless repression, and both states produced results that garned significant popular support.Both were constructed by monsters with considerable insight into human nature but no real sympathy for their fellow men.Both leaders were incredible egoists.Bullock uses the term narcissism in its clinical sense to describe both Hitler and Stalin, who saw the states they led as extensions of themselves.Not surprisingly then, in the depth and organization of repression and many other features, the Nazi and Stalinist states had major similarities.These basic patterns can be seen in many tyrannical states throughout human history and are independent of ideology.

2-0 out of 5 stars interesting way to look at these monsters
This book details the lives of two profoundly evil individuals, Stalin and Hitler.Both men seemed off to a good start, one in the war and as an artist and the other in the seminary.Yet other issues dominated the childhood of these men that forced them into extremist polituics and eventually led them to mass murder.Both were phenomenal politicians and able to lure their own collaborators to their doom.An interesting way to present these two, by comparing and contrasting these similar lives that led too very different outcomes.

Now the writing itself is commendable and so are the parralells.But the author should have written two biographies.The only redemption this book has is that it shows how right wing facism is exactly the same as left wing liberalism(Communbism to be exact in this case).Stalin and Hitler allthough they prported themselves to be on diffrent wings of the political spectrum were both monsters who crushed minorities and enslaved their own people.They became allies in 1939 and the world shuddered with what these beasts could accomplish together, luckily for all of us Stalin and Hitler wasted the enslaved masses of their nations destorying eachother.All the better for the Americans to pick up the pieces.

I would recommend Conquests' "Stalin breaker of Nations" and Kershaws two volume work on Hitler "Hubris" and "Nemisis".

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I haven't been able to find the new edition, but I've read the first edition very thoroughly.If you read only one book about the last century, this would be it.

If Bullock will continue to revise in the future, I have two suggestions.Write more about Stalin (to make this book more balanced) and add Mao to the mix.There are very interesting parallels - both similarities and contrasts - among this most unholy trinity of dictators.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I haven't been able to find the new edition, but I've read the first edition very thoroughly.If you read only one book about the last century, this would be it.

If Bullock will continue to revise in the future, I have two suggestions.Write more about Stalin (to make this book more balanced) and add Mao to the mix.There are very interesting parallels - both similarities and contrasts - among this most unholy trinity of dictators.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible experience...worth the effort
It is difficult to describe Alan Bullock's fantastic dual-biography of Hitler and Stalin, and others have done much better here than I could.Allow me to add their voices to theirs in praise of this work.Bullock not only manages to convey the terrible sweep of history of the first half of the 20th Century and the impact of these two monsters of history, but does so in a very readable style.I marvel that a book of nearly 1000 pages, many of them filled with either terrible stories of oppression and horror, or else mindnumbing (but critical) economic statistics, can hold one's interest enough from start to finish.Highly recommended. ... Read more


10. Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos andLetters : The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire
by Richard Hack
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 1893224643
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: New Millennium Press
Sales Rank: 12766
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars. Fascinating
If you're looking for a good biography on Howard R Hughes, look no further, because this is the one you'll want. Richard Hack writes in an open and laid-back manner making it all easy to enjoy and absorb. The subject manner certainly makes for entertaining reading itself. This most noted of eccentrics will captivate you as well as disgust you. Hack takes you inside the Hughes empire and paints a very good picture of the how and why of his world. If not for Hughes inheritance from his father-owner of the Hughes Tool Co-you most likely will never have heard of Howard Hughes. Basically Howard himself had no business acumen. His life does read somewhat like a fairy tale in that most of the things he wished for he got. From movie starlets to hotels and casinos. Money can truly buy most things. Unfortunately he wasn't psychologically stable for the last half of his life and this caused him and those around him much misery. Form whatever opinion you like about Hughes, but after reading this biography, the opinion you form will be a strong one. It was a well-written biography that lagged just a little on the editing.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars This would make a terrific movie
There has been a lot of writing about Howard Hughes. A lot of it was based on incomplete or just flat out false information, going back even to when he was living with the Clifford Irving hoax. If we are to believe the author of this book had access to thousands of never before available documents, and he's telling what he found factually, this would be the definitive Hughes biography to date. That he makes it a fat, juicy biography makes it great reading.

So I would nominate George Clooney to take this role to the big screen. There are remarkable similarities in their looks, and the public would just eat up this tale. Here we have a man who was lucky enough to inherit a big fortune early in life. But he didn't just sit on his money. He re-invested a lot of it into other industries, such as movies and airplanes. His resources greatly advanced the art of aviation in it's time, and his movie marketing greatly enhanced Jane Russell's breasts in their time. He was a hands-on, get involved manager who flew test planes himself, setting many speed records.

This dashing lifestyle also made him the darling of Hollywood. His string of glamorous conquests was a who's who of movie actresses, from budding starlets to major icons. He literally had the world in his hand for awhile.

Alas, something happens to people when they gain so much power that there are very few people or institutions that can tell them "No". We've seen this in the last 100 years with characters such as Hitler, J. Edgar Hoover, Elvis, and Michael Jackson. They get a few successes, and think they are infallable. This leads to bad decisions in life that either deteriorate them, or leave a mess for those that surround them. They also withdraw, always mentally, sometimes physically, from the world around them, as if they were surrounding the wagons to protect them from that world.

This also happened to Howard Hughes. We see early signs of where he's going when he was merely a ruthless young business man. The first thing he did upon inheriting part of a company was to immediately buy out all the other inheritors to give him total control. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas mean nothing to him, and he calls upon his associates to work on these days to get more done. Marriage had it's uses, but none of them ever involved love.

So we get to see one side, which is this dashing young millionaire who becomes America's first billionaire. We see him as he lands at crowded airports after setting yet another air speed record. We see him with every hot babe on the silver screen, and a lot more hoping to get there. America even liked him thumbing his nose at the government when he felt they were digging into his private life too much. This would all have to be portrayed.

But we would need a director like Martin Scorsese to turn this into a "Raging Bull" type of hell. Yes, he had the women, but the feedback from them seemed to indicate a very selfish lover who often couldn't produce where it counts. Yes, he directed several films, but was such a control freak that the products went way over budget. And the volumes of instructions he wrote to his staff on how to guard against germs, real or imaginary, show a very disturbed mind.

And the movie would have to show how this increasingly lonely man deteriorated in his last ten-fifteen years of life. While it is true, as suspected, that his paid caretakers took advantage of his situation, and in fact sped up his demise, it is also surprising how much of his faculties remained in his later years. While he was well on his way to looking like the Walking Death he eventually became, he still had the ability to conduct a two-hour press conference to convince the world that the Irving biography was a hoax.

But the ultimate ending would have to show that all the money in the world cannot buy happiness. For the last several years of his life, he was surrounded only by people who were paid to be there. His hair, beard, and nails grew to extreme lengths. While obsessed with germs, he ended up living in putrid squallor, with jars of his own wastes stored everywhere. His body was stoked up with enough drugs to kill an average person, and he even had the remnants of five broken needs inside his arms.

This could be Oscar time for both Clooney and Scorsese if Hollywood lets them do it right.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine biography
A very good biography of a fascinating individual. Aside from some really lame analogies (especially in the first half of the book), the author's writing is crisp and his grasp of his subject is impressive. Overall, I enjoyed reading this biography and highly recommend it to other.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this one.
Could anybody be more eccentric? Very well written
biography. I just couldn't believe it. Wow.

5-0 out of 5 stars This guy is unbelievable!
Howard Hughes was born in 1905; he died in 1977. His mother had died in 1922 , his father in 1924 - thus, Hughes became independent at age 17 - with a guardian (Aunt Annette) and his inheritance (Hughes Tool Company) - valued at $626,000. He ignored his Aunt's advice to attend Rice Institute. He'd already identified his three main goals in life: to become the world's greatest golfer, the world's greatest pilot, and the world's greatest movie-maker. He entrusted the management of Hughes Tool Company (eventually acclaimed for having revolutionized the oil producing industry) to the same people his father had hired; thus, he enjoyed security and independence, a comfortable income, plus time and money to pursue his goals.
At 19 Hughes decides that a serious, young entrepreneur like himself needs a wife; he chooses Ella Rice, a pretty, socially prominent young lady in Houston. Though already in love with another 'promising' young man, Ella was persuaded by her mother and Aunt Annette that Howard - handsome and already rich - was a better 'catch'. After a 3-month honeymoon in New York City the newlyweds headed for California - where Hughes could launch his movie-making career. Soon Hughes was so involved in his golf (he eventually lowered his handicap to a respectable 2-plus) and movie making, that he had little time or energy left for Ella, who left him after 6 months.
In Hollywood Hughes hires an 'executive assistant'. Together they produce in 1926 one flop and one 'so-so' movie, then in 1927 they produce and Hughes directs "Two Arabian Nights" (with actors William Boyd and Boris Karloff ) - a film that wins for Hughes an Oscar for 'Best Director of a Comedy'. In 1928 Hughes begins "Hell's Angels" - a movie that includes 'dogfights' in Sopwith Camels and German Fokkers (78 of them!). Though the movie must eventually be totally re-made (converted from silent to 'talkie' version) , Hughes in the process discovers actress Jean Harlow and the movie establishes box-office records everywhere. The film's premier at Grauman's Chinese Theater was the 'best night of his life' - according to Hughes. Hughes goes on to make many other famous and profitable films (Scarface, the Outlaw), discover other starlets (Jane Russell), and in 1948 he buys a major movie studio - RKO - which establishes him as a major film maker.
Meanwhile, Ella has divorced him , thus freeing Howard to 'play the field'. He's still only 23 - but now richer, more famous and even more handsome than ever - ergo, a very eligible bachelor. Plus, he now has his own little air force, a movie studio and a 170-foot yacht. He thus has little trouble meeting and squiring the world's most beautiful women -like Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Ava Gardner, Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland, Katherine Hepburn, Terry Moore, Yvonne DeCarlo, Kathryn Grayson, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, Billie Dove, and Faith Domerigue - to name a few. Not infrequently he'd be engaged to two, even 3, women at the same time. His love life was in a word - hectic. In 1957 an aging Hughes finally remarries - to actress Jean Peters, a former beauty-contest winner from Canton, Ohio.
In 1927, prompted by the exploits of Charles Lindbergh, and Amilia Earhart, Hughes turns again to his third yet unachieved goal - to become the world's best pilot. He seeks out J.B. Alexander - an experienced pilot-instructor, who is also a 'barnstormer' and stunt flyer. Alexander reports that Hughes was a natural flyer. Soon Hughes was flying his own planes and conjuring up new goals related to flying. In the early '30's, when the depression was hurting Hughes Tool Company profits and Hughes' movie-making pursuits , Hughes takes a 11 month 'sabbatical'. He works temporarily (incognito) as an airport baggage handler, then , elsewhere, as a stunt pilot - for $250.00 per month. Later, Hughes employs a pilot-mechanic and tasks him with 'souping up' Hughes' recently purchased 8-passenger Sikorski S-43. Together they would make flights around the country with Hughes' movie-star girlfriends - and sometimes with 'best friend' Cary Grant and Randolph Scott - two famous actors who later were reportedly bi-sexual - which fueled the rumor mill that Hughes, too, was probably bi-sexual.
In 1934 Hughes and his team set about designing and testing a plane (the H-1) that Hughes wanted to use to set flight records that would establish him as a great pilot. A year later, after Hughes had personally flight-tested the plane, he started flying it to establish new records - speed records, long distance records, altitude records, and, in 1938, a new record for an around-the-world flight. These achievements won for Hughes other awards and recognition for flying : a congressional medal, the Harmon Trophy, and the Collier Trophy. He was also honored with a ticker-tape parade down Broadway in New York City. Hughes, now convinced that air travel had a future, eventually acquired an airline (TWA) that promised fast, comfortable air travel for the general public.
During World War II Hughes' enterprises expanded to meet war demands. Hughes' empire eventually became one of the government's biggest suppliers of aircraft, helicopters, aircraft parts, weapons, missiles and munitions. In 1966 Hughes was declared a billionaire and the richest man in the world. His latest interests now included Las Vegas, where by 1971 he controlled 17% of the city's gambling revenues and employed some 8,000 people. By now Hughes has 'done it all' and he's become a recluse.
Howard Hughes was a giant of his times. He was shrewd, but also lucky: the fields of endeavor that he chose to enter were all just 'taking off': real estate investments in California and Las Vegas, gambling in Nevada, air travel, golf, the movie industry, and the oil industry (which boomed when the auto industry exploded.). Hughes also profited immensely because he was well positioned when World War II began. Hughes' life reads like a fairy tale. Just unbelievable! Believe me! ... Read more


11. Hitler And Stalin : Parallel Lives
by ALAN BULLOCK
list price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394586018
Catlog: Book (1992-03-17)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 116851
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This dual biography is excellent.Bullock is an excellent writer with an uncluttered style and the content of this book reflects Bullock's considered judgements based on a careful reading of a large volume of scholarship.The balance between the narratives of Hitler's and Stalin's lives, explanations of the relevant contemporary history, and efforts at psychological insight is excellent.While a very thick book, it is a gripping read.
Bullock shows very well the distinct courses of Hitler's and Stalin's lives, a function both of their very different circumstances and personalities.Hitler rose to power in a partially democratized society, his success based on charismatic leadership, demagogic mass politics, and shrewd exploitation of the political weaknesses of his opponents.Once in power, he delegated power to trusted subordinates and presided over an anarchic state composed of competing power centers jockeying for his approval.Stalin, on the other hand, was a consummate bureaucrat and backroom politician. A tireless worker and masterpolitical infighter, he largely constructed the state apparatus that was the instrument of his power.His serial purges had the effect of elimnating any potential rival seats of power.
The major question, of course, is why produce a combined biography instead of 2 separate books?It is true that Hitler's and Stalin's lives intersected in very important ways but these issues could easily have been handled in separate books.The advantage of Bullock's approach is that it demonstrates, both implicitly and explicitly, the convergence of the Nazi and Stalinist states.Both were based on personal rule, crude but powerful ideological constructs that held the loyalty of the leaders and numerous followers, ruthless repression, and both states produced results that garned significant popular support.Both were constructed by monsters with considerable insight into human nature but no real sympathy for their fellow men.Both leaders were incredible egoists.Bullock uses the term narcissism in its clinical sense to describe both Hitler and Stalin, who saw the states they led as extensions of themselves.Not surprisingly then, in the depth and organization of repression and many other features, the Nazi and Stalinist states had major similarities.These basic patterns can be seen in many tyrannical states throughout human history and are independent of ideology.

2-0 out of 5 stars interesting way to look at these monsters
This book details the lives of two profoundly evil individuals, Stalin and Hitler.Both men seemed off to a good start, one in the war and as an artist and the other in the seminary.Yet other issues dominated the childhood of these men that forced them into extremist polituics and eventually led them to mass murder.Both were phenomenal politicians and able to lure their own collaborators to their doom.An interesting way to present these two, by comparing and contrasting these similar lives that led too very different outcomes.

Now the writing itself is commendable and so are the parralells.But the author should have written two biographies.The only redemption this book has is that it shows how right wing facism is exactly the same as left wing liberalism(Communbism to be exact in this case).Stalin and Hitler allthough they prported themselves to be on diffrent wings of the political spectrum were both monsters who crushed minorities and enslaved their own people.They became allies in 1939 and the world shuddered with what these beasts could accomplish together, luckily for all of us Stalin and Hitler wasted the enslaved masses of their nations destorying eachother.All the better for the Americans to pick up the pieces.

I would recommend Conquests' "Stalin breaker of Nations" and Kershaws two volume work on Hitler "Hubris" and "Nemisis".

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I haven't been able to find the new edition, but I've read the first edition very thoroughly.If you read only one book about the last century, this would be it.

If Bullock will continue to revise in the future, I have two suggestions.Write more about Stalin (to make this book more balanced) and add Mao to the mix.There are very interesting parallels - both similarities and contrasts - among this most unholy trinity of dictators.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I haven't been able to find the new edition, but I've read the first edition very thoroughly.If you read only one book about the last century, this would be it.

If Bullock will continue to revise in the future, I have two suggestions.Write more about Stalin (to make this book more balanced) and add Mao to the mix.There are very interesting parallels - both similarities and contrasts - among this most unholy trinity of dictators.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible experience...worth the effort
It is difficult to describe Alan Bullock's fantastic dual-biography of Hitler and Stalin, and others have done much better here than I could.Allow me to add their voices to theirs in praise of this work.Bullock not only manages to convey the terrible sweep of history of the first half of the 20th Century and the impact of these two monsters of history, but does so in a very readable style.I marvel that a book of nearly 1000 pages, many of them filled with either terrible stories of oppression and horror, or else mindnumbing (but critical) economic statistics, can hold one's interest enough from start to finish.Highly recommended. ... Read more


12. Howard Hughes: The Untold Story
by Peter Harry Brown, Pat H. Broeske
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306813920
Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 234421
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Howard Hughes was one of the most amazing, intriguing, and controversial figures of the twentieth century. He was the billionaire head of a giant corporation, a genius inventor, an ace pilot, a matinee-idol-handsome playboy, a major movie maker who bedded a long list of Hollywood glamour queens, a sexual sultan with a harem of teenage consorts, a political insider with intimate ties to Watergate, a Las Vegas kingpin, and ultimately a bizarre recluse whose final years and shocking death were cloaked in macabre mystery. Now he is the subject of Martin Scorsese's biopic The Aviator. Few people have been able to penetrate the wall of secrecy that enshrouded this complex man. In this fascinating, revelation-packed biography, the full story of one of the most daring, enigmatic, and reclusive power brokers America has ever known is finally told. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Person Behind The Name
Hughes was a man who accomplished most of what he did before my time, so I've only remembered him as a billionaire, eccentric, and recluse, before reading this book. During his time he was a go-getter who tried many adventurous things professionally and both personally and privately.

This book brings to light the details of of the younger Hughes' extraordinary personal life, which I found more interesting than the business side of it. He spent notable time in Southern California and Los Angeles. Many tales bring Old Hollywood and Los Angeles to light. His involvement in the movie business producing films, influenced in part, as an avenue to get to the ladies of the screen. Details of his relationships with the stars of the day are illuminated. Taking dates to the mounted cross atop one of the Hollywood Hills, overlooking the flatlands and lights of LA. He even crashed a plane into 3 houses in Beverly Hills.

His 3rd plane crash, occurred while performing a flying stunt during the shooting of a movie (the stunt pilots refused to do the stunt because they considered it too dangerous). As a result of that crash he was in the hospital with critical life-threatening injuries. This was when HH was introduced to Codeine for the severe pain, something he would become addicted to for most of the rest of his life.

The book later progresses in the latter years of Hughes. Today, it is apparent to contemporary psychologists that Hughes was likely suffering from a form of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Nowadays, OCD is more understood and highly treatable with medication. In HH's time, it was not thought of in biological and physiological terms.

Hughes' first break came when he entered a screening room and stayed in it for 5 full months. He didn't bathe, watched the same movies 30 times over, and survived on a diet of candy bars. Hughes consciously and voluntarily turned over his business affairs to competent managers. These were employees, and were people who made prudent decisions and looked out for HH's best interests. During this time, other sharks started to gather. Such is the case when large amounts of money is involved. Bill Gay, one of Howard's chauffeur, made crafty and cunning political moves to ascend over the years. He got Howard's ear, and became more influential on him. Gay eventually took the reigns of control over Huges' wealth. He then deftly purged the other business managers who served Hughes with dedication and integrity. The former chauffeur and his fellow Mormon henchman took over Hughes and his affairs, isolated him, and squeezed out those who cared for Hughes and wanted the best for him.

It's sad, for during the latter decades of Hughes life it seemed that no one was really there for him, if he had wanted anyone to to be there.

In death, over one thousand--yes, 1000--people came out of the woodwork to lay claim to Howard Hughes wealth after his passing.

To this day, We're still not sure if his death was natural, self-induced, or the intentional doings of others....

4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative.
Howard Hughes died when I was only 12 so I knew next to nothing about him prior to the "recluse" years and I found this book extremely interesting. History has dealt somewhat harshly with HH but this book managed to shed some sympathetic light on the mysteries surrounding him. His strange relationship with his mother, his drive to control and collect, his grand scale successes and equally grand failures touched a chord with me. How sad to have so much but ultimately be so unfulfilled and lonely. Whether you find him an eccentric genius or a man tortured by mental illness, you must agree he left behind a significant legacy.

The only minor complaint I have with this book is chronologically it was occasionally hard to follow since a chapter regarding business deals would then be followed by a chapter on personal affairs that were conducted during the same period of time. It was easy to get confused regarding timeframes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Howard Hughes, The Untold Story
We can call him a womanizer, low life, skirt chaser or many other names. The fact remains the person was a genius and has opened many doors for the traveler of today. Hughes was a very self centered individual and had feeling only for his self gratification. I found this book difficult to put down, even though I could not like the main character.

1-0 out of 5 stars terrible terrible terrible
I love to read.I read almost everything that I can get my hands on.I am currently reading this book for my book club.This man(Howard) is the biggest jerk of the 20th century! I guess it's true money talks and talks and talks. I'm having a very difficult time trying to finish this book. How anyone could be a fan of this man is totally beyond me. I believe that it's the money that they all so fond of. Don't waste your time. Don't waste your money. Howard wasted enough money for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Howard Hughes
If your a HRH fan this is the book for you. Precise detailed account of the life of the most interesting and mysterious man of this century. Lots of new information never before published. Well writen hard to put down. ... Read more


13. Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos andLetters : The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire
by Richard Hack
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1893224643
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: New Millennium Press
Sales Rank: 12766
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars. Fascinating
If you're looking for a good biography on Howard R Hughes, look no further, because this is the one you'll want. Richard Hack writes in an open and laid-back manner making it all easy to enjoy and absorb. The subject manner certainly makes for entertaining reading itself. This most noted of eccentrics will captivate you as well as disgust you. Hack takes you inside the Hughes empire and paints a very good picture of the how and why of his world. If not for Hughes inheritance from his father-owner of the Hughes Tool Co-you most likely will never have heard of Howard Hughes. Basically Howard himself had no business acumen. His life does read somewhat like a fairy tale in that most of the things he wished for he got. From movie starlets to hotels and casinos. Money can truly buy most things. Unfortunately he wasn't psychologically stable for the last half of his life and this caused him and those around him much misery. Form whatever opinion you like about Hughes, but after reading this biography, the opinion you form will be a strong one. It was a well-written biography that lagged just a little on the editing.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars This would make a terrific movie
There has been a lot of writing about Howard Hughes. A lot of it was based on incomplete or just flat out false information, going back even to when he was living with the Clifford Irving hoax. If we are to believe the author of this book had access to thousands of never before available documents, and he's telling what he found factually, this would be the definitive Hughes biography to date. That he makes it a fat, juicy biography makes it great reading.

So I would nominate George Clooney to take this role to the big screen. There are remarkable similarities in their looks, and the public would just eat up this tale. Here we have a man who was lucky enough to inherit a big fortune early in life. But he didn't just sit on his money. He re-invested a lot of it into other industries, such as movies and airplanes. His resources greatly advanced the art of aviation in it's time, and his movie marketing greatly enhanced Jane Russell's breasts in their time. He was a hands-on, get involved manager who flew test planes himself, setting many speed records.

This dashing lifestyle also made him the darling of Hollywood. His string of glamorous conquests was a who's who of movie actresses, from budding starlets to major icons. He literally had the world in his hand for awhile.

Alas, something happens to people when they gain so much power that there are very few people or institutions that can tell them "No". We've seen this in the last 100 years with characters such as Hitler, J. Edgar Hoover, Elvis, and Michael Jackson. They get a few successes, and think they are infallable. This leads to bad decisions in life that either deteriorate them, or leave a mess for those that surround them. They also withdraw, always mentally, sometimes physically, from the world around them, as if they were surrounding the wagons to protect them from that world.

This also happened to Howard Hughes. We see early signs of where he's going when he was merely a ruthless young business man. The first thing he did upon inheriting part of a company was to immediately buy out all the other inheritors to give him total control. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas mean nothing to him, and he calls upon his associates to work on these days to get more done. Marriage had it's uses, but none of them ever involved love.

So we get to see one side, which is this dashing young millionaire who becomes America's first billionaire. We see him as he lands at crowded airports after setting yet another air speed record. We see him with every hot babe on the silver screen, and a lot more hoping to get there. America even liked him thumbing his nose at the government when he felt they were digging into his private life too much. This would all have to be portrayed.

But we would need a director like Martin Scorsese to turn this into a "Raging Bull" type of hell. Yes, he had the women, but the feedback from them seemed to indicate a very selfish lover who often couldn't produce where it counts. Yes, he directed several films, but was such a control freak that the products went way over budget. And the volumes of instructions he wrote to his staff on how to guard against germs, real or imaginary, show a very disturbed mind.

And the movie would have to show how this increasingly lonely man deteriorated in his last ten-fifteen years of life. While it is true, as suspected, that his paid caretakers took advantage of his situation, and in fact sped up his demise, it is also surprising how much of his faculties remained in his later years. While he was well on his way to looking like the Walking Death he eventually became, he still had the ability to conduct a two-hour press conference to convince the world that the Irving biography was a hoax.

But the ultimate ending would have to show that all the money in the world cannot buy happiness. For the last several years of his life, he was surrounded only by people who were paid to be there. His hair, beard, and nails grew to extreme lengths. While obsessed with germs, he ended up living in putrid squallor, with jars of his own wastes stored everywhere. His body was stoked up with enough drugs to kill an average person, and he even had the remnants of five broken needs inside his arms.

This could be Oscar time for both Clooney and Scorsese if Hollywood lets them do it right.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine biography
A very good biography of a fascinating individual. Aside from some really lame analogies (especially in the first half of the book), the author's writing is crisp and his grasp of his subject is impressive. Overall, I enjoyed reading this biography and highly recommend it to other.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this one.
Could anybody be more eccentric? Very well written
biography. I just couldn't believe it. Wow.

5-0 out of 5 stars This guy is unbelievable!
Howard Hughes was born in 1905; he died in 1977. His mother had died in 1922 , his father in 1924 - thus, Hughes became independent at age 17 - with a guardian (Aunt Annette) and his inheritance (Hughes Tool Company) - valued at $626,000. He ignored his Aunt's advice to attend Rice Institute. He'd already identified his three main goals in life: to become the world's greatest golfer, the world's greatest pilot, and the world's greatest movie-maker. He entrusted the management of Hughes Tool Company (eventually acclaimed for having revolutionized the oil producing industry) to the same people his father had hired; thus, he enjoyed security and independence, a comfortable income, plus time and money to pursue his goals.
At 19 Hughes decides that a serious, young entrepreneur like himself needs a wife; he chooses Ella Rice, a pretty, socially prominent young lady in Houston. Though already in love with another 'promising' young man, Ella was persuaded by her mother and Aunt Annette that Howard - handsome and already rich - was a better 'catch'. After a 3-month honeymoon in New York City the newlyweds headed for California - where Hughes could launch his movie-making career. Soon Hughes was so involved in his golf (he eventually lowered his handicap to a respectable 2-plus) and movie making, that he had little time or energy left for Ella, who left him after 6 months.
In Hollywood Hughes hires an 'executive assistant'. Together they produce in 1926 one flop and one 'so-so' movie, then in 1927 they produce and Hughes directs "Two Arabian Nights" (with actors William Boyd and Boris Karloff ) - a film that wins for Hughes an Oscar for 'Best Director of a Comedy'. In 1928 Hughes begins "Hell's Angels" - a movie that includes 'dogfights' in Sopwith Camels and German Fokkers (78 of them!). Though the movie must eventually be totally re-made (converted from silent to 'talkie' version) , Hughes in the process discovers actress Jean Harlow and the movie establishes box-office records everywhere. The film's premier at Grauman's Chinese Theater was the 'best night of his life' - according to Hughes. Hughes goes on to make many other famous and profitable films (Scarface, the Outlaw), discover other starlets (Jane Russell), and in 1948 he buys a major movie studio - RKO - which establishes him as a major film maker.
Meanwhile, Ella has divorced him , thus freeing Howard to 'play the field'. He's still only 23 - but now richer, more famous and even more handsome than ever - ergo, a very eligible bachelor. Plus, he now has his own little air force, a movie studio and a 170-foot yacht. He thus has little trouble meeting and squiring the world's most beautiful women -like Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Ava Gardner, Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland, Katherine Hepburn, Terry Moore, Yvonne DeCarlo, Kathryn Grayson, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, Billie Dove, and Faith Domerigue - to name a few. Not infrequently he'd be engaged to two, even 3, women at the same time. His love life was in a word - hectic. In 1957 an aging Hughes finally remarries - to actress Jean Peters, a former beauty-contest winner from Canton, Ohio.
In 1927, prompted by the exploits of Charles Lindbergh, and Amilia Earhart, Hughes turns again to his third yet unachieved goal - to become the world's best pilot. He seeks out J.B. Alexander - an experienced pilot-instructor, who is also a 'barnstormer' and stunt flyer. Alexander reports that Hughes was a natural flyer. Soon Hughes was flying his own planes and conjuring up new goals related to flying. In the early '30's, when the depression was hurting Hughes Tool Company profits and Hughes' movie-making pursuits , Hughes takes a 11 month 'sabbatical'. He works temporarily (incognito) as an airport baggage handler, then , elsewhere, as a stunt pilot - for $250.00 per month. Later, Hughes employs a pilot-mechanic and tasks him with 'souping up' Hughes' recently purchased 8-passenger Sikorski S-43. Together they would make flights around the country with Hughes' movie-star girlfriends - and sometimes with 'best friend' Cary Grant and Randolph Scott - two famous actors who later were reportedly bi-sexual - which fueled the rumor mill that Hughes, too, was probably bi-sexual.
In 1934 Hughes and his team set about designing and testing a plane (the H-1) that Hughes wanted to use to set flight records that would establish him as a great pilot. A year later, after Hughes had personally flight-tested the plane, he started flying it to establish new records - speed records, long distance records, altitude records, and, in 1938, a new record for an around-the-world flight. These achievements won for Hughes other awards and recognition for flying : a congressional medal, the Harmon Trophy, and the Collier Trophy. He was also honored with a ticker-tape parade down Broadway in New York City. Hughes, now convinced that air travel had a future, eventually acquired an airline (TWA) that promised fast, comfortable air travel for the general public.
During World War II Hughes' enterprises expanded to meet war demands. Hughes' empire eventually became one of the government's biggest suppliers of aircraft, helicopters, aircraft parts, weapons, missiles and munitions. In 1966 Hughes was declared a billionaire and the richest man in the world. His latest interests now included Las Vegas, where by 1971 he controlled 17% of the city's gambling revenues and employed some 8,000 people. By now Hughes has 'done it all' and he's become a recluse.
Howard Hughes was a giant of his times. He was shrewd, but also lucky: the fields of endeavor that he chose to enter were all just 'taking off': real estate investments in California and Las Vegas, gambling in Nevada, air travel, golf, the movie industry, and the oil industry (which boomed when the auto industry exploded.). Hughes also profited immensely because he was well positioned when World War II began. Hughes' life reads like a fairy tale. Just unbelievable! Believe me! ... Read more


14. Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris
by Ian Kershaw, Norton
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393046710
Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 46958
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Noted for his excellent structural explanation of the Third Reich's political culture in The Hitler Myth, eminent historian Ian Kershaw shifts approach in this innovative biography of the Nazi tyrant. The first of a two-volume study, Hubris is far from a simple rehearsal of "great man" history, impressively exploring the historical forces that transformed a shiftless Austrian daydreamer into a dictator with immense power.

In his forthright introduction, Kershaw acknowledges that, as a committed social historian, he did not include biography in his original intellectual plans. However, his "growing preoccupation" with the structures of Nazi domination pushed him toward questions about Hitler's place and considerable authority within that system. He argues that the sources for Hitler's power must be sought not only in the dictator's actions but also (and more importantly) in the social circumstances of a nation that allowed him to overstep all institutional and moral barriers. In a comprehensive treatment of Hitler's life and times up through the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, Kershaw draws from documents recently made available from Russian archives and benefits from a rigorous source criticism that has discredited many records formerly understood to be reliable. Hubris thus supplants Alan Bullock's classic Hitler: A Study in Tyranny as the definitive account of a man who, with characteristic smugness, indicated that it was a divinely inspired history that made him: "I go with the certainty of a sleep walker along a path laid out for me by Providence." Kershaw's penetrating analysis of how such a certain path could emerge from the dire circumstances of post World War I Germany is the abiding strength of Hubris. --James Highfill ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Biography
Biographies of Adolf Hitler are commonplace, but the first volume of Kershaw's new effort is well worth the read. Kershaw gets past the myths of Hitler to present a detailed, encyclopedic examination of his early life and rise to power. He manages the neat trick of remaining relatively dispassionate and objective about Hitler's political evolution. Kershaw also takes other historians to task for their assertion that Hitler was an energetic genius, revealing that much of the time Hitler was lazy and slothful and could not be bothered to pay attention to matters that did not intrigue him. The one downside of the book is that, in refusing to indulge the Hitler mythos, Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris can be a bit dry in stretches. Still, it's worth it to see this new interpretation of Hitler's life and career.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding biography of Adolf Hitler.
Mr Kershaw has written a very engrossing study of Hitler's personal and political lives. The book is very well written - accessible to the general reader, but with a wealth of footnotes for those who would like to dig deeper on their own.

Kershaw has done an admirable job in trying to get at the truth of the events of Hitler's life - not an easy task with so many layers of myth obscuring the subject. One example is the time that Hitler spent in Vienna before the First World War. Using primary and secondary sources, Kershaw paints a detailed picture of Hitler's years in Vienna - a picture that is often at odds with Hitler's own version as published in Mein Kampf.

This book is an authoritative examination of Hitler's "formative years", the creation of the Nazi Party and Hitler's rise to absolute power. I am looking forward to the publication of the second volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars No Hubris Without Complicity
It probably goes without saying that every American citizen should read at least one critical biography of Adolf Hitler over the course of a lifetime. It is hard to conceive of anyone who has influenced American life, foreign policy, and human sensitivities more than Hitler in our own times. There are past and prospective readers of this work who fought the War that he essentially started and fueled, and very few American families are untouched by his legacy of destruction.

Given his place in history, detested as that may be, it would be hard to cite a better biographical sketch of Der Fuhrer than that of Professor Ian Kershaw of the University of Sheffield in England. We all know that Hitler was bad. Kershaw takes us for a two-volume excursion that explains, as well as anyone can, how he became bad and how his evil was allowed to ferment, verily to thrive, when others in power could have squashed him.

The first volume traces Hitler's life up to and including the German reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1937, a daring but bloodless military foray that left both the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations in tatters. One might suspect that Hitler's flaunting of international law might have been halted midstream by the appropriate checks and balances of German government, business, the military and popular opinion. Obviously, this did not happen. The genius of this volume, in my view, is Kershaw's penetrating analysis of the national conditions of German life and politics that carried Hitler's agenda to fruition, at ultimately terrible cost.

Alois Schicklgruber changed his name to Alois Hitler in 1876, thirteen years before the birth of his son Adolf in 1889. [Heil Schicklgruber?] There are hints in "Mein Kampf" and other sources that Adolf Hitler's overbearing mother was unable to protect him from his father's physical outbursts of anger, though materially the family was comfortable. His secondary school reports describe him as an unmotivated underachiever, and he seems to have left formal schooling with enthusiasm only for history. In his late teens and early adult years Hitler lived an existence described by Kershaw as "parasitic idleness," drawing from inheritances and fancying himself an artist. In actuality he was refused admission on multiple occasions to institutes of advanced artistic training.

When his money ran out, Hitler gravitated to Vienna and painted postcards. He was something of a beer hall bum who worked only enough to survive in a public shelter and pontificate with other down and outers on issues of the day. Kershaw describes in vivid detail the social and political currents of Austria at the time. Nostalgic/apocalyptic pan-Germanic dreams, anti-Semitism, quirky eugenics theories, an uneven economy, and general frustration with ineffectual bureaucratic government led to the rise of energetic but scattered right wing political movements prior to World War I. Bombarded by but very congenial to such influences, Hitler's political philosophy of German preeminence began to form, and the outbreak of international hostilities seemed to galvanize and energize him.

Hitler volunteered for military service in Munich [though legally he was required to do so in Austria and barely escaped prison.] He served primarily as a messenger to the front lines, an unglamorous but respectable tour of duty, and at one point he was temporarily blinded in the line of duty. After hostilities ceased, a thoroughly demoralized Hitler was ordered to work as a teacher in a program to indoctrinate German soldiers to the dangers of Bolshevism, now a major threat to Germany's east in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In actuality such indoctrination was a closet rallying of German nationalism in the military under the restrictions of Versailles. Hitler surprised himself, and many of his influential superiors, with his rhetorical prowess. Throwing his lot with the German Workers Party, a collection of right wing militarists/socialists, Hitler gained national recognition as a spokesman of discontent with the economy and post war shame. His message was hardly unique, though-72 other such parties crowded for influence.

In 1921 he became his own party's leader, and in this capacity led a 1923 ill-timed and poorly conceived revolt against the sitting Reich government known today as the "Beer Hall Putsch" [named for its place of proclamation, not conception.] Kershaw examines the Putsch as a prime example of the way that Hitler himself was used by discontented men of influence from a variety of interest groups. By rights the Putsch should have cost Hitler his life-a treasonous act that killed several. But before a sympathetic judge, Hitler used his trial-with the judge's compliance-as a national podium to articulate his vision of a reformed and restored Germany. Here he broke ahead of the pack of other like-minded rivals for national influence. He received a ludicrously brief prison sentence in quarters that allowed him to write, receive and entertain guests, and continue to expand his political influence. After release, he was banned from speaking for a time [outdoors!] Any chance to beard the lion by the state was now lost forever.

Hitler's nationalist party, easily the loudest of Germany's political parties in the early 1930's, never captured more than a third of the popular vote, but on January 30, 1933, with Hindenburg's government in crisis, Hitler himself wrangled the position of Chancellor, second only to Hindenburg. Upon Hindenburg's death in 1934 he seized full control of the government, with the help of extensive street violence and a propaganda machine second to none. Immensely popular with the masses, he embraced wholesale rearmament and survived the resulting economic upheaval by the dramatic Rhineland venture.

Kershaw discusses Hitler's notorious anti-Semitism at considerable length, though at the conclusion of this first volume there are no clear indications of the genocide that lie ahead. Hitler spoke of segregation and exportation of Jews in private and public addresses and diplomatic meetings through 1937. The death camps, with many other horrors, were not in focus just yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Everybody Loves a Winner"
The Rise

In this first of two volumes, historian Ian Kershaw portrays how a disaffected loser through diligence, and with more than a bit of good fortune, transformed himself from an embittered Veteran of World War I to a beer-hall orator, political leader, and eventually the dictator of Germany.

The prose is workmanlike, without emotion or flash. The annotations are extensive. The story is cautionary.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Biography
There are many books that focus on the life of Adolf Hitler, but none can be compared to the work of shear perfection that is Ian Kershaw's Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris. In the first volume of his Hitler biography, Kershaw addresses the key themes that led to Hitler's rise to power. The book does not begin with any preconceived notions regarding the "evil" or "inhumanity" of Hitler, but rather examines him as he was, a flesh and blood human being. Kershaw presents Hitler as a three dimensional figure. It is this balanced view that makes this book so unique. Hitler presents a full view of its namesake's story and directly challenges and refutes many misconceptions that have become part of the Hitler myth.
The author's motivation behind writing this book is also key to the overall understanding of its significance. Kershaw states that a Hitler biography had never been part of his agenda. In fact, he was extremely hesitant to even begin undertaking this venture because of the prior works of Alan Bullock and Joachim Fest. Kershaw's prior works did not focus on individuals, but rather broader social trends surrounding Hitler's acceptance and Nazism. It was the inescapable link between Hitler and Nazi Germany that finally drove Kershaw to begin his book.
Ian Kershaw's "Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris" is the first part of the greatest biography ever written on the subject of Adolf Hitler. It is the most complete and thought provoking of all the Hitler biographies. While the work can only be described as massive, at well over 800 pages, it is well worth the read. Kershaw addresses all sides of the Hitler. He looks at the figure of Hitler independently of preconceived notions. Kershaw comments on and discredits many of the numerous Hitler myths ranging from the possible Jewish origins of his grandfather, his sexual preference, and the roots of his anti-Semitism. Kershaw references the earlier works of Joachim Fest and Alan Bullock to make his descriptions of Hitler more well rounded. This book address nearly ever key element of Hitler's early life from his boyhood days in Austria to his time in the trenches of World War I and finally to his eventual rise to power through the Nazis. The book is incredibly detailed and presents the full scope of each event in Hitler's life. Kershaw also helps to place Hitler's life in the larger context of the German nation throughout the pre-1936 era.
Perhaps the most prominent theme addressed by Kershaw is Hitler's anti-Semitism. Not only is this one of the most fundamental issues to understanding Hitler, but it is also a prime example of the skill employed by Ian Kershaw in his book. I found Kershaw's theory to be well formed and the most sound of all the other material available. The book is supplemented by a diverse collection of Hitler and Nazi photographs. These photos add to the work as they depict Hitler before he would become the Fuhrer of Germany. Some of these photos, especially of his youth, are not commonly seen and offer a different look on a man whose life is frequently analyzed throughout the world. The book is skillfully written and has a great flow, which makes its length seem almost a non-factor. After reading "Hubris" one will not be able to resist diving into the second volume "Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis." Overall, you could not find a better biography of Hitler. Kershaw does not provide "shocking" new details or "sensational" accounts he simply gives the reader the facts. I highly recommend Kershaw's book for anyone interested in Nazi Germany or history in general. ... Read more


15. Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics
by Frederic Spotts
list price: $37.50
our price: $24.75
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Asin: 1585673455
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Overlook Press
Sales Rank: 175707
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics, acclaimed historian Frederic Spotts presents a startling reassessment of Hitler's aims and motivations. Spotts, whose Bayreuth: A History of the Wagner Festival received rave reviews on both sides of the ocean-The New York Times said "Spotts is sane, trustworthy and continuously absorbing"-convincingly demonstrates that Hitler did not think of himself as a politician, but as an artist, and that he essentially bewitched the German public with his rhetoric, ceremonies, and rallies, instilling in them a sense of national pride and unity, as well as a fanatical devotion to himself. At the same time, Spotts argues, Hitler's obsession with the arts led him to impose his personal taste and standards on music, painting, architecture, and even stage design.

Unlike the traditional biographical view that Hitler was an "unperson," who had no life outside of politics, Spotts shows that Hitler's interest in the arts was as intense as his racism and his argument is punctuated with photographs and illustrations, including reproductions of Hitler's watercolors and drawings from his 1925 sketchbook. The book offers the first full analysis of Hitler's own work as a painter, as well as of his art collection. It also treats the entire range of his personal interests: from architecture, painting, symphony, opera, and sculpture, to the German autobahn system and the development of the Volkswagen.

A riveting and highly original work, Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics provides a key to an understanding of the Third Reich which has, until now, been missing from biographies and studies of the arts in the Third Reich, as well as from political and military studies of Hitler.
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tremendous Achievement
This is the book that I wanted to write. That having been said, I think Mr. Spotts did a considerably better job of it that I ever could. It is impossible to begin to understand Adolf Hitler without understanding his aesthetic approach to the world as he wanted it to be. Usually, histories and biographies of Hitler dismiss his interest in art as either sub-bourgeois sentimentality or propaganda-oriented. This book is intelligent enough not to take either of these tacks, and as a result delivers an exhaustive and meaningful account of how Hitler was, ultimately, an artist who achieved political power.

I wrote an initial paper on the subject in college (imagine how popular that was), but my thesis centered primarily on Hitler's hopes for his art career and the psychological issues underlying his artistic preferences. This book addresses the former, but not the latter, I think quite rightly. What Spotts does, which I would never have been able to do, is exhaustively examine Hitler's work schedules and attendance at specific meetings and events, not to mention budget allocations. This establishes without question the priorities he put on various components of the arts, versus politics or even the business of fighting the war.

Spotts is mostly objective, or mildly condemnatory. This makes for a more focused read.

I think this is the only book I have ever seen on Amazon.com where all the reviews are five stars. It absolutely deserves it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A revelation. A very important book.
I had never previously read books that dealt with Hitler or World War II before reading this one. Like every other Baby Boomer, I've seen enough films and TV shows to write my own WWII movie that most people would probably find credible. What we know of the war is about the fighting, the arrests of those pronounced "undesirable" by the Nazis, children denouncing their parents to the authorities, the concentration camps, etc. The Germany that Hitler presented to his people was a forward-looking state of culture and enlightenment, the acme of modern civilization. People want to believe the best about themselves. Hitler had an instinctive sense of theatre, a passion for ritual, and the desire to make everyone in the entire world subservient to him, as well as the power to squelch all opposition. In some ways, he was visionary. The Volkswagen was mostly his idea. (It was created to justify his building of the Autobahn, which is still one of the wonders of modern Germany.) But he wanted everyone to have HIS taste. Only his taste was acceptable. Everything else was either kitsch or decadent. Disagreement meant losing one's job in most cases or, in some extreme cases, a one-way ticket to Auschwitz. Of course, the most troubling aspect of Hitler was how he could have gotten so many people to go along with him. For me this book explains it. I think this is an important book that made me see things from a different perspective. Parts of the book made me drop my jaw. "Awesome" is an overused word, but it really is the applicable term here. The author made me extremely interested in a subject that basically had little appeal for me. I want to do a lot more reading about this subject now. Spotts' book is a knockout. It gets five stars from me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
An amazing read. I have read a lot about Mr.Hitler and the National Socialist Movement, and I have see references to Mr. Hitler's artistic bends. However to see all of it in a single book..AMAZING. Nothing can take away the horror of 1933-1944 in Germany and Europe, but to think that the whole purpose, in the eyes of the dictator was to create beauty. Adolf Hitler wanted to create a world of absolute German neo-classical art and society. In and of itself, not a bad goal, but not an achieveable goal, and espscially in the way it was attempted!
An amazing new angle at the often flat and one sided person of Adolf Hitler.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read book
Absolutely compelling. No other writer can dissect the great paradox as much as Spotts. Hitler, being an artist whose role was to create, killed and annihilated Jews for the sake of Aryan supremacy. Hitler psychologically manipulated people by showing massive shows and major productions (with all the lighting effects) similar to all the processions and religious practices done by the church. People looked up to him as if they were experiencing epiphany.

Hitler was a great fan of the arts. He loved the opera, theater and spent most of his time on how Berlin could be a perfect city for all his architectural ambitions. He was a product of all his artistic frustrations that stemmed when he was rejected in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He commissioned people to take care of Munich so that it would be the center of the arts and remove the title from its Vienese rival. Certainly, avoiding anything that is modern and jewish.

Spotts took a lot of references especially from Mein Kampf. This book is a must read to understand the psychology why Hitler succumbed to his own good intentions and to his end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cyanide Capsules Are Available At The Door...
Do we really need another book about "Der Fuhrer"? Surprisingly, if the book is this one, the answer is yes. Because this book looks at Hitler from a different angle- one that is pretty much unknown to the layperson: this book is about the "sensitive," "artistic," and "cultivated" Hitler. As you might expect when using such words in connection with Hitler, contradictions abound. The man who could weep while listening to the music of Wagner is the same man who, the moment he came to power, fired or drove into exile musicians and artists he didn't approve of: Jews, Bolsheviks, Modernists, etc. On the other hand, if he liked you personally and thought you were talented, he would sometimes look the other way- he supported, or at least didn't harass, several people who were Jewish or who disagreed with him politically. Some of you may have winced when I used the word "cultivated" in connection with Hitler. But, consider the following: he was very well read (and had a tremendous, possibly photographic, memory); he was a competent, though unimaginative, artist- he could draw and paint as well as your average art school student (and he was completely self-taught); he knew a tremendous amount about the operas of Wagner, and was a good judge of opera singers; he was knowledgeable about architecture, could make architectural sketches, and could intelligently discuss technical aspects of the craft, etc. Having said that, we must remember the flip-side- Hitler was very narrowminded. His love of art was pretty much limited to 19th century German Romantics and some of the painters of the Italian Renaissance. He thought all modern art- which for him started with the Impressionists- was trash, and decadent to boot. He loved opera, but only Wagner and Puccini. He didn't much care for other music- he wasn't really enthusiastic about Beethoven, Mozart, etc. He couldn't stand Brahms, although he eventually did develop a taste for Bruckner. He thought modern music, with its dissonances and atonality, was horrible. In architecture, he admired the Greeks and Romans- but in his building plans for the Third Reich everything had to be magnified to colossal size to awe people. Glass and steel structures left him cold, although he grudgingly realized he'd have to agree to build skyscrapers if only to show that National Socialist Germany could outdo America. Surprisingly, Hitler generally liked his culture "neat." He didn't want political messages- he wanted high-quality, beautiful, soul-elevating art/music/sculpture. Of course, he would tell you what qualified as high-quality, beautiful, and soul-elevating. It may seem odd, but Hitler was embarrassed by the crudity of his Nazi cronies. The vast majority of them had no interest in art, music and sculpture. They'd be dragged, although only silently kicking and screaming, to Bayreuth for the yearly dose of Wagner. They'd fall asleep and start to snore. No wonder the Little Corporal preferred the company of artists, musicians and sculptors. Perhaps the ultimate irony is that the man who wanted "art" with no political content- "art" that elevated people and helped them to get away from the problems, big and small, of everyday life, succeeded in politicizing culture to an unprecedented degree. This book is a brilliant achievement by Mr. Spotts. It forces us to look at Hitler not as a ranting, foaming-at-the-mouth, caricature, but as a fellow human being with, dare I say it, some positive qualities. Yes, the devil is given his due.....but Mr. Spotts never forgets who or what he is dealing with. Why did I give this review the title I did? Mr. Spotts mentions that it was agreed that, when the end of the "Thousand Year Reich" was at hand, the Berlin Philharmonic would add Bruckner's Fourth Symphony to the programme. On the night of April 13th, 1945, the symphony was finally played. As people filed out of the concert hall afterwards, Hitler Youth were in the lobby, hawking cyanide capsules to interested takers. Poor Bruckner probably turned over in his grave. ... Read more


16. Howard Hughes: Aviator
by George J. Marrett
list price: $27.95
our price: $17.61
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Asin: 1591145104
Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Sales Rank: 4130
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17. The Asylum of Howard Hughes
by Jack Real
list price: $22.99
our price: $22.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413408753
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Sales Rank: 34832
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Insider's View of Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes has had many books written about his idiosyncrasies but few have written a story that gets inside the real Howard Hughes' head. Jack Real has given readers a look at Howard Hughes that has not been seen before. And the stories that Real spins with the help of writer Bill Yenne make for fascinating reading that is simply too difficult to make up -- it's got to be real. And Real it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative biography of Howard Hughes
A definitive biography of Howard Hughes by Jack Real, his most trusted confidant. "Money Secrets of the Rich and Famous" describes Jack Real as the man closest to Howard Hughes since the death of his father. Jack Real provides important details and dispells many of the untruths, exaggerations and rumors that surround the fascinating life of Howard Hughes. This biography exposes why the reclusive world of Howard Hughes was turned into an asylum. Highly recommended. ... Read more


18. The Meaning of Hitler
by Sebastian Haffner
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
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Asin: 0674557751
Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 171363
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars solid objective review from a great German Historian
this is clearly the best book I 've read on Hitler. Very unbiased and focused, the author reviews the successes and opportunities as well as the mistakes, errors and crimes of this greatest politician maybe of all times.
Haffner (the author) is able to take a look at ideas, and ideologies from a very neutral viewpoint and talk about them intelligently without emotional bias ("this is bad because Hitler believed in it"). If you want to understand the strange phenomenum -Hitler, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars razor sharp analysis
A book written during the Cold War (1977) by a German journalist who emigrated to the UK in 1938 and worked there for most of his life. In a thin book Sebastian Haffner is capable of gving a razor sharp analysis of Hitler's successes and shortcomings. In 7 chapters he discusses his life, achievements, successes, mistakes, failures, crimes and finally treason.

De book has as hypothesis that Hitler's actions could only lead to the ultimate defeat, but also that he tried to aggravate this defeat to make it as heavy as possible for the German people who had deserted him. Hitler had a two-pronged approach: on the one hand he wanted to fight a war for world rule, one the other hand he wanted to destroy as many Jews (and gipsies and homosexuals and mentally ill people) as possible. This last aim was in conflict with the first one because the people and infrastructure necessary for this left his generals with unsolvable problems. Also, Haffner shows that there were 2 opportunities (1938 and 1940) when Hitler could have come out with an enormous gain in territory if he could have been content with what he had achieved.

The only minor drawback of the book is in my opinion that, even though Hitler was the one who took all the decisions, he needed people to execute these decisions. Haffner brushes aside this side of things a little too easy, leaving Hitler as the sole criminal. Despite this drawback, this is till a very intriguing book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on Hitler
I read this book several years ago in Dr. Blakemore's History of Germany Class at Mary Washington College. I still often refer to the book. Short and to the point the book shows beyond a doubt how Hitler destroyed Germany. Not only is this a good look at Hitler and the Nazis but the book destroys the myth that Hitler did some good for Germany. This book shows the true Hitler and the terrible things he did. Again, there are many good books on Hitler: Toland's work, Study in Tyranny by Bullock, Explaining Hitler, etc. but for a quick read, and a informative one, read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, highly original, very readable, very persuasive
Such a short book and yet so much insight! Sebastian Haffner has once again tackled a much trodden subject with his deep insight and clear and persuasive understanding. The result is a very original portrayal Hitler and the Germany in which he lived - how he came to power, how he used and misused the power and how he betrayed mankind and his country. The book is written in a style easy to follow and understand, giving the reader a powerful insight into events and personalities of the time. A must for anyone studying recent history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hitler explained.
Readers pursuing the excellent question: how to explain Hitler - particularly his successes - will find a few short, simple and novel but persuasive ideas here. Interesting are the obvious ideas I don't remember seeing in print before. For instance, Hitler's lebensraum idea was simply wrong. Nations don't go to war to move thier populations. What German ever wanted to go live in Russia .. ... Read more


19. Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel
by Darwin Porter
list price: $26.95
our price: $26.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974811815
Catlog: Book (2005-04)
Publisher: Blood Moon Productions
Sales Rank: 30577
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Book Description

Howard Hughes led a life of unprecedented debauchery, at least for his era.This biography documents that corruption and the A-list Hollywood legends who participated.

Researched over a period of 40 years, and documented through hundreds of interviews, Hell's Angel is a stormingly good read about WHATand WHO money can buy.

Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel:A completely original biography of America's most bizarre but most seductive billionaire. ... Read more


20. Stauffenberg : A Family History, 1905-1944
by Peter Hoffmann
list price: $90.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521453070
Catlog: Book (1995-10-12)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 542470
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book examines the extraordinary personality of Claus Count Stauffenberg, a key figure in the 1944 coup attempt against Hitler. Stauffenberg's personality is thrown into relief by a study of his two brothers and other family members and friends. The three Stauffenberg brothers, Berthold, Alexander, and Claus, were inseparable both emotionally and intellectually. Their view of human existence was rooted in their south-German aristocratic background, in classical antiquity, and in Christian culture. This 'family biography' describes how the brothers' professions and their political and military environments led them to take fundamental positions on their government's and Hitler's tyranny. Inevitably the book focuses on Claus Count Stauffenberg's military career and his fight to overthrow Hitler, culminating in the attempted assassination and coup of 20 July 1944. No other work has yet probed Stauffenberg's life and mind so deeply, or has offered such a comprehensive account of resistance to Hitler at the highest administrative level. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive History of an Enduring Hero
Of the ten or so serious biographies on Stauffenberg, this will stand as the text to refer to for comprehensiveness and objectivity. The prose is clear, the questions of enduring interest are all answered, and the reader meets the man. Unreservedly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Stauffenberg biography.
Peter Hoffmann's biography of Stauffenberg is the best anyone is likely to write on the subject. The book comprehensively assesses all primary sources hitherto used by Stauffenberg's previous biographers, plus many additional sources which the author himself found. Hoffmann's previous books, among them 'THE HISTORY OF THE GERMAN RESISTANCE, 1933-1945', and 'HITLER'S PERSONAL SECURITY' serve as a foundation to this work which, all told, spans 30 years of scholarly research. As the depth and breadth of this study eclipses any other attempt to date, its conclusions are unassailably judicious. Thus, Hoffmann's 'STAUFFENBERG' has made perhaps the most definitive contribution to the historical field of resistance to the Third Reich. ... Read more


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