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Young Hitler

The Making of the Fuhrer

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


When Adolf Hitler went to war in 1914, he was just 25 years old. It was a time he would later call the 'most stupendous experience of my life'.

That war ended with Hitler in a hospital bed, temporarily blinded by mustard gas. The world that he opened his newly healed eyes on was new and it was terrible: Germany had been defeated, the Kaiser had fled and the army had been resolutely humbled.

Hitler never accepted these facts. Out of his fury rose a white-hot hatred, an unquenchable thirst for revenge against the 'criminals' who had signed the armistice, against the socialists who he accused of stabbing the army in the back and, most violently, against the Jews – a direct threat to the master race of his imagination – on whose shoulders he would pile all of Germany's woes.

But this was not all about the war; the seeds of that hatred lay in Hitler’s youth.

By peeling back the layers of Hitler's childhood, his war record and his early political career, Paul Ham's Young Hitler: The Making of the Führer seeks the man behind the myth. How did the defining years of Hitler’s life affect his rise to power?

More broadly, Paul Ham seeks to answer the question: Was Hitler a freak accident? Or was he an extreme example of a recurring type of demagogue, who will do and say anything to seize power; who thrives on chaos; and who personifies, in his words and in his actions, the darkest prejudices of humankind?

From Publishers Weekly

30 April 2018 – In this serviceable but not comprehensive analysis, journalist and historian Ham argues that Adolf Hitler's experiences in WWI "acted like a forge for his character, hammering his embittered mind into a vengeful political machine." Ham describes Hitler's WWI service as fundamentally different from that of the ordinary soldier: he was a message-runner. It was an elite job involving periodic episodes of high risk and demanding great alertness and self-reliance, followed by ample time for self-contemplation and self-cultivation that evaporated with the armistice. Ham presents a post-defeat Hitler devastated and drifting, turning to politics out of opportunism and desperation. In expressing his personal fury and frustration, Ham argues, Hitler found success replicating his wartime experience: calling on the qualities necessary to get a message through and bring back the reply. His situational awareness made him both a loudspeaker and an echo chamber for those Germans dislocated and brutalized by the Great War and its consequences, correspondingly susceptible to a rhetoric of hatred. This is a useful general-audience perspective on Hitler as more drummer than leader.
Young Hitler
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  • 12,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: 02 November 2017
  • Publisher: Transworld
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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