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Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evilby Ron Rosenbaum
Synopses & Reviews
When Hitler's war ended in 1945, the war over Hitler — who he really was, what gave birth to his unique evil — had just begun. Hitler did not escape the bunker in Berlin but, half a century later, he has managed to escape explanation in ways both frightening and profound. Explaining Hitler is an extraordinary quest, an expedition into the war zone of Hitler theories. This is a passionate, enthralling book that illuminates what Hitler explainers tell us about Hitler, about the explainers, and about ourselves.
"Intriguing, thought provoking and intelligent." Ian Kershaw author of Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris
"A product of exhaustive historical research and meticulous contemporary reporting...an intellectual tour de force." George Will
Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
About the Author
Ron Rosenbaum grew up on Long Island, New York. A graduate of Yale with a degree in English literature, he left Yale Graduate School to write full-time. His essays and journalism have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, the New Republic, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker; he's done eight cover stories for the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of four previous books, including one novel and three collections of his essays and journalism, most recently Travels with Dr Death and Other Unusual Investigations.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and historian Thomas Powers called him "one of the few distinctive voices of modern American literary journalism." His work has been characterized by the essayist Phillip Lopate as combining "the skills of a terrific investigative reporter and an accomplished literary stylist with an idiosyncratic streak all his own."
More than ten years ago, he began investigating certain unresolved controversies among Hitler biographers, and ultimately embarked on an odyssey that took him from Vienna and Munich to London, Paris, and Jerusalem. The book that emerged combines original research and dramatic face-to-face encounters with historians, philosophers, psychologists, and theologians as they attempt to account for the elusive figure of Adolf Hitler and the meanings projected upon him by his explainers.
Currently Ron Rosenbaum writes for the New York Times Magazine, and the New York Observer, and teaches a course on literary journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of journalism.
Table of Contents
Introduction (The Baby Pictures and the Abyss)
Part One. The Beginning of the Beginning
Chapter 1. The Mysterious Stranger, the Serving Girl, and the Family Romance of the Hitler Explainers
Part Two. Two Postwar Visions: Sincerity and Its Counterfeit
Chapter 4. H.R. Trevor-Roper: The Professor and the Mountebank
Part Three. Geli Raubal and Hitler's Sexual Secret
Chapter 6. Was Hitler Unnatural?
Part Four. Hatred: Complex and Primitive
Chapter 9. Fritz Gerlich and the Trial of Hitlers Nose
Part Five. The Art of Evil and the Future of It
Chapter 11. To the Gestapo Cottage; or, A Night Close to the Fuhrer
Part Six. The War over the Question Why
Chapter 13. A Tale of Three Kafkas: A Cautionary Parable
Part Seven. Blame and Origins
Chapter 16. Emil Fackenheim and Yehuda Bauer: The Temptation to Blame God
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