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Life and Death of Adolf Hitlerby James Cross Giblin
2003 Robert F. Sibert Informational Award Winner
Synopses & Reviews
For most people, the name Adolf Hitler represents the darkest, most abominable possibilities of human nature. To this day, almost sixty years after his death, Hitler is a figure who inspires anger, fear, and hatred.
A brilliant politician, Hitler held the entire German nation in his sway with promises of renewal and prosperity, even as he devised a strategy to dominate most of Europe. As he systematically carried out his plan, he set World War II in motion. Meanwhile, he managed to convince many rational German citizens that Jews were the root of all evil, instigating the deaths of more than six million men, women, and children.
In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, James Cross Giblin explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. He traces the arc of Hitler's life from his childhood in Austria and his youthful ambition to be an artist to his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. What emerges is a portrait of a charismatic leader as well as a deeply disturbed man — a combination that has proved deadly time and time again throughout history.
"[A]lways a graceful, unemotional stylist, [Giblin] traces [Hitler's] life and actions...in a straightforward and lucid manner....Giblin's carefully researched account is more important than ever. It is so readable that it should hold younger readers and educate older ones who may need their brains refilled with the facts of history. An essential purchase." Kirkus Reviews
"[E]xcellent....Giblin moves beyond political events and delves into the twisted realms of Hitler's strangely contradictory personality....Giblin wisely avoids cataloging all the battles and events of World War II and keeps the focus on Hitler's personal reaction to these events and his final crazed days in his Berlin bunker." Todd Morning, Booklist (Starred Review)
"[An] accomplished biography....[A] compelling narrative....Giblin offers an absorbing portrait of an enigmatic leader who loved dogs and opera but could also order the extermination of millions of innocent people." Publishers Weekly
Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this Sibert Medal-winning biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this façade and presents a picture of a complex person—at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man. In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitlers life from 1889 to 1945: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visual accompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world. Authors note, bibliography, index.
About the Author
James Cross Giblin is the author of many highly regarded nonfiction books for young readers, among them Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero (Clarion), The Mystery of the Mammoth Bones (HarperCollins), and, most recently, Benjamin Franklin (Scholastic). He lives in New York City.
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