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Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Lifeby Timothy W. Ryback
Synopses & Reviews
-Washington Post Book World Best Nonfiction of 2008
In Hitler's Private Library Timothy Ryback turns Hitler's reading into a way of reading Hitler-his mind, his obsessions, his evolution. It's an original and provocative work that adds valuable context to the skeletal and mystifying historical record.
-Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler
Hitler's Private Library is a meticulously researched and highly original focus on one of history's most enigmatic figures. Timothy W. Ryback shines his laser-like perceptions into the library and mind of Adolf Hitler in a way no previous book has done. Anyone even vaguely interested in the uses and misuses of 'a little bit of knowledge' and ideology will marvel-and shudder-at Ryback's riveting insights.
-Steven Bach, author of LENI: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl
Remarkably absorbing . . . A tantalizing glimpse into Hitler's . . . self-improvement program.
-Jacob Heilbrunn, The New York Times Book Review
Fascinating . . . Hitler's Private Library will appeal to anyone interested in what books mean to us, and is 'must' reading for anyone who doubts the power of written words to sway the human imagination toward good or evil.
-R. V. Scheide, Sacramento News & Review Best Books of 2008
Sensitively handled . . . and intelligently presented . . . Ryback's portrait is both original and rewarding.
-John Gross, New York Review of Books
Fascinating . . . Timothy Ryback writes gracefully, and the story he weaves around the books from Hitler's private libraries . . . offers fresh perspectives . . . Deftly, and with an economy of words, he sketches the future dictator's transition from young volunteer to bitter and hardened soldier.
-Charles A. Radin, The Boston Globe
Elegantly written, meticulously researched, fascinating . . . thought-provoking . . . Ryback has produced a valuable short addition to attempts to understand this strange man whose impact on the world was so baleful.
-Ian Kershaw, The New York Sun
Dramatic . . . Ryback derives fascinating and suggestive material from the books that he examines . . . Ryback's useful book brings us a little closer to the mind of the monster.
-Anthony Grafton, The New Republic
Intriguing . . . Ryback is not the first to study Hitler's marginalia, but he does make the perfect guide, intelligent, well-informed, and careful.
-Douglas Smith, The Seattle Times
Crisply written . . . Thoroughly engrossing . . . Fascinating.
-Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
Rewarding . . . Carefully researched.
-Ritchie Robertson, Times Literary Supplement
Approaching Hitler from an unexpected angle, Timothy Ryback isn't adding a gimmicky volume to the vast bibliography: he's shedding more light on the man than I have found in many full-dress studies . . . irresistible.
-John Wilson, Christianity Today
From the Hardcover edition.
An incisive study of Hitler's emotional and intellectual world traces the evolution of his life and political philosophy as it examines the books that shaped his life, analyzing key phrases and ideas from his personal books as revealed in his own writings, speeches, conversations, philosophy, and actions. 20,000 first printing.
A Washington Post Notable Book
With a new chapter on eugenicist Madison Grant's The Passing of the GreatRace
In this brilliant and original exploration of some of the formative influences in Adolf Hitler's life, Timothy Ryback examines the books that shaped the man and histhinking.
Hitler was better known for burning books than collecting them but, as Ryback vividly shows us, books were Hitler's constant companions throughout his life. They accompanied him fromhis years as a frontline corporal during the First World War to his final days before his suicide in Berlin. With remarkable attention to detail, Ryback examines the surviving volumes from Hitler's private bookcollection, revealing the ideas and obsessions that occupied Hitler in his most private hours and the consequences they had for our world.
A feat of scholarly detective work, and a captivatingbiographical portrait, Hitler's Private Library is one of the most intimate and chilling works on Hitler yet written.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
\Timothy W. Ryback is the author of The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau, a New York Times Notable Book for 1999. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and lives in Paris with his wife and three children.
Table of Contents
Preface: The man who burned books — Frontline reading, 1915 - The mentor's trade — The Hitler trilogy — The lost philosopher — Book wars — Divine inspiration — Frontline reading, 1940 — Hitler's history of the Second World War — A miracle deferred — Afterword: Fates of books — Appendix A: Description of Hitler's library from "This is the enemy" / Frederick Oechsner, 1942 — Appendix B: Description of the Berghof book collection from a classified report by the US Army Twenty-First Counterintelligence Corps, May 1945 — Appendix C: Library of a Dilettante: a glimpse into the private library of Herr Hitler / Hans Beihack, Suddeutsche Zeitung, November 9, 1946 — Appendix D: Report on the Adolph [sic] Hitler collection and recommendations regarding its arrangement / Arnold J. Jacobius, intern to Frederick J. Goff, Chief, rare books division, Library of Congress, January 9, 1952.
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Biography » Historical