Synopses & Reviews
Albert Speer is a great enigma. An unemployed architect when Hitler came to power in 1933, he was soon designing the Third Reich's most important buildings. In 1942 Hitler appointed him Armaments Minister and he quadrupled production, an astonishing achievement that kept the German Army in the field and prolonged the war.
Yet Speer's life was full of contradictions. The only member of the Nazi elite with whom Hitler developed more than a purely functional relationship (he has even been called "Hitler's unrequited love"), Speer was always an outsider in Hitler's inner circle. He saw himself as an artist, above the crass power struggles of the roughnecks around him, but his enormous ambition blinded him to the crimes in which he played a leading role.
Brilliantly illustrated, this gripping account of one man's rise and fall helps explain how Germany descended so far into crime and barbarism.
PRAISE FOR SPEER
"The most convincing and stylish account of the Speer phenomenon to date."--The Mail on Sunday (London)
"A brilliantly written book."--Der Spiegel (Germany)
PRAISE FOR HITLER
"The best single volume available on the tortuous life and savage reign of Adolf Hitler."--Time
"In this judicious, comprehensive, and well-written (and well translated) new book [Fest] now has the last word on Speer."
"A thoughtful reassessment. A damning portrait of the man once described as 'a very intelligent escapist from the truth.'"
"[A] fascinating portrait of Speer and his times.... This book belongs in any collection on the Nazi era."
"If there is one biography of Speer people should read, then this is surely it."
"Admirably clear-eyed, pulls few punches--yet gives his subject credit for exposing much about the regime he once served."
"One of the most eminent writers on the Third Reich. [Fest] knows the subject backwards, and he writes with authority."
"Joachim Fest's biography is the most rounded and satisfactory of the various studies to date."
"[Fest] sheds much light on one of the more intriguing Nazi officials."
"One of the most eminent writers on the Third Reich. [Fest] knows the subject backwards, and he writes with authority." (New Statesman (UK))
"Joachim Fests biography is the most rounded and satisfactory of the various studies to date." (The Spectator (UK))
"The first detailed account of [Speer's] ministerial service, thoughtful analysis of his relations with Hitler and the other Nazi notables."
PRAISE FOR SPEER
"[Fest] has produced a leaner, historically astute biography, richly enhanced by his knowledge of Hitler."-The New York Times Book Review
"A thoughtful analysis of [Speer's] relations with Hitler and the other Nazi notables, his trial and imprisonment in Spandau, and the controversies that filled his last years."-The New York Review of Books
About the Author
is the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including The Face of the Third Reich
. Following Speer's release from prison in 1966, Fest worked closely with him as the editor of his memoirs, Inside the Third Reich
and Spandau: The Secret Diaries
. Fest lives near Frankfurt.
Table of Contents
List of illustrationsvii
Introduction: Questions, Contradictions,
and More Questions1
Within the Inner Circle
Germania: The Capital of the World
Minister and Economic Dictator
Stations of Ambition
Crises and Intrigues
End Without End
Judgment at Nuremberg
School for Survival
Conclusion: The Rule and the Exception