Synopses & Reviews
Albert Speer was an unemployed architect when Hitler came to power in 1933. Soon he was 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.
"In this judicious, comprehensive, and well-written (and well translated) new book [Fest] now has the last word on Speer."
"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."
"Joachim Fest's biography is the most rounded and satisfactory of the various studies to date."
"Joachim Fests biography is the most rounded and satisfactory of the various studies to date." (The Spectator (UK))
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
"[A] fascinating portrait of Speer and his times.... This book belongs in any collection on the Nazi era."
"One of the most eminent writers on the Third Reich. [Fest] knows the subject backwards, and he writes with authority."
"The first detailed account of [Speer's] ministerial service, thoughtful analysis of his relations with Hitler and the other Nazi notables."
"[Fest] sheds much light on one of the more intriguing Nazi officials."
"A thoughtful reassessment. A damning portrait of the man once described as 'a very intelligent escapist from the truth.'"
Brilliantly illustrated, this gripping account of Albert Speer's rise and fall helps explain how Germany descended so far into crime and barbarism.
About the Author
JOACHIM FEST is a highly acclaimed historian and journalist, and the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including THE FACE OF THE THIRD REICH, HITLER, and PLOTTING HITLER'S DEATH. Following Albert Speer's release from prison in 1966, Fest worked closely with him as the editor of Speer's memoirs, INSIDE THE THIRD REICH and SPANDAU: THE SECRET DIARIES. Joachim Fest lives near Frankfurt.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Introduction: Questions, Contradictions, and More Questions
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