Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich

Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich

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For all the literature about Adolf Hitler there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself.

Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler's childhood to his failures as a young man in Vienna to his experiences during the First World War to his rise as a far-right party leader.

Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview. 

For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.

Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase.

“Fine biography… Where Ullrich adds greatly to our understanding is by making the mercurial, changeable and…profoundly unknowable Hitler believable… This is a major achievement… Impressive and revealing biography.” - Literary Review

“Ullrich’s attention to detail during this period of Adolf Hitler’s life is exceptional.” - New York Journal of Books