Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power

Andrew Nagorski. Simon & Schuster, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9100-2
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This account by former Newsweek staffer Nagorski (The Greatest Battle) offers precise firsthand observations of Hitler and his place in history, beginning in the 1920s, as people tried to decide whether he could be dismissed as a nonentity or posed a serious threat to world order. For instance, one American journalist in 1932 called Hitler “effeminate” while also acknowledging the “little corporal’s” ability to “smell the trend of mass feeling” of discontent. Nagorski draws on the writings and recollections of Americans who witnessed Hitler’s meteoric rise; the result is a multidimensional view of the Austrian-born tyrant. The invaluable element of this character study of the enigmatic führer is the accumulative clout of the comments of famed American outsiders such as writers Sinclair Lewis and Thomas Wolfe; journalists Edward R. Murrow, Dorothy Thompson, and William Shirer; diplomat George Kennan; and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who called Hitler “a great man.” Nagorski is drawing from the same well as Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts, while lacking its strong narrative center. But Nagorski’s account is rich in anecdotal detail about how a man dismissed by many could hypnotize a nation and terrorize the world. 8 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 03/13/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 385 pages - 978-1-4391-9101-9
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4391-9102-6
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MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-8174-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-8051-6
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