Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil

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Harper Collins, Jun 9, 1999 - History - 444 pages
2 Reviews
When Hitler's war ended in 1945, the war over Hitler--who he really was, what gave birth to his unique evil--had just begun. Hitler did not escape the bunker in Berlin but, half a century later, he has managed to escape explanation in ways both frightening and profound. Explaining Hitler is an extraordinary quest, an expedition into the war zone of Hitler theories. This is a passionate, enthralling book that illuminates what Hitler explainers tell us about Hitler, about the explainers, and about ourselves.
 

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Explaining Hitler: the search for the origins of his evil

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Rosenbaum, a literary journalist (Esquire, New York Times Magazine), believes that although much has been written about Hitler, not much has been settled. Drawing on archival research and interviews ... Read full review

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Contents

The Baby Pictures and the Abyss
xi
The Mysterious Stranger the Serving Girl and
3
The Hitler Family Film Noir
16
The Forgotten First Explainers 3 7
37
Part
61
Rethinking Hitlers Thought Process
78
Part Three
97
Hitlers Songbird and the Suicide Register
118
The Big Oops
221
A Cautionary Parable
239
Claude Lanzmann and the War Against
251
There Must Be a Why
267
Part Seven
277
Singling out the Jewish
300
The Passion Play
319
Blaming Germans
337

The Sexual Fantasy
135
Part Four
153
The Shadow Hitler His Primitive Hatred
179
Part Five
199
Blaming Adolf Hitler 3 69
369
5
425
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About the author (1999)

Ron Rosenbaum grew up on Long Island, New York. A graduate of Yale with a degree in English literature, he left Yale Graduate School to write full-time. His essays and journalism have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker; he's done eight cover stories for the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of four previous books, including one novel and three collections of his essays and journalism, most recently Travels with Dr Death and Other Unusual Investigations.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and historian Thomas Powers called him "one of the few distinctive voices of modern American literary journalism." His work has been characterized by the essayist Phillip Lopate as combining "the skills of a terrific investigative reporter and an accomplished literary stylist with an idiosyncratic streak all his own."

More than ten years ago, he began investigating certain unresolved controversies among Hitler biographers, and ultimately embarked on an odyssey that took him from Vienna and Munich to London, Paris, and Jerusalem. The book that emerged combines original research and dramatic face-to-face encounters with historians, philosophers, psychologists, and theologians as they attempt to account for the elusive figure of Adolf Hitler and the meanings projected upon him by his explainers.

Currently Ron Rosenbaum writes for the New York Times Magazine, and The New York Observer, and teaches a course on literary journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of journalism.

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