Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped his Life

Front Cover
Random House, Jul 6, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages

He was, of course, a man better known for burning books than collecting them and yet by the time he died, aged 56, Adolf Hitler owned an estimated 16,000 volumes - the works of historians, philosophers, poets, playwrights and novelists.

For the first time, Timothy W. Ryback offers a systematic examination of this remarkable collection. The volumes in Hitler's library are fascinating in themselves but it is the marginalia - the comments, the exclamation marks, the questions and underlinings - even the dirty thumbprints on the pages of a book he read in the trenches of the First World War - which are so revealing.

Hitler's Private Library provides us with a remarkable view of Hitler's evolution - and unparalleled insights into his emotional and intellectual world. Utterly compelling, it is also a landmark in our understanding of the Third Reich.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SESchend - LibraryThing

Interesting book looking at the books known to be in Hitler's libraries; not a hagiography or a psychological analysis but more a look at what the books added to Hitler's "dilettantish" self-education and what he gleaned from them (via looking at his marginalia or lack thereof). A good, quick read. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

A consideration of Hitler's political thought by examining his surviving books, Ryback contrasts what Hitler liked to read (popular fiction, military history, occult & spiritualist works) with the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Timothy W. Ryback is the author of The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau, a New York Times Notable Book for 1999, and he has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He is the co-founder of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in The Hague and the Deputy-Secretary General of the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, where he currently lives.

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