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A landmark biography that gives us an unprecedented understanding of the man who has become the personification of evil.

Volker Ullrich draws on previously unseen papers and recent scholarly research to shed new light on the man behind the public persona: from Hitler's childhood and his failures as a young man in Vienna to his First World War experience and his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, intuitive grasp of politics, and skill at oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview. He gives us a vivid portrait of the postwar Germany Hitler stepped into--humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, starved by economic depression--but the author's unique gift is to elucidate how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political acuity to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. The world has long tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.

About the Author

Volker Ullrich

Volker Ullrich was born in Celle. He studied history, literature, philosophy and education at the University of Hamburg. From 1966 to 1969 he was assistant to the Hamburg's Egmont Zechlin Chair. He graduated in 1975 after a dissertation on the Hamburg labour movement of the early 20th Century, after which he worked as a Hamburg school teacher. He was, for a time, a lecturer in politics at the Lüneburg University, and in 1988 he became a research fellow at Hamburg's Foundation for 20th-century Social History. Since 1990 Ullrich has been the head of the political section of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. Ullrich has published articles and books on 19th- and 20th-century history. In 1996 he reviewed the thesis postulated in Daniel Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners that provoked fresh debate among historians. In 1992 he was awarded the Alfred Kerr Prize for literary criticism, and, in 2008, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Jena.

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