It would be interesting to have a knowledgeable summary and analysis of Hitler's medical history, set against the events of...

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THE SECRET DIARIES OF HITLER'S DOCTOR

It would be interesting to have a knowledgeable summary and analysis of Hitler's medical history, set against the events of his time, but Irving (Hitler's War, etc.) isn't up to the task. Though he studied Theo Morell's diaries after they came to light in the National Archives, he runs into two insurmountable difficulties in presenting their contents. First, his medical expertise is inadequate for translating the material (particularly the pharmacopoeia) and placing-in-perspective Hitler's various ailments and Morell's treatments. Second, Morell was by all accounts an extremely peculiar man and a questionable practitioner whose diaries themselves are therefore suspect. Irving, moreover, neglects to even put the entries in a historical context. September 30, 1944: ""At seven-thirty p.m. I was sent for. There had been four bowel movements between four and six, two of them weak and two very violent. In the second one, after releasing a blockage there was an explosive watery evacuation. The third and fourth were extremely foul smelling and especially the fourth."" This is more reminiscent, surely, of Woody Allen's ""Schmeed Memoirs"" than of any reporting of historical import. Without a strong interpretive component, pointless and eventually boring.

Pub Date: June 1, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1983