Gene Smith, who has successfully personalized such popular losers as Maximilian and Carlotta (KR, 1973) goes a bit overboard...

READ REVIEW

THE HORNS OF THE MOON: A Short Biography of Adolf Hitler

Gene Smith, who has successfully personalized such popular losers as Maximilian and Carlotta (KR, 1973) goes a bit overboard here -- drawing on facile ironies, cinematic fadeouts and domestic trivialities in order to reduce Hitlerian villainy to lifesize pathos. Readers who find it hard to make this transition themselves will find their curiosity sated by the vivid portraits of Hitler on the skids in Vienna, watching old movies in his Berchtesgaden retreat, breakfasting on cereal and cream cakes as he follows his troops into the Sudetenland and generally raving his way toward Gotterdammerung. Smith warns at the outset that he has not attempted to cover such important topics as the persecution of the Jews or the strategy of the war itself, but even so one learns surprising little about Nazi Germany or even about the men who made up Hitler's inner circle. There's a certain, somehow faintly morbid, fascination here, but the emphasis on The Leader's personal magnetism and madness is ultimately a self-indulgent approach to a life that demands, and has received, more serious treatment elsewhere.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Charterhouse

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974