This is the fourth biography to be published of the man who loved to be known by such titles as ""Hitler's Paladin"", the ""Ma of the Third Reich"", and ""the last Renaissance figure""; it seems very likely to become the standard text on him, despite the fact that several matters were necessarily left unresolved in it which may be cleared up in the near future... such as whether Goering had a hand in the burning of the Reichstag in 1933. What really Hitler's second in command? A ""genial but ruthless political gangster""? Or ""a man of genuine knowledge and good taste in art...who enjoyed...the company of diplomats and aristocrats and charmed them into recording many tributes to him both as host and as negotiator?"" Mr. Manvell and Mr. Fraenkel (who previously collaborated on a biography of Goebbels) tell us he was both at once and many other things besides: a drug addict and a loving husband and father, a fearless fighter pilot and a moral jellyfish. The result is a very readable and fascinating portrait of a figure who, however fantastic, is somehow always extremely real. It is also a surprisingly fresh of what have been the craziest war, as well as the most destructive, in all of history.