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These two books, one the autobiography of Otto Strasser, one a biography, cover almost identical material, with slight discrepancies in the reporting. Both were written some time ago, and are predicated on the assumption that Hitler's dog days are over, that he is through politically, that the world is not in arms, and that an overthrow is imminent, with Strasser the candidate for leadership of the Fourth Reich. Both books contain a good deal of material about Nazi intrigue and politics not revealed to date. Strasser and his brother evolved the outline and programme for a new type of government, after the world war, -- National Socialism. Strasser's emphasis is on ""Socialism"" --Hitler's on ""Nationalism"", hence the root of the discord. In 1925, Strasser joined the party, though from the start he hated Hitler. In 1930 the Strassers split with Hitler, Gregor to be killed in jail, Otto to live to form the underground movement, the Black Front, which he still hopes will overthrow Hitler. Years of pursuit by the Gestapo, in Vienna, in Prague, eventually in Paris -- such is the substance of the external action of each book. Both Reed and Strasser outline a programme for a new regime after the overthrow; both retain the anti-semitic elements. It all seems very theoretical. As to the relative merits of each:- is a fast paced, flamboyant reporter and the better writer of the two; Strasser is more personal, there is more intimate first hand data about the Nazi bigwigs, all of whom he knew well. Hitler he sees as ""incarnation of the principle of destruction"", an hysterical, unstable pervert, at all times opposed to intellectual or rational processes. Both contain much of interest in regard to Nazi machinations, but already they seem dated, so fast does history move. There is a big element of uncertainty in the market of such books today.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1940
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin