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THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by James Cross Giblin Kirkus Star

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER

By James Cross Giblin

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: April 22nd, 2002
ISBN: 0-395-90371-8
Publisher: Clarion

Opening with an overview of dictators through history, Giblin (The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin, 2000, etc.), always a graceful, unemotional stylist, traces the life and actions of the leader of “the thousand year Reich” in a straightforward and lucid manner. His narrative explores three basic questions: “What sort of man could plan and carry out such horrendous schemes? How was he able to win support for his deadly ventures? And why did no one try to stop him until it was almost too late?” Citing Adolf’s middle-class childhood, he looks beyond the standard labels of barbarian, savage, or mad man. (These qualities might provide excuse for his political acts: crimes against humanity, genocide, and a world destroyed.) Completing the history of the rise and fall of Germany, the Nazis, Hitler, and his cronies, Giblin follows with information about modern Nazi followers: skinheads, white power groups, Aryan nation members, and the like. The study cries out for much better maps; places like the Rhineland, Sudentenland, the Ruhr, to name a few, are mentioned in the text but not set in their geography—necessary in a time when young people seem to have little knowledge of the globe and its places and peoples. The rest of the illustrations are well chosen in this exemplary twin biography of a man and modern history. In a time when people, young and old, are unaware or have forgotten that people like Hitler, his nation of followers, and his high command existed, Giblin’s carefully researched account is more important than ever. It is so readable that it should hold younger readers and educate older ones who may need their brains refilled with the facts of history. An essential purchase. (Nonfiction. 11-15)