HITLER by R.H.S. Stolfi

HITLER

Beyond Evil and Tyranny

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the guise of a scholarly screed, former Marine Corps Reserve Stolfi (German Panzers on the Offensive Russian Front, 2003, etc.) makes an incredible—and entirely failed—attempt to rehabilitate the most reviled figure of modern history.

The author strongly objects to the universal “denigration” of Adolf Hitler. Across nearly 500 pages, he decries the “antipathy” against his hero, mistaking amoral charisma for integrity. Hitler, writes the author, was a man of towering achievement, a messiah for the German people, an intense, idealistic mastermind. To Stolfi, the young Wagnerian hero of World War I who boasted a firm handshake and direct eye contact was a sensitive Bohemian artist and opera lover. Against all evidence, the author also proclaims him a wonderful painter and superb architect. Hitler pronounced himself the savior of Europe from the threat of Marxism, and the murder of millions of Jews was simply political necessity. Readers should understand that Stolfi’s book is not a biography but a preposterous hagiography employing selective fact supported by quotes from a few Nazis and a lot from the Führer’s own Mein Kampf. It is also a jealous, sarcastic discourse against the “conventional wisdom” of the “great-biographers” (unlike Stolfi, these include reliable authors such as Toland, Fest, Kershaw, etc.). The book ends before the end of the Third Reich. Ultimately, despite the author’s effort to spin the malign corruption—especially offensive while it is still in living memory—there remains nothing beyond the evil and tyranny that his subtitle promises.

A repellent text, as deranged as its subject.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61614-474-6
Page count: 476pp
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2011




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