A riveting account of the dictator’s final years, when he got the war he wanted but led his nation, the world, and himself to catastrophe—from the author of Hitler: Ascent
“Skillfully conceived and utterly engrossing.” —The New York Times Book Review
In the summer of 1939, Hitler was at the zenith of his power. Having consolidated political control in Germany, he was at the helm of a newly restored major world power, and now perfectly positioned to realize his lifelong ambition: to help the German people flourish and to exterminate those who stood in the way. Beginning a war allowed Hitler to take his ideological obsessions to unthinkable extremes, including the mass genocide of millions, which was conducted not only with the aid of the SS, but with the full knowledge of German leadership. Yet despite a series of stunning initial triumphs, Hitler’s fateful decision to invade the Soviet Union in 1941 turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies.
Now, Volker Ullrich, author of Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939, offers fascinating new insight into Hitler’s character and personality. He vividly portrays the insecurity, obsession with minutiae, and narcissistic penchant for gambling that led Hitler to overrule his subordinates and then blame them for his failures. When he ultimately realized the war was not winnable, Hitler embarked on the annihilation of Germany itself in order to punish the people who he believed had failed to hand him victory. A masterful and riveting account of a spectacular downfall, Ullrich’s rendering of Hitler’s final years is an essential addition to our understanding of the dictator and the course of the Second World War.