Academic journal article Military Review


Academic journal article Military Review


Article excerpt


A.N. Wilson, Basic Books

New York, 2012, 200 pages, $24.99

HITLER BY A.N. WILSON is a nonscholarly account of Adolf Hitler that explores how such an indolent man, lacking any interest in politics, could coerce a country and later become chancellor of Germany. He is described as a man who not only freewheeled through life without much responsibility until almost 25, but also was denied a promotion in World War I due to his lack of leadership skills. He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class because of the officers he knew as a regimental message runner, not for having any direct combat involvement.

His failed beer hall putsch of 1923 inspired supporters for National Socialism and earned Hitler prison time, where he wrote Mein Kampf Hitler's book--reeking with self-indulgence--became a best seller throughout Germany. Wilson argues that Mein Kampf was not necessarily the struggle of Hitler's life, but the struggle or fight yet to come. It was the fight for Germany's future and the world itself.

A gifted and passionate orator, Hitler captured his audience with oral and visual stimuli such as the Roman salute and mass rallies. Wilson claims that "Hitler was the first and most hypnotic artist of post-literacy, escalating himself as a maestro of political manipulation. …

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