• Adolf Hitler

  • By: John Toland
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 44 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-21-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (505 ratings)

Regular price: $45.47

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Publisher's Summary

Based on previously unpublished documents, diaries, notes, photographs, and dramatic interviews with Hitler's colleagues and associates, this is the definitive biography of one of the most despised yet fascinating figures of the 20th century. Painstakingly documented, it is a work that will not soon be forgotten.
©1976 John Toland (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 11-25-14

Strange Person

What can you say about a man who had this much impact on history? How could a person rise from such humble beginnings to mesmerize and captivate a nation, instilling god-like devotion in his followers and inspiring them to wage war on the rest of the world?

This book provides some of the answers, but the true inner Hitler will always remain something of a mystery. He had an unusual early life: He was born in Austria, not Germany. His father was illegitimate and his grandfather may have been Jewish, no one knows for sure. In early adulthood he aspired to be an artist, but he struggled greatly to make a successful career out of this. His failure resulted in him living, for a time, on the streets, in dire poverty. At this stage there were no obvious signs that he was a monster: He loved and cared greatly for his mother and was heartbroken when she died. Strangely, he greatly respected the Jewish doctor who treated her for cancer.

In World War One, he miraculously survived four years of trench warfare as a lowly corporal. Germany’s defeat was very painful for him, but he enjoyed and revelled in warfare more than any other activity. From this time onwards he was motivated by two main passions: the rise of Germany and the destruction of the Jews. In order to bring this about he needed to rise to power, and to acquire this power he used his extraordinary talent for oration. He was a brilliant speaker. Despite his unremarkable appearance and diminutive stature, he captivated his audiences wherever he went.

He used this talent to harness the German people's patriotism, their fear of communism and their anti-Semitism, persuading them to go to war to create a new German Empire. His method of waging war, ‘blitzkrieg’, was innovative and immensely successful. This military success continued for a while, but it nurtured an unrealistic optimism in Hitler. As the tide of war started to turn, when the USSR and USA joined the fight against Germany, he continued attacking, against overwhelming enemy forces, in the mistaken belief that he could repeat his early successes. This approach, which incurred massive loss of life, continued right to Hitler’s end. In his final few days, even as he could hear Russian artillery fire from his bunker in Berlin, he was ordering counterattacks in the deluded belief that the war could still be won. Finally, when he realized that the war was lost, he committed suicide to avoid the humiliation of capture by the Russians.

Why did he hate Jews and treat them so abominably? I didn't find an answer in this book. The Jews have been persecuted throughout history, so antipathy towards them is not particularly rare, but the extent of Hitler's hatred of the Jews and the appalling cruelty he perpetrated upon them was exceptional and truly shocking. Clearly, he used anti-Semitism as a means of motivating others to fight for his cause, but why he wanted to go as far as to commit genocide is unclear. There doesn't seem to have been an incident in his life where he was badly treated by Jews, so it is hard to identify how this came about.

Listening, for 44 hours, to the story of the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler was certainly interesting, although there are certain feelings of guilt and self-accusations of morbid fascination associated with it! I wasn’t able to completely solve the puzzle of what formed this man’s character and how he succeeded so spectacularly, but I did gain some valuable insights into his life and times. If you are interested in history, this book is definitely worth listening to.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Chris Henson on 10-09-14

Absolutely fascinating, in depth and jarring.

Where does Adolf Hitler rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best audio books I've listened to.

What other book might you compare Adolf Hitler to and why?

This is a brilliant companion piece to "A World Undone" by GJ Meyer [a chronicle of WWI] and "No Simple Victory" by Norman Davies [WWII] in that it gives you an in depth look at how the world got from the First World War to the Second and even supports the premise that both were actually parts of a single World War.

Which scene was your favorite?

Obviously well researched, one of the most jarring statements made in the book was that if Hitler had died in the mid 30s, he would most likely have been remembered as a truly great leader and savior of the German people.

Any additional comments?

Toland goes to great pains to avoid passing judgment on Hitler, Nazis, and so on. And to an astonishing degree, he is successful. The book is vivid, thorough, and detailed. And yet, somehow the 40-some hours have flown by.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Axel on 10-28-14

only as an audiobook I managed..

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, overall a very good overview over Hitler, quite long but as audiobook manageable. I doubt that I would have had enough stamina to read it myself

What was one of the most memorable moments of Adolf Hitler?

I preferred the early part where the author attempted to explore Hitler's childhood, youth and development.In later parts Hitler's psychology drifts in the background. I guess the author did not want to speculate too much, but I flt the earlier part was more interesting tas it attempted to explore the influences that may have shaped Hitler's inner world

Any additional comments?

I think audible should revise the questions it gives for the reviews, they are not applicable for non-fiction.I liked the narration very much. Ralph Cosham's voice is well suited for non-fiction, neutral but never boring.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr on 02-11-15

Factual and Flowing account of A Hitler

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?


What other book might you compare Adolf Hitler to, and why?

None to date

What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Long audio, Ralph keeps your listening consistent

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?


Any additional comments?

You Really get to know what A Hitler was all about, this was my primary goal in understanding, the boy, the man, the unbelievable leader (getting to power) and the lunatic. I would have like to got to know more on his interaction with Generals, his thought process and strategy on taking on Western and eastern fronts

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Brett Armstrong on 05-18-15

Sad but true.

Before I listened to this book I really didn't like Hitler but by the end of the book I felt like everyone around him didn't realize how much help he needed for his mental health.

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