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directly on the heels of Jack El-Hai's The Nazi And The Psychiatrist, and they are the perfect pair of books, and I highly recommend that they be read together. Not only do both books deal with a particular Nazi war criminal and his interaction with another man on the other side of the war effort, but both books do something that not many history narratives dare: that is, to view these participants in the early twentieth century's most turbulent drama not as heroes or villians, as stereotypes, but rather as very complex human beings, with characteristics like all of us, and like each other...and thus we realize that, placed in another time in history, we might have been very different people indeed. Hanns and Rudolf is the proper title for this book, as we see beyond the familiar stamp of the last names most history books have already emblazoned with their over-simplified judgments--into men, into minds more familiar than is sometimes comfortable--and, in the process, a little more into ourselves. I highly recommend both books for their literary, psychological and historical value! Take the time to read them correctly, and you will well get your money's worth in these two great works on personal drama in the WWII theatre.
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Not only is Thomas Harding an excellent journalist, but he is an impeccable storyteller. While diligently tracing the threads of history down narrow passageways, he manages to find that perfect balance of writerly touch and scholarly truth. The result is a masterful narrative worthy of every literary accolade.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful