• Hitler

  • Ascent 1889-1939
  • By: Volker Ullrich
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 34 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 29-08-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (26 ratings)


A major new biography - an extraordinary, penetrating study of the man who has become the personification of evil.
For all the literature about Adolf Hitler, there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself. Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler's childhood, to his failures as a young man in Vienna, to his experiences during the First World War, to his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview.
Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression - but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.
Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase.
©2016 Volker Ullrich (P)2016 Gildan Media LLC
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Critic reviews

"Ullrich reveals Hitler to have been an eminently practical politician - and frighteningly so. Timely...One of the best works on Hitler and the origins of the Third Reich to appear in recent years." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"An outstanding study...All the huge, and terrible moments of the early Nazi era are dissected...but the real strength of this book is in disentangling the personal story of man and monster." ( The Guardian [U.K.])
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By marcoscu on 19-01-17

Good book., well read.

A conventional account of Hitler's rise, we'll read but with some strange translation quirks.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Narny on 18-10-17

Informative listen

Found the content very interesting with quite a few things I was unaware of.

However the narration is a little laboured and took some getting used to.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Can't Talk - Listening on 14-11-16

History we wished DIDN'T happen

Would you consider the audio edition of Hitler to be better than the print version?

No comment.

What did you like best about this story?

The IMMENSE amount of research that must have gone into this compelling book. Clearly the writer, and others before him, spent many, many MANY hours hunched over desks reading millions of words to get what was needed for this material. No detail, no matter how small, was left untold.

What does Don Hagen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I felt like I was sitting in the room with Hitler at times, listening to him scream and spit, berating those around him just for the joy of it, seeing his face turn different shades of red, wondering who wouldn't be in the room the next day because of some perceived slight that set him off so. A truly frightening yet fascinating monster of a man. To bring the story to that kind of life was compelling, which is what I always hope for, but don't always get, in biographies. This one delivered with change to spare. this one belongs in any history buff's library for sure.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Like you've never seen or heard him before"

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 05-12-16

A new view of the man.

A different perspective on his early life and great detail on the pre WWI Vienna years that makes his experience clearer. The rise to power is described based on multiple firsthand sources and provides the reader a very clear view of the motives of the players. At least that's what I came away with. A very clear and realistic picture of the man.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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