Hitler: Only the World Was Enough (Hardback)Brendan Simms (author)
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Starting from the staggering proposition that everything we know about history’s most infamous dictator is wrong, acclaimed historian Brendan Simms presents a cogently argued narrative that radically reassess Hitler’s motivations. Drawing on fresh sources, Only the World Was Enough is a revisionist history at its finest.
A revelatory new biography of Adolf Hitler from the acclaimed historian Brendan Simms.
Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied men in history, and yet the most important things we think we know about him are wrong. As Brendan Simms's major new biography shows, Hitler's main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-semitism and his determination to secure the 'living space' necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States.
Drawing on new sources, Brendan Simms traces the way in which Hitler's ideology emerged after the First World War. The United States and the British Empire were, in his view, models for Germany's own empire, similarly founded on appropriation of land, racism and violence. Hitler's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany - a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but, through emigration and foreign influence, to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called the 'Anglo-Saxons'. In the end only dominance of the world would have been enough to achieve Hitler's objectives, and it ultimately required a coalition of virtually the entire world to defeat him.
Brendan Simms's new book is the first to explain Hitler's beliefs fully, demonstrating how, as ever, it is ideas that are the ultimate source of the most murderous behaviour.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 704
Weight: 1177 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 42 mm
If many Hitler books are scarcely worth reading, this one commands attention through its originality and sheer intelligence ... A thoroughly thought-provoking, stimulating biography which all historians of the Third Reich will have to take seriously. -- Richard Overy * Irish Times *
Casts new light on the dictator ... Crisp, well-written, extensively researched ... A valuable contribution. -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph *
[Simms] builds on previous scholarship to make a bold thesis - that Hitler's principal obsession was not communism but rather 'Anglo-America' and global capitalism ... A vigorous, original study that adds to the ongoing scholarship. * Kirkus *
A radically new assessment of the Fuhrer's world view and the motivation for his plunging the world into a terminal struggle for survival. * Daily Mail *
Impressive and intriguing ... By drawing our attention to the centrality of historical emigration to Hitler's racial vision of a Great Germany, Simms adds a new dimension to our understanding of the thinking that drove history's most notorious figure. Crisply written and well-researched, there is much in this book that enlightens and stimulates. * The Interpreter *
Compelling and original. -- Christopher Clark * London Review of Books *
Essential reading. -- Christopher Bray * The Tablet *
Simms ... challeng[es] much recent scholarship ... A preoccupation with Anglo-American capitalism, he contends, drove the Third Reich's ideology in its formative years, more than the oft-cited obsession with Bolshevism ... He has made sound use of the Bavarian archives. * The Observer *
Hitler: Only The World Was Enough is modern political history at its very best: thorough, impeccably well researched, and opinionated without descending into histrionics. The Dublin-Cambridge historian writes with authority, flare, style and convincing conviction - consistently favouring thematic analysis over the simple retelling of facts. -- JP O'Malley * Irish Independent *
Two major biographies of Hitler appeared this year. Brendan Simms's Hitler: Only the World Was Enough concentrates unusually on the Fuhrer's obsession with the strength of the British Empire and America. * The Telegraph *
A pathbreaking and elegantly written account of Hitler and his foreign policy that is rooted in the existing literature but goes beyond it to make new claims. Simms marshals considerable evidence to show that Hitler was more preoccupied with a worldwide struggle with America and Britain then he was by Jews and Bolshevism. His claims of Aryan racial superiority masked concerns about German inferiority; he hoped to improve the 'racial stock' by positive as well as negative eugenics. Simms rejects revisionist claims that see Hitler's foreign policy as constrained or compelled by German society and institutions. A must read for anyone interested in the Third Reich and the long shadow it cast over the 20th century. -- Richard Ned Lebow, professor of War Studies, King's College London
Brendan Simms has a bold hypothesis - that it was Hitler's fixation on the United States and Great Britain, and his fear of German decay and degeneracy that drove his strategic thinking and behavior, and he argues it with exceptional eloquence and force. This fascinating book will force us to rethink the strategy of the Second World War in a way that none other has in more than a generation. -- Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
After more than 100,000 publications on the evil of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi responsibility for Second World War, it is difficult to offer much new. But Brendan Simms has written a provocatively novel interpretation of the ascendance of Hitler, and why he prompted and lost a global war: his Hitler was always driven more by envy and fear of Anglo-American capitalists than fright of the Soviet Bolsheviks-and more from worries about the comparative inferiority of the German Volk than from arrogance about its purported superiority. Enthralling and enlightening revisionist history at its best. -- Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Second World Wars
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