S 2001 British Academy Book Prize
Ian Kershaw is a professor of modern history at the University of Sheffield and the author of numerous works of history, including Hitler: A Biography, Fateful Choices and Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution. He lives in Manchester, England.
The second volume of Kershaw's biography of Hitler covers the period from the Anschluss with Austria to 1945. Kershaw (history, Univ. of Sheffield) describes the Nazi state as administratively chaotic. Since Hitler was such a terrible manager, the German bureaucracy almost literally broke down in the years immediately leading up to World War II. The competing lines of authority, the various departments "working towards Hitler"Das Kershaw terms itDalong with the dictator's managerial style combined to make Hitler the ultimate arbiter of Nazi Germany. By 1938, Hitler's word was the equivalent of written law. After 1936, Hitler also came to believe his own propaganda and considered himself the greatest military and political genius of all history. Without any reasonable restraint, he led Germany inexorably to destruction. Interestingly, while Germans' approval of the Nazi party waned even before 1939, Hitler's popularity remained high. Kershaw's two volumes will probably be the standard source for many years, comparing favorably to such staples as Alan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. Recommended for all libraries.DFrederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.