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Posts about book-reviews (old posts, page 23)

Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich

Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich

Joachim Fest

2002


This is the book on which the film "Downfall"was largely based, and is I think the only treatment of these events by a German author. Fest exposes a lot of the research and interpretation that's happened since the other, classic histories were written, and gives a very insightful analysis of how the bunker doors into the context of Hitler's life and the end of the Third Reich. Well worth a read

4/5. Finished 05 August 2013.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

Mussolini

Mussolini

Richard J.B. Bosworth

2002


I've wanted to read a biography of Mussolini for a while, and this one is very good. A reviewer quote on the cover describes it as "lucid, elegant, and a pleasure to read," and I'd have to agree. It's somewhat more "literary" than some biographies, and as a result doesn't always cover the historical context as well as one might like: the author's description of the March on Rome, for example, is extremely brief despite it's significance for Mussolini's rise. In this way it's not like many Hitler biographies (for example Hitler or Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives) which are as much about events as personality. One also has to get past the author's repetition of words like "euphonious" and "lucubrations", which get tiresome after a while. Having said all that, this is an excellent biography, full of insight and pointers to other sources (with over 80 pages of footnotes), and is a good overview to the career of someone often written off too quickly.

4/5. Finished 10 July 2013.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)