The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler

The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler

Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this Sibert Medal-winning biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this façade and presents a picture of a complex person—at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man.In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the socia...

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Title:The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler
Author:James Cross Giblin
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Edition Language:English

The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler Reviews

  • Brooke

    Being a history buff, I took a personal interest to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it interesting how the author portrayed Hitler's life. The book did not just cover his dictatorship, and the war. It showed how he was in his younger years, and it presented his rise to power. It makes him seem more realistic. I feel that it is important to try to truly understand Hitler as a person. He did horrific things in his life, yet at the time, he was glorified for it. If histor

    Being a history buff, I took a personal interest to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it interesting how the author portrayed Hitler's life. The book did not just cover his dictatorship, and the war. It showed how he was in his younger years, and it presented his rise to power. It makes him seem more realistic. I feel that it is important to try to truly understand Hitler as a person. He did horrific things in his life, yet at the time, he was glorified for it. If history truly repeats itself, people should know and understand what happened.

    He was like us. He went to school. He struggled in math. He dreamt of being an artist. He played Cops and Robbers. He was normal, yet he rose to be one of the most powerful people in the history of the world. He is a figure head to children who read about him in their text books. The accurate information in this book will give readers a different perspective on him.

    Hitler is obviously a villain, and students should understand that; however, I feel that this book shows them that even some similar to themselves can do evil. I would have my students read this biography during the Holocaust or World War II unit. I would stress the fact of how deadly stereotyping can be. Hopefully after reading the book, they will learn a greater lesson then just the historical facts.

  • Nina

    What an extremely interesting book. It tells the facts as they happened, but doesn't make them overly complicated (which tends to happen in history books). I was able to understand what was happening perfectly fine. Do understand that this book does not intend to teach you about the *whole* of world war 2. It doesn't go into detail about the camps or ghettos, but really only explains how Hitler was behind it and his political/military strategies.

    The book can get technical at times but the

    What an extremely interesting book. It tells the facts as they happened, but doesn't make them overly complicated (which tends to happen in history books). I was able to understand what was happening perfectly fine. Do understand that this book does not intend to teach you about the *whole* of world war 2. It doesn't go into detail about the camps or ghettos, but really only explains how Hitler was behind it and his political/military strategies.

    The book can get technical at times but the pictures balance that. I think I'll have to go and buy a copy of my own.

  • Andie

    I haven't read all of the book yet, but from what I've read, Hitler isn't the man we thought him to truly be. We all thought he was born this evil man, but in reality, none of us are born bad or good, the same goes for Hitler. All he ever wanted to do was draw. But because people didn't think him talented, they rejected him. So he enrolled into the military, and they lost. He got angry, so he blamed it on the Jews. We all have to blame something on somebody, he chose the Jews. Why won't anyone t

    I haven't read all of the book yet, but from what I've read, Hitler isn't the man we thought him to truly be. We all thought he was born this evil man, but in reality, none of us are born bad or good, the same goes for Hitler. All he ever wanted to do was draw. But because people didn't think him talented, they rejected him. So he enrolled into the military, and they lost. He got angry, so he blamed it on the Jews. We all have to blame something on somebody, he chose the Jews. Why won't anyone take time to realize that maybe, just maybe, Hitler wasn't as bad as we think he was.

  • Tyler

    The future Führer lives a fairly decent childhood before before rising up as the so-called savior of great Germany. In a series of catastrophic events, he causes World War II, pitting the Axis Powers against the Allies. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this biography because it provides detail to the Führer's life other than just as a psychotic anti-semitic mastermind. There is a bit of irony from outside sources related to this book, even if you've somehow never heard of the Führer. Just by the

    The future Führer lives a fairly decent childhood before before rising up as the so-called savior of great Germany. In a series of catastrophic events, he causes World War II, pitting the Axis Powers against the Allies. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this biography because it provides detail to the Führer's life other than just as a psychotic anti-semitic mastermind. There is a bit of irony from outside sources related to this book, even if you've somehow never heard of the Führer. Just by the title alone, you should be able to infer that he loses in the end, especially if you actually decide to read the back of the book. There is a bit of humor, possibly as well, such as the instance where you learn that Adolf had a dog with him named "Foxy" during WWI in his trench as his faithful companion. I would personally recommend this book because, as previously stated, it provides more backround on the Führer other than the atrocities that are taught on a basic level.

  • Maclaren Michalski

    I have always been fascinated by WWII. Ever since I was young, I can remember going to the library in the Summer searching through all the bookshelves until I could find every book about that time period. However, looking back on the books I read, I chose to read books about concentration camps, families, and life during this time period. I never took the time to read about Adolf Hitler, the man who is at fault for this horrific time period. So when I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued and

    I have always been fascinated by WWII. Ever since I was young, I can remember going to the library in the Summer searching through all the bookshelves until I could find every book about that time period. However, looking back on the books I read, I chose to read books about concentration camps, families, and life during this time period. I never took the time to read about Adolf Hitler, the man who is at fault for this horrific time period. So when I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued and decided to read it! This book looks at the life of Hitler, digging into his younger childhood life, spanning all the way until his last final days which were spent mostly in a bunker. It also focuses in on his rise to becoming the horrific dictator that he ultimately was. Overall, I loved this book! If you have an interest in WWII, I would highly recommend reading about the man behind it all.

  • Richie Partington

    30 December 2002 THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by by James Cross Giblin, Clarion Books, April 2002

    "...And it's one, two three, what are we fighting for?..."

    --Country Joe & The Fish

    If I had been born a few years earlier, or if the Vietnam War had dragged on a few more years, I might well be a Canadian resident today. As an active opponent of the War throughout high school I knew that I was heading north if my number came up.

    I recall how my friend Jamie would bl

    30 December 2002 THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by by James Cross Giblin, Clarion Books, April 2002

    "...And it's one, two three, what are we fighting for?..."

    --Country Joe & The Fish

    If I had been born a few years earlier, or if the Vietnam War had dragged on a few more years, I might well be a Canadian resident today. As an active opponent of the War throughout high school I knew that I was heading north if my number came up.

    I recall how my friend Jamie would blissfully smile and calmly insist--when pressed by a notably less pacifistic friend of ours--that even if someone had a gun pointed at his mother, he (Jamie) could not shoot that person. Golden-haired Jamie, who I idolized, was a year older than I and was similarly spared having to choose what to do because of the end of the Draft.

    "...For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky

    Set off the mighty mushroom roar

    When I saw the cities burning

    I knew that I was learning

    That I ain’t marchin’ anymore..."

    --Phil Ochs

    I read THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK as a child. Grew up in the era of nuclear tests. And I'd go to business parties during the late Sixties with my dad and converse with veterans of World War II who explained how different THAT war was. A significant portion of my friends and classmates throughout my Long Island childhood and adolescence were Jewish, some of whom had lost relatives during the Holocaust. Now I have a daughter who will be spending Spring Break visiting the country on which our nation dropped The Bomb. And while I couldn't take a life no matter what the circumstances, the never-ending horror of knowing what the Nazis perpetrated in those years--not very long before my own birth--has always made me wonder how I would have felt if I were an American teenager back then and knew what was going on.

    Thus, I have always been very interested in literature that explores that time in history. This year has marked the American publication of a number of excellent young adult books to feed that desire:

    POSTCARDS FROM NO MAN'S LAND for which British author Aidan Chambers won the Carnegie Medal in 2000 has been garnering further critical acclaim this year with its release here in the States. THE DIVINE WIND: A LOVE STORY, (

    ) which was shortlisted by the Children's Book Council of Australia a few years ago, also arrived in America this year. SOLDIER BOYS by Dean Hughes was a memorable read about two boys--one grown in America, the other raised a Hitler Youth--who march toward their fateful meeting as they learn what war is really all about. And in the YA novel WHEN MY NAME WAS KEOKO, last year's Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park explores Japan's pre-war occupation of Korea. There is also LEFT FOR DEAD: A YOUNG MAN'S SEARCH FOR JUSTICE FOR THE USS INDIANAPOLIS (

    ) which is an exceptional work of nonfiction regarding the ship that was sunk after delivering the bomb that the US dropped on Hiroshima.

    "There are no memorials to Adolf Hitler in Germany, the country he ruled with an iron hand from 1933 to 1945."

    So begins THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER by James Cross Giblin, a book that provides essential information for young adults who want to understand the twentieth century. In writing a detailed biography of the most infamous human being of the last hundred years, the author has put together a fascinating story that never lets up. In doing so, Mr. Giblin also provides a clear overview of the events leading up to and through the second world war. Beginning with the haunting cover, the book is illustrated with large, clear photographs of the significant people and places we encounter, as well as several well-drawn maps to which I'd periodically refer as I read the book.

    "To celebrate his triumph, Hitler planned a sightseeing tour of Paris, a city he had long admired but never visited. His favorite architect, Albert Speer, accompanied the Führer as he visited the ornate Paris Opera, drove down the broad Champs Élysées, stopped at the Eiffel Tower, and lingered for a long time at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The three-hour tour through almost completely deserted streets--the French deliberately stayed away--ended on the heights of Montmartre, long known as a district for artists. Perhaps its narrow streets and outdoor cafés reminded Hitler of his youthful days in Vienna, when he himself had dreamed of being an artist."

    THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER does an exceptional job answering the questions of how Hitler was able to gain control of the German government, and how his forces and henchmen were able to succeed so horrifically and effectively before they were finally halted. We see how the long-term effects of the Versailles Treaty on Germany lead almost inevitably to the opportunity for Hitler's rise to power. We are reminded of the significant anti-Semitism in the US, Britain, and other countries that figured into their less-than-stellar response to Hitler's aggression and genocide. (I can remember how my friends' families still weren't welcome at some private clubs in the 60's!) And, of course, we see Hitler from birth to death: as a son, a student, an artist, a failure, and a homeless person who eventually finds a group in which to belong. Joining that organization, making it his, and changing the world forever--the lesson here is not lost on the author, who ends the book with a profile of some Neo-Nazi groups in existence today.

    We also get a good look at many of the trustworthy men who turned Hitler's maniacal goals into reality:

    "Neat and methodical, Himmler was a born bureaucrat. He worshiped Hitler and would carry out any order the Führer gave him, immediately and without question."

    I thought that I knew all about Adolf Hitler. But from the vivid photograph of one of his watercolor paintings to the details of his final hours with Eva Braun and Joseph Goebbels, James Cross Giblin has illuminated the life of a madman and given me a real education.

    Richie Partington, MLIS

    Richie's Picks

    richiepartington@gmail.com

  • Caitlin Schwatka

    I read this book when I was in 8th grade and loved it. I am Jewish by blood, and I have relatives who died in the Holocaust. Reading about Hitler's life really impacted my life, and the way I view my family's history. This biography starts with Adolf as a innocent young man, and we see how a cruel environment can affect a young adult.

    the book is incredibly accurate. we see at the beginning a young adult who was very much like us when we were younger. He loved his mother, and he had great d

    I read this book when I was in 8th grade and loved it. I am Jewish by blood, and I have relatives who died in the Holocaust. Reading about Hitler's life really impacted my life, and the way I view my family's history. This biography starts with Adolf as a innocent young man, and we see how a cruel environment can affect a young adult.

    the book is incredibly accurate. we see at the beginning a young adult who was very much like us when we were younger. He loved his mother, and he had great dreams of becoming an artist. Throughout the book, however, we see this man with a sensitive side become corrupted by the world and become one of the most powerful men of all history.

    The book is presented in an organized way. As stated above, the book starts from when he is a young boy and goes throughout his life. It goes on past his life to highlight how he continued to affect the world even after his death.

    I found the book very appealing, but I would not have students under 8th grade read it. While Hitler was a human being, he was a villian. His mind was obviously corrupted, yet his actions are not any less evil. I would have students of younger grades read a book less dense and informative.

    The author's writing style is clear, and presents the topic in a detailed but understandable way. It is obvious the author is very interested and intrigued by the life and influence of Adolf Hitler, by the detail he goes into explain his life and personality.

    As a teacher, I would first explain that Hitler was not born evil. He was once a child and student just like all of them. I would explain however, how greatly he negatively impacted not just his country, not just his continent, but the entire world. I would have my students read this biography to better understand what all happened before, during, and after World War II.

  • Jacob Penrith

    I thought that this was a very interesting book. It was cool to understand the life of a horrible man. I recomend this book to whoever wont get offeded and likes fiction. He was actually a very smart man just bad decisions. For a fiction book its not that boring.

  • Marcus Burnett

    I think this book was great. Hitler was a influential, and charismatic man. He pushed Germany back up to its feet and pushed it in the best direction as possible. The only problem is that he is pushing the country in the wrong way. The Nazi way. This book covers the losses and wins of the Nazis, The Third Reich, and Hitler. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Historical Biographies around the WWI and WWII era.

  • Vicki

    This is a timely read given the current state of American politics - Hitler's rise to power is one that should never be forgotten, and thanks to comprehensive but readable accounts like this, it won't be. This author does not gloss over things but instead chronicles Adolf Hitler's remarkable impact very well. This book was immersive and never got boring, despite some of the more minor details about the war in particular. The last few pages especially give a great case for why books like this wil

    This is a timely read given the current state of American politics - Hitler's rise to power is one that should never be forgotten, and thanks to comprehensive but readable accounts like this, it won't be. This author does not gloss over things but instead chronicles Adolf Hitler's remarkable impact very well. This book was immersive and never got boring, despite some of the more minor details about the war in particular. The last few pages especially give a great case for why books like this will remain important for young people to read.

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