Magazine March 9, 2020, Issue

Two New Biographies Reexamine Hitler

From left to right: Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler, Erich Raeder, and Wilhelm Keitel in the French village of Compiegne, June 22, 1940 (Patrick Kovacs/Reuters)
Hitler: A Biography, by Peter Longerich (Oxford University Press, 1,344 pp., $39.95), and Hitler: A Global Biography, by Brendan Simms (Basic Books, 704 pp., $40)

Adolf? Not again. My first reaction on learning that not one, but two, substantial new Hitler biographies were up for review was not one of unreserved joy. How much more is there to say? After all, Ian Kershaw’s two volumes from the turn of the century have stood the test of time very well. Nevertheless, as Brendan Simms, a professor in the history of international relations at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, demonstrates in the introduction to his Hitler: A Global Biography, the research grinds on. In his case, he has used a basic cradle-to-ashes format (Simms does not pretend to depict

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “Hitler Revisited” in the March 9, 2020, print edition of National Review.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Become a Member

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

It will be something if 2020 ends up being a choice between a crass and vain New York City billionaire with an ugly Twitter habit and Donald Trump.

Column Calumny

When the Trump administration brought back the classical style to federal buildings, the pundit class went from zero to Hitler in record time.


The Latest