There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich's massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw's Hitler, Ulrich Herbert's Best and Robert Gerwarth's Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situate Himmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality. Christopher Clark, London Review of Books [An] almost encyclopaedic coverage Jane Caplan, Times Literary Supplement The most thorough study of Himmler yet written ... A superb book, wonderfully translated. Choice [The book's] bulk is consummate with the seriousness of its subject matter and, as the definitive life if this why-faced monster of terror, it is unlikely to be bettered. History Today Excellent ... well crafted and engaging ... comfortably surpassing the offerings of previous biographers, it is surely set to become the definitive work for a generation. Roger Moorhouse, BBC History supremely enlightening New York Times Book Review There have been many attempts to describe the life and opinions of Heinrich Himmler, but this one ... is the first thorough scholarly biography to appear New Statesman very well documented Mail on Sunday A superbly researched account Booklist a work of staggering scholarship Literary Review splendid Sunday Telegraph A masterpiece. Richard J. Evans A highly impressive biography, resting on exhaustive exploration of available sources. Ian Kershaw Gigantic book The Sunday Times Splendid...Longerich gives it a depth and breadth it has previously lacked. Sunday TelegraphFrom the Publisher:
As head of the SS, chief of police, 'Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness', and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, his name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the repression of the German people on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite of his central role in the crimes of the Nazi regime, until now Himmler has remained a colourless and elusive figure in the history of the period. In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the SS-Reichsfuhrer, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible - especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains both incomplete and incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief.
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