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 social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitler’s life from 1889 to 1945: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visual accompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world. Author’s note, bibliography, index.
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James Cross Giblin is the author of more than 20 critically acclaimed books for young people. His most recent book for Clarion, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, received the Robert F. Sibert Award for Informational Books. Mr. Giblin lives in New York City.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up-The most complete and successful biography of the F hrer available for this audience. It takes courage to write fairly about the person who perpetuated almost certainly the most suffering and misery in the 20th century, and Giblin accepts this mantle and bears it nobly. This "extraordinary villain who promised to restore his nation's honor and dignity" began life very much as an average person. His subsequent transformation into brilliant politician and then cruel war leader and finally humiliated vanquished tyrant is presented seamlessly and realistically. The first chapter establishes the ground rules for the rest of the book as it sets out to explore how such "deadly ventures" happened. As the book continues, the historical perspective is superb. For example, while Giblin portrays Hitler's persecution of certain groups as severe and reprehensible, he also mentions the fact that during this time many nations and institutions, including American universities, had specific anti-Semitic policies. The last chapter, entitled "Hitler Lives," shows how some people to this day are attempting to perpetuate the man's legacy and beliefs. This book maintains focus on the life of its subject-including his pets and love life-and does not, as many others do, stray into areas belonging to books specifically on the Holocaust or World War II. Good-quality photos, political cartoons, and reproductions augment the text. A biography in the truest sense, this is a terrifying must for all libraries.
Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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