Monday, August 22, 2011

John Lukacs: The Hitler of History

After reading about the events of 1938 leading up to the Munich Conference of that year that gave the world "appeasement", I went back to the great historian John Lukacs's consideration of Hitler in this book. (I'd read it about a decade ago on a trip to Montreal with Iowa Guru & Africa Girl. Memories associate well with places.) As with virtually all of Lukacs's work, it bore re-reading. Lukacs treats Hitler for what he was: a human being, a politician, and even--perhaps--a statesman. After all, Hitler had political aims in his war (and WWII was his war, Lukacs argues). As with most of Lukacs's work, it's hard to summarize because he throws out nuggets of insight here and there like he's blithely sowing seeds along a garden path. This is a book about other books and historians as much as Hitler himself, and this, too, makes it different, interesting, and well worthwhile.

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