A revelatory new biography of Adolf Hitler
from the acclaimed historian Brendan Simms
is one of the most studied men in history, and yet the most important things we think we know about him are wrong. As Brendan Simms's major new biography shows, Hitler
's main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-semitism and his determination to secure the 'living space' necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States.
Drawing on new sources, Brendan Simms traces the way in which Hitler
's ideology emerged after the First World War. The United States and the British Empire were, in his view, models for Germany's own empire, similarly founded on appropriation of land, racism and violence. Hitler
's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany - a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but, through emigration and foreign influence, to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called the 'Anglo-Saxons'. In the end only dominance of the world would have been enough to achieve Hitler
's objectives, and it ultimately required a coalition of virtually the entire world to defeat him.
Brendan Simms's new book is the first to explain Hitler
's beliefs fully, demonstrating how, as ever, it is ideas that are the ultimate source of the most murderous behaviour. After more than 100,000 publications on the evil of Adolf Hitler
and the Nazi responsibility for Second World War, it is difficult to offer much new. But Brendan Simms has written a provocatively novel interpretation of the ascendance of Hitler
, and why he prompted and lost a global war: his Hitler
was always driven more by envy and fear of Anglo-American capitalists than fright of the Soviet Bolsheviks-and more from worries about the comparative inferiority of the German Volk than from arrogance about its purported superiority. Enthralling and enlightening revisionist history at its best. -- Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Second World Wars Brendan Simms has a bold hypothesis - that it was Hitler
's fixation on the United States and Great Britain, and his fear of German decay and degeneracy that drove his strategic thinking and behavior, and he argues it with exceptional eloquence and force. This fascinating book will force us