In this epic biography, Allan Bullock puts the two most brutal
monsters of the twentieth century, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin
together and compares their similarities and contrasts as leaders. From
their births in Austria and Georgia, through their upbringings and
early education to their days of political agitation we see clearly the
forming of their devastating characters.
The book details both men''s rise to power, Hitler as the leader of a
new party, the National Socialist German Worker''s Party and Stalin as
the would be heir apparent (through much manipulation) of the legacy of
Lenin and finally as the leader of the Communist party.
Finally, we see their catastrophic collapse as Hitler begins to lose
the war and retreats to the bunker where he would later end his life
and Stalin, losing his grip both on power and his health lashes out at
the people closest to him, including his own doctors before finally
succumbing to his own death, still defiant at the end.
The book concludes by examining the legacy of Hitler and Stalin and
examining man''s inhumanity to man, that those under the two men, such
as the brutal SS and SA and the NKVD (later the KGB) could be capable
of such atrocities is a poignant reminder that despite all our
technological advancements, humanity still has a very long way to go.
As is written on the walls of Auschwitz those who do not remember
history are bound to live through it again. In summary, this book is
mandatory reading for those who wish to learn about 20th century Europe
as well as those who still cling to the idea that socialism is the best
model for society. I challenge them to read this book and still say