Tuesday, October 13, 2015


This was the longest book on cd to which I've listened, and I admit that the 28.75 hours were at times difficult because the pace of the reader was almost droning. Fortunately, the material on Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, was fascinating and kept the listener willing to put the next cd in place.

How does a mediocre scholar, from a poor family, who has a narcissistic personality ( thought he was quite a ladies man), and sees himself as a somewhat flawed, tragic hero with a physical imperfection (he had a limp caused by a physical disability), become a power within the Third Reich? How does one man become a conduit for anti-Semitism, and channel it across airwaves, newspapers and all existing forms of media in support of his Fuhrer?

Many of the answers are found in Goebbels' own diaries. Historian Peter Longerich draws upon these to show Goebbels as the Nazi henchman in support of an ideal world that only he and Hitler seemed at times to truly envision. Perhaps it was a shared delusion on the part of both men.

Well worth the listen for history buffs and for anyone who wonders "why and how," the Nazi's could have gained a foothold in Germany after WWI and how it lead to WWIII and the Holocaust. From the psychological aspects of Goebbels personality to his cruelty and inferiority complex, to his narcissism and political life as a spinner of tales for the Nazi’s, Goebbels becomes a multidimensional figure rather than just a name in a history book.