Hitlerland

American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power
Hitlerland

Hitler’s rise to power, Germany’s march to the abyss, as seen through the eyes of Americans—diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors, Olympic athletes—who watched horrified and up close. By tapping a rich vein of personal testimonies, Hitlerland offers a gripping narrative full of surprising twists—and a startlingly fresh perspective on this heavily dissected era.
 

Hitler's rise to power, Germanys march to the abyss, as seen by Americans-diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors, Olympic athletes who watched horrified and up close. Some of the Americans in Hitler's Germany were merely casual observers, others deliberately blind, a few were Nazi apologists. But most began slowly to understand what was unfolding, even when they found it difficult to grasp the breadth of the catastrophe.

Among the journalists, William Shirer understood what was happening. Edgar Mowrer, Dorothy Thompson, and Sigrid Schultz, reporters, were alarmed. Consul General George Messersmith distinguished. Truman Smith, the first American official to meet Hitler, was an astute political observer. Historian William Dodd, who FDR tapped as ambassador in Berlin, left disillusioned; his daughter Martha scandalized the embassy with her procession of lovers, Nazis she took up with; she ended as a Soviet spy.

On the scene were George Kennan, the architect of containment; Richard Helms, who rose to the top of the CIA. The writers Sinclair Lewis and Thomas Wolfe, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, and the great athlete Jesse Owens came through Germany; so did a younger generation of journalists Richard Hottelet, Hans V. Kaltenborn, Howard K. Smith, and Ed Murrow.

These Americans helped their reluctant countrymen begin to understand Nazi Germany as it ruthlessly eliminated political opponents, instilled hatred of Jews and anyone deemed a member of an inferior race, and readied its military and its people for a war for global domination. They helped prepare Americans for the years of struggle ahead.

Steve Kaufman
On nearly every page of Andrew Nagorski's "Hitlerland," you might find yourself shouting into the book, "No, stop him now!" Unfortunately, there's no point in shouting. The damage had already been done, decades ago. And who was to stop Adolf Hitler, anyway? American diplomats? Journalists? Tourists… ...read more
Jim Cullen
Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power. Andrew Nagorski. Simon and Shuster, 2011. 400 pages. Hitlerland: a term coined in the Berlin-based 1930s by International News Service writer Pierre John Huss to describe Nazi Germany. Huss. Huss, who later worked as one of the so-called… ...read more
Christopher Dickey
The story of the Americans who cavorted with the Nazis. I have never felt quite so horribly intimate with the Führer as I did when reading Hitlerland: close enough to see him, touch him, almost smell him. What Andrew Nagorski (formerly a Newsweek correspondent) has done in this highly readable… ...read more
Michael D. Mosettig
The adventures of Americans in London and Paris in the 1920s and1930s have often been chronicled and lionized. Curiously, the experiences of Americans in Berlin in those inter-war years have received attention in inverse proportion to Berlin’s centrality in shaping those very years for Europe and… ...read more
Katja Ridderbusch
Andrew Nagorski: "Hitlerland" - American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, Simon & Schuster Kursiv international Von Katja Ridderbusch In seinem Buch "Hitlerland" erzählt der amerikanische Journalist Andrew Nagorski die Geschichte vom Aufstieg Hitlers aus der Perspektive amerikanischer… ...read more
Gerhard L. Weinberg
How did American newspaper and radio correspondents and other travelers see Germany as the Nazi movement struggled to obtain power before 1933, and how did they see and report on it from Hitler’s becoming chancellor until Germany went to war with the United States? Readers will find here a… ...read more
Walter Russell Mead
Public opinion plays an immense role in the development of American foreign policy, but the question of how Americans form their impressions of foreign leaders and regimes has not received the attention it deserves. Nagorski’s brisk and engaging account of American encounters with Nazi Germany is… ...read more
Tina Brown
HitlerlandBy Andrew Nagorski As the cloud descended on Europe, some of America’s brightest journalistic and diplomatic stars were there to dine with Hitler and be chased by Nazi thugs. Nagorski tells their story vividly.
James Boylan
As Adolf Hitler trans-formed himself from a failed regional politician to the most feared tyrant of the 20th century, Americans were on hand to observe, report, and warn. Andrew Nagorski, a Newsweek veteran and now head of a public-policy think tank, has ingeniously stitched together the story of… ...read more
Tom Dillon
A terrible history in the making Would we recognize evil if we saw it walking around? Tom Dillon, a veteran newsman himself, takes a look at a book about American journalists and others who witnessed firsthand the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Hindsight is easy, but foresight is difficult. That’s… ...read more
Duff McKagan
Yep, here we go again. 2013 will undoubtedly have the same ups and downs as every year: politics, births, deaths, crime, celebration, war, recession and economic upturn, mega-mergers, and downsizing. The only real changes we can look forward to with no collateral damage are in arts and culture. So… ...read more
Jocelyn McClurg
We scope out the hottest books on sale the week of March 11. Monday MorningsBy Sanjay Gupta, M.D. (Grand Central, $24.99, fiction, on sale March 13)What it's about: This first novel revolves around five surgeons at fictional Chelsea General in Detroit, who each Monday morning face the difficult "… ...read more
Michael N. Dobkowski
Award-winning journalist Andrew Nagorski looks at the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power, the run-up to war, and the Holocaust through the observations and personal testimonies of American diplomats, military attachés, journalists, authors, and Olympic athletes who spent time in Germany and… ...read more
Elliot Jager
Some cataclysmic events occur with the speed of a train wreck; others unfold over months or even years.  Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 2007 bestseller The Black Swanargues that the more earth-shattering the event, the less likely that the press will provide an early warning.  A more sympathetic… ...read more
Jocelyn McClurg
Promiscuous (and, for a time, Nazi-loving) Martha Dodd and her stoic father, Willam Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Germany in the 1930s, are now posthumous superstars thanks to Erik Larson's best seller In the Garden of Beasts. The duo are back in Andrew Nagorski's engaging if chilling Hitlerland, a… ...read more
Lori
Why? How? Who hasn’t posed these questions when learning about Adolph Hitler, Nazism’s demonic agendas, and the passivity of world powers like the United States in the face of Germany’s aggressive militancy? In Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, author Andrew Nagorski… ...read more
Dave Henderson
A Review of “Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power” The tale of Hitler’s rise to power still strikes many of us as an anomaly. How could such a man have taken control of a modern, civilized nation and led it over the precipice of total war? Even after he became Germany’s… ...read more
Commander Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN
Andrew Nagorski is an award-winning journalist and vice-president of the EastWest Institute, think tank based in New York that seeks ways to contribute to the debate on ways to forge global peace. Nagorski has a special talent for bringing to life World War II in a way that is entertaining and… ...read more
Without hindsight: How many saw what was coming? SOME books about Nazi Germany prompt the question, “What would I have done?” Readers of “Hitlerland” may instead ask, “What would I have thought?” Andrew Nagorski has written an entertaining chronicle of the views of Americans in Germany during the… ...read more
Jim Carnett
Human beings exhibit a remarkable capacity for positing head-scratching "what ifs." What if I'd been born in County Cork instead of Orange County? What if I stood 6-foot-5 instead of 5-foot-6? (Actually, I'm 5 8½.) What if I had pipes like Pavarotti? What ifs can be endless, and most are unworthy… ...read more
Jim Cullen
Jim Cullen, who teaches at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, is a book review editor atHNN. His new book, Sensing thePast: Hollywood Stars and Historical Visions, is slated for publication by Oxford University Press later this year. Cullen blogs at American History Now. Hitlerland:… ...read more
From the legacy of British colonialism and the possibility of Hitler's assassination to Turkey's role in the Arab Middle East and Afghanistan's cotton fields, The Globalist Bookshelf crisscrossed the world and spanned centuries of history in 2012. As a year-end special, we present ten of the best… ...read more
“Hitlerland” by Andrew Nagorski relays the years up to and during World War 2, told from the view points of various Americans who had the front row seats to the Germany drama playing out right in front of them. In the book, Nagorski compiles the narratives of American journalists stationed in… ...read more
Liz Smith
"THE TIMES in which we live move too fast for the considered historian to record them. They move too quickly to permit the writing of long books about momentary phases. Ours is the age of the reporter." If you think that is a recent quote, a comment on our age of instant reporting, blogging and… ...read more
NPR
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture. The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad Brown's… ...read more
USA Today
What should you read this weekend? USA TODAY's book picks for the weekend include a revealing look at the little-known "Presidents Club," and two works of fiction tied to the Titanic anniversary. Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to PowerBy Andrew Nagorski; Simon & Schuster,… ...read more
Rand Richards Cooper
Think “Americans in Paris,” and your mind conjures a romance of the years between the wars: Scott and Zelda, Josephine Baker, the luminous recollections of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Americans in Berlin? Not so much. Yet Americans were in Hitler’s Germany, and in Hitlerland, Andrew Nagorski ’69… ...read more
Neal Gendler
What did Americans know about Hitler, Nazis and abuse of Jews before the war? If they read certain newspapers or heard Edward R. Morrow’s roundup of CBS European correspondents, they could have known a lot. But Andrew Nagorski’s Hitlerland makes it clear that the 50 or so American correspondents… ...read more
James J. Sheehan
Unlike most books about Americans abroad, Andrew Nagorski’s Hitlerland is less interested in the Americans themselves than in what they saw or didn’t see while they were away from home. Once the Nazis come onstage, everyone else tends to become a minor player, and Nagorski’s Americans are no… ...read more
Sonny Bunch
Evil on Parade: What were Americans thinking about the Third Reich? The common counterfactual as it relates to Hitler is somewhat fantastical: If you could go back in time and kill the Austrian madman before he ascended to Germany’s chancellorship, would you do so? Nay, would you be morally… ...read more
A contextually rich look at the buildup of Nazi power, revealing the feebleness of Americans’ assessment of the future danger. In these seemingly casual impressions recorded in newspapers, letters, magazines, diaries and diplomatic reports, many Americans rooted in interwar Germany failed to see… ...read more
Michael Korda
The amazing story of the American journalists and socialites who were charmed by the Nazis as they rose to power. Michael Korda reviews Andrew Nagorski’s Hitlerland. “LOVELY SPRING WEATHER BUBONIC PLAGUE RAGING” —Evelyn Waugh: Scoop     There used to be a strong belief that if you wanted to know… ...read more
Elliot Jager
Some cataclysmic events occur with the speed of a train wreck; others unfold over a period of months or even years. Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 2007 sardonic bestseller The Black Swan put forth the proposition that the more earth shattering the event the less likely are news outlets to provide their… ...read more
By Kirkus Reviews
The Austin American-Statesman has teamed up with Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews from one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery. For more reviews from Kirkus, visit www.kirkusreviews.com. HitlerlandAndrew Nagorski Simon & Schuster, $28 Andrew Nagorski’s “… ...read more
Shoshana Bryen
Asking readers not to think about World War II in a book about the rise of Hitler is a tall order. But if you can read the public and private correspondence of American diplomats and journalists in Berlin between the wars as they were written—as contemporaneous commentary—Andrew Nagorski's… ...read more
Mark Safranski
Recent cyber problems here at ZP (as well as work commitments) have left me with an enormous backlog of book-related posts and reviews with which to wade through this month, including re-starting the aborted “friends of zenpundit.com who wrote books” posts.  Here is the first of what hopefully… ...read more
Reed Omara
There’s a typical path for the people who consider themselves readers. The first milestone, after ABCs have been learnt, is the time when fifth graders start reading eighth grade level work to maximize AR Reading points – this is the time of “Wind in the Willows,” “Harry Potter,” and for those who… ...read more
Cicero Magazine
Your book Hitlerland chronicles the lives of Americans who witnessed first-hand the Nazis’ rise to power. What drew the Americans you write about to Berlin? Berlin in the 1920s was a wild place, where everything about life played out on the extremes. Even the sex was wild, as normal inhibitions all… ...read more
Elena Holodny
When it comes to Nazi Germany, one of the biggest questions most people have is how a country like Germany could transform into the disturbing and destructive state that it became under Adolf Hitler. And how did no one see it coming? So, in "Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to… ...read more

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