Unlike the many books that focus on Hitler after he took power in 1933, How Hitler Was Made: Germany and the Rise of the Perfect Nazi frames the Nazi leader's early years from 1918 to 1924 in the context of the fascinating and diabolical characters who encouraged, nurtured, and ultimately lost control of him. No other published work examines in detail the competing aspirations of the German left and right as a cause for Hitler's rise while tracking the critical development of Hitler's political peers as anti-Semites years before his more conspicuous arrival on the scene. Beginning in the trenches of the First World War and ending in Landsberg Prison, this page turning Hitler book reveals how the Nazi dictator ultimately arrived at his decision to use democracy to destroy it.
Cory Taylor brilliantly unmasks the chameleon-like evolution of Hitler's ideology and the politically opportunistic schemes that were at the core of its development.
-- Paul S. Nussbaum, president and CEO, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
A cinematic narrative of an obscure man's first steps toward becoming history's most recognized monster, Taylor leads us into a world of seething polarization that trampled the best of humanity and enthroned its most craven. Detail by graphic detail, he builds a world strange and all too familiar, that set Hitler on a path to power, and which prefigures our world today.
-- Nathan Stoltzfus, author of Hitler's Compromises, and professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University
Hitler's crimes were so vast and so hideous that we overlook the remarkable story of how he came to be. Cory Taylor takes us on a fascinating journey into Germany's dark past, to a time with a chilling resonance to our own.
-- Evan Thomas, recurring guest on Meet the Press, former editor at large at Newsweek magazine, and author of Being Nixon
Taylor concentrates on Hitler's early years, tracing the evolution of a human monster, with the result that even readers already versed in Hitler's adolescence and young adulthood will find here a new wealth of detail. He shows how Hitler studied speech, and, unlike his contenders who read their speeches in leaden tones, he dazzled the world with a free voice that rolled like Wagner's thunder. Hitler won by democratic election. That is the frighting point. Taylor's book is timely, for the problem is born again: democracy seen as an enemy of the people. Such is the power of voice, reminding us of the old adage: he who knows how to summon the demons from the deep, him will they follow.
-- David Wingeate Pike, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Contemporary History and Politics, the American University of Paris, and author of Spaniards in the Holocaust: The Horror on the Danube
Masterful..... A chilling account of the cataclysmic unfolding of one of history's most significant narratives: Hitler's rise to power..... Taylor locates the 'making' of Hitler in the trenches of [the first world] war and in its complicated aftermath, a time of economic collapse, civil unrest, political power struggles, widespread violence, and myriad ways 'blame' for a failed war was levied. In a dramatic narrative that reads like a spy novel, Taylor focuses on the years from 1918 to 1924, exploring this critical period in German history and the ways it was shaped by many competing factions and personalities..... Hitler, as a leader, would emerge as a product of this larger context, both revered and feared..... Taylor's well-researched account of that long road to creating such dangerous power is an important, if unsettling, addition to the history of the twentieth century.
-- Jenny Thompson, PhD, Director of Education, Evanston History Center, and author of War Games
How Hitler Was Made unpacks in great detail the political figures and tensions between various movements that arose in the wake of Germany's devastating loss in WW1. Lucidly written and backed with thorough research, Cory Taylor takes apart the toxic stew of anti-Semitism, a power hungry ideologue, political opportunism and devastating social circumstances, to show how it all made possible the rise of the Nazis and Hitler. At times it reads not just as history but as a warning manual to future generations.
-- Dov Hassan, MFA, Chair of Theater Arts Dept. Chabot College