In Adolf Hitler: A Portrait in Tyranny, Edward F. Dolan, Jr., focuses on the development of the Nazi leader, using events from his childhood, adolescence, and adult life to foreshadow the emergence of the erratic man who rose through the political ranks of post-World War I Germany to become the Führer.
Dolan devotes the book’s early chapters to Hitler’s family, his education, and his military service. He introduces a rather average Austrian youth who aspired to become an artist in Vienna but who idled away hours strolling along the Danube or attending concerts. He was a young man immersed in the arts but, unfortunately, lacking the ability to contribute to them. While the author acknowledges the formative influence of those years, especially Hitler’s physical deprivation and growing interest in politics, he credits his subject’s military experience during World War I with welding together the disparate pieces of Hitler’s personality into that of a forceful and dedicated nationalist zealot.
Later chapters trace Hitler’s rise to political prominence through the revival of the German Workers’ Party, as well as his development into a charismatic speaker. In addition, the author introduces the individuals who later became prime movers in the Nazi regime: Joseph Goebbels, Rudolph Hess, Heinrich Himmler, and Hermann Göring.
After supplying the historical background of his subject, Dolan interrupts his...
(The entire section is 435 words.)