He was, of course, a man better known for burning books than collecting them and yet by the time he died, aged 56, Adolf Hitler owned an estimated 16,000 volumes - the works of historians, philosophers, poets, playwrights and novelists.
For the first time, Timothy W. Ryback offers a systematic examination of this remarkable collection. The volumes in Hitler's library are fascinating in themselves but it is the marginalia - the comments, the exclamation marks, the questions and underlinings - even the dirty thumbprints on the pages of a book he read in the trenches of the First World War - which are so revealing.
Hitler's Private Library provides us with a remarkable view of Hitler's evolution - and unparalleled insights into his emotional and intellectual world. Utterly compelling, it is also a landmark in our understanding of the Third Reich.
Timothy W. Ryback is the author of The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau, a New York Times Notable Book for 1999, and he has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He is the co-founder of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in The Hague and the Deputy-Secretary General of the Academie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, where he currently lives.