Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader - fuelled by hate, incapable of forming normal human relationships, unwilling to debate political issues - and yet he commanded enormous support. So how was it possible that Hitler became such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the important question at the core of Laurence Rees' new book.
The Holocaust, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the outbreak of the Second World War - all these cataclysmic events and more can be laid at Hitler's door. Hitler was a war criminal arguably without precedent in the history of the world. Yet, as many who knew him confirm, Hitler was still able to exert a powerful influence over the people who encountered him.
In this fascinating book to accompany his new BBC series, the acclaimed historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees examines the nature of Hitler's appeal, and reveals the role Hitler's supposed `charisma' played in his success. Rees' previous work has explored the inner workings of the Nazi state in The Nazis: A Warning from History and the crimes they committed in Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution. The Charisma of Adolf Hitler is a natural culmination of twenty years of writing and research on the Third Reich, and a remarkable examination of the man and the mind at the heart of it all.
Laurence Rees is the writer and producer of the major BBC television documentary series World War II: Behind Closed Doors, War of the Century, Horror in the East and Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. He won the British Book Award for History Book of the Year in 2006 for his international bestseller Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. Rees' career as a writer and filmmaker, focusing on the Nazis and World War II, stretches back nearly 20 years. His body of work has won him several awards, including a BAFTA and a Grierson Award. Educated at Solihull School and Oxford University, Rees is the former Creative Director of BBC TV History programmes.