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The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering

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Of all the leading figures of Hitler's 3rd Reich, Hermann Goering is one of the more interesting if not the most sympathetic. Mosley, an accomplished journalist & biographer with a long list of books to his credit, offers a readable & entertaining biography of Hitler's onetime deputy. This isn't a scholarly work along the lines of the biographies of other Nazi personalitie Of all the leading figures of Hitler's 3rd Reich, Hermann Goering is one of the more interesting if not the most sympathetic. Mosley, an accomplished journalist & biographer with a long list of books to his credit, offers a readable & entertaining biography of Hitler's onetime deputy. This isn't a scholarly work along the lines of the biographies of other Nazi personalities such as Ian Kershaw has done for Hitler, Peter Padfield for Himmler or Ralf Reuth for Goebbels. Don't look for meticulous endnotes or deep analysis. That isn't because Mosely didn't use sources. He did & lists them at the end. He gives a full-length portrait of Goering the man as he was in real life--bigger than life, that was Goering--& while Mosely is sometimes sympathetic, sometimes judgmental, he's honest & in the end he succeeded in capturing the essence of this intriguing & tragic figure. Mosely has one great advantage over other biographers, however: He actually met Goering before the war, was a guest at his estate in E. Prussia & after the war conducted extensive interviews with people who knew the Reichsmarshal intimately his whole life. That sets him apart from other biographers. While I disagree with Mosely's conclusion that his greatest fault was his lack of moral courage to stand up to Hitler, that certainly was a defect in his makeup. But this book proves that Goering had no control over his relationship with Hitler. He, like many others, couldn't stand up to Hitler because he worshipped him. In Goering's particular case, he was totally under the influence of the Fuhrer's charisma & so dependent upon him for so long that in the end it was impossible for him to contradict the dictator. When his god rejected him & then failed him, & Goering knew in the end that Hitler had failed him, there was nothing he could do but accept his fate. Those who condemn Goering because he didn't have the courage to defy his idol haven't been put to that test themselves. For serious students of the history of the 3rd Reich, this book is valuable.--Daniel J. Cragg (edited)


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Of all the leading figures of Hitler's 3rd Reich, Hermann Goering is one of the more interesting if not the most sympathetic. Mosley, an accomplished journalist & biographer with a long list of books to his credit, offers a readable & entertaining biography of Hitler's onetime deputy. This isn't a scholarly work along the lines of the biographies of other Nazi personalitie Of all the leading figures of Hitler's 3rd Reich, Hermann Goering is one of the more interesting if not the most sympathetic. Mosley, an accomplished journalist & biographer with a long list of books to his credit, offers a readable & entertaining biography of Hitler's onetime deputy. This isn't a scholarly work along the lines of the biographies of other Nazi personalities such as Ian Kershaw has done for Hitler, Peter Padfield for Himmler or Ralf Reuth for Goebbels. Don't look for meticulous endnotes or deep analysis. That isn't because Mosely didn't use sources. He did & lists them at the end. He gives a full-length portrait of Goering the man as he was in real life--bigger than life, that was Goering--& while Mosely is sometimes sympathetic, sometimes judgmental, he's honest & in the end he succeeded in capturing the essence of this intriguing & tragic figure. Mosely has one great advantage over other biographers, however: He actually met Goering before the war, was a guest at his estate in E. Prussia & after the war conducted extensive interviews with people who knew the Reichsmarshal intimately his whole life. That sets him apart from other biographers. While I disagree with Mosely's conclusion that his greatest fault was his lack of moral courage to stand up to Hitler, that certainly was a defect in his makeup. But this book proves that Goering had no control over his relationship with Hitler. He, like many others, couldn't stand up to Hitler because he worshipped him. In Goering's particular case, he was totally under the influence of the Fuhrer's charisma & so dependent upon him for so long that in the end it was impossible for him to contradict the dictator. When his god rejected him & then failed him, & Goering knew in the end that Hitler had failed him, there was nothing he could do but accept his fate. Those who condemn Goering because he didn't have the courage to defy his idol haven't been put to that test themselves. For serious students of the history of the 3rd Reich, this book is valuable.--Daniel J. Cragg (edited)

30 review for The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    I recently read a short biography of Goering which focused on his career in aviation. Added to my general interest in the psychology of war criminals, that book motivated me to purchase this longer, more encompassing biography. The author, writing in the early seventies, expects some general knowledge of the war in Europe from his readers. The war is but a backdrop for a portion of his subject's life. Substantial attention is paid to Goering's years previous to the Nazi acquisition of power. What I recently read a short biography of Goering which focused on his career in aviation. Added to my general interest in the psychology of war criminals, that book motivated me to purchase this longer, more encompassing biography. The author, writing in the early seventies, expects some general knowledge of the war in Europe from his readers. The war is but a backdrop for a portion of his subject's life. Substantial attention is paid to Goering's years previous to the Nazi acquisition of power. What emerges from this study is a plausible representation of an individual whereby the formation of his character is sufficiently described so as to make his subsequent behaviors understandable. Whether or not it is accurate, I am not yet in the position to judge. It is, however, believable. The author (1913-92) worked as chief war correspondent for the Sunday Times and had actually met Goering before the conflict began. While well-documented and supplemented by post-war interviews, this is not a scholarly book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Owen

    Now that it is possible to mention the name of Goering (and certain others) without having people froth at the mouth, it is of some interest for the generations who took no part in the running or actual unfolding of the war that ended all his fondest hopes, to look at the man he was. Mosely is a well-known and competent journalist and writer who has done a solid job of bringing the (only very rarely) extraordinary Goering to life. There were many aspects of this life which were unusual certainly, Now that it is possible to mention the name of Goering (and certain others) without having people froth at the mouth, it is of some interest for the generations who took no part in the running or actual unfolding of the war that ended all his fondest hopes, to look at the man he was. Mosely is a well-known and competent journalist and writer who has done a solid job of bringing the (only very rarely) extraordinary Goering to life. There were many aspects of this life which were unusual certainly, and a number of pointers exist that can give us insight into just how he ended the way he did. At the very end, when finally having to give himself up to the Americans (as he and many other Nazi staffers were suddenly so eager to do, since the Russians were in Berlin), it appeared for a moment that the whole thing (the war) had just been a bad joke that had gone slightly sour. Goering thought, for just a while, that he would be accorded the rights normally associated with high-ranking prisoners in his circumstances; being able to give his parole and so on. The awful truth only dawned on him as he was brought back slowly but certainly for trial, and we know in the end that he (quite cleverly) avoided the worst, by crunching down on a cyanide capsule. Thus ended the career of this First World War ace, a man who had no doubt suffered from some extraordinary delusions in his time, who had probably failed in his duty to his own people (by allowing the Luftwaffe to stagnate) and who had been the staunch supporter of the man later to wear the not so thorny crown of history's worst felon. It is an easy read, and for students of the period, or for anyone wanting to glean the details without having to go through the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials or other voluminous works, it is to be highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Interesting insights into the man behind the Air Marshall ...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Corbul

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liam

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  8. 5 out of 5

    Teddie

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark Maria

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Whatley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Garth Hamilton

  14. 5 out of 5

    Prayudi Setiadharma

  15. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Brannon

    Not much written about the number two man in the Third Reich and Commander of the German Air Force. This is an excellent book on the man.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Fisher

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brad Slavik

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yitzy Hammer

  19. 5 out of 5

    vvienly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Syed Nouman Hasany

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rudy Parker

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marco Salvador

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jack Pearce

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abby

  28. 5 out of 5

    ANTHONY J.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Kennedy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike

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