Young Hitler: The Making of the Führer by Paul Ham is 95% a great book. It tells the tale of Adolph Hitler from his earliest time up through the publication of his manifesto, Mien Kampf. Ham takes an even-handed look at the young Hitler. He delves into what made Hitler normal. He loved his mother. He took care of a stray dog found in the trenches of World War I. So what went wrong?
Ham glosses over the fact that Hitler was a Democratic Socialist that simply got too much power before he became a dictatorial fascist. That is where the 5% bad comes in. The last chapter and epilogue read as if they were written by someone completely different.
This book that so expertly weaves a tale based on facts, letters, news account and even Nazi propaganda, switched gear into a Trump-bashing hit piece right at the end. It was jarring as a reader to be taken from what felt like an unbiased historical non-fiction tale into a vitriolic opinion story. His reference to Hitler’s desire to “Make the Fatherland Great Again” was just the first tease that Ham was going off-script and into opinion.
As he describes some of Hitler’s beliefs spelled out in Mien Kampf, he starts to explain what is wrong with the reasoning. Ham actually spends time to walk us through the fallacies of Hitler’s thoughts. It at this time, that the book begins to insult the reader’s intelligence. Thank you sooooo much, Mr Ham for explaining to me that Hitler is a bad guy. I am so glad I had you here to clear up that confusion for me. Tying Hitler to Trump really helps me see why he is a bad guy too… said no one ever.
Ignore the Epilogue and the last chapter and you have yourself a very good book. With them, you have just more propaganda… coincidentally from the same political ideology that helped Hitler rise to power.
by Chris Doelle