The most amazing book review ever

Michiko Kakutani has pulled off an amazing feat with her review of a new Hitler biography.  Not once does she even make the slightest reference or allusion to Trump.  And yet, he pervades the entire review.  Read it, you’ll be glad you did.  A sample:

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

Is Trump the next Hitler?  Nope.  Among other things, 2010’s America is very different from 1930’s Germany and Trump, while a race-baiter, is certainly no Hitler.  But, are there disturbing personality similarities that suggest a democracy might not want to elect a leader with these personal characteristics?  Hell yes.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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