Although Goebbels was the public face of the Nazi regime, to most people he is now best known for his suicide in the Berlin Bunker at the end of the war, and as a figure on podium during some of the Nazi rallies. His wider role in the rise of the Nazi party to power, and as the effective ruler of Berlin for a decade, is less familiar.
In some respects the earlier part of the book, looking at Goebbels' early life and his political career in the 1920s and early 1930s is the most interesting, simply because it is the least familiar. Here we see the development of both Goebbels' skills and techniques and his relationship with Hitler.
Once we reach the war period the authors take the refreshing attitude that the reader is familiar with the course of the conflict, and so after brief summaries of events of each period they are free to focus on how the events impacted on Goebbels, and how his relationship with Hitler changed over the years.
The book was originally published in 1960, which means that the authors were able to interview many of the key figures in Goebbels' early life, including a number of important figures in the early days of the Nazi party. Both authors worked in the media, and for the British Film Academy, and so had a
One key question is to what extent Goebbels was a monster in his own right, and not just a propagandist. The authors soon answer that question - Goebbels is shown to have been just as anti-Semitic as any of the senior Nazis, and to have played a major part in the early persecution of the Jews, while his propaganda methods played a major part in the collapse of the Weimar Republic.
The First Years
The Fight for Power
Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment
'These Years of Triumph;
The Last Months
Author: Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel
Year: 2010 edition of 1960 original