Cover image for The life and death of Adolf Hitler
The life and death of Adolf Hitler
Giblin, James Cross, 1933-2016.
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
246 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
Reading Level:
1100 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.2 11.0 59713.

Reading Counts RC High School 8.1 15 Quiz: 31662 Guided reading level: NR.
Personal Subject:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DD247.H5 G49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this Sibert Medal-winning biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this façade and presents a picture of a complex person--at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man.In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitler's life from 1889 to 1945: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visualaccompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world. Author's note, bibliography, index.

Author Notes

James Cross Giblin was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 8, 1933. He received a B. A. from Western Reserve University in 1954 and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University in 1955. He pursued playwriting before taking a job at Criterion Books in 1959. He focused on the children's book field. In the early to mid-1960s, he was an associate editor at Lothrop, Lee and Shepard. In 1967, he moved to Seabury Press, where he became editor-in-chief, spearheading the development of the children's book line there, later called Clarion Books. When Houghton Mifflin bought Clarion in the late 1970s, he moved to the company as Clarion's publisher. As an editor, he worked with such authors as Eileen Christelow and Mary Downing Hahn.

His first children's book, The Scarecrow Book written with Dale Ferguson, was published in 1980. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 20 books for young readers, mainly nonfiction, historical nonfiction, and biographies. He won several awards including the 1983 National Book Award for Chimney Sweeps: Yesterday and Today and the 2003 Sibert Medal for The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. He died on April 10, 2016 at the age of 82.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-9. Hitler's cold eyes stare out from the cover photograph of this excellent biography. Much of the book centers on Hitler's early years and rise to power after the First World War, with emphasis on the complicity or, in some cases, naiveteof the German political leaders and industrialists. It also covers the failed appeasement efforts of the British and French in pre-World War II months. Giblin moves beyond political events and delves into the twisted realms of Hitler's strangely contradictory personality, with anecdotes about Hitler's love of dogs, his relationships with women, and his vegetarianism. Giblin wisely avoids cataloging all the battles and events of World War II and keeps the focus on Hitler's personal reaction to these events and his final crazed days in his Berlin bunker. The last chapter deals with contemporary neo-Nazi movements throughout the world. Interspersed with the text are fascinating period photographs. Source notes are provided for each chapter, and the author includes a short informal essay, explaining why he wrote the book and what sources were particularly helpful. --Todd Morning

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this accomplished biography, Giblin (Charles Lindbergh) presents the rise and fall of "the most dangerous and ultimately the most destructive twentieth-century dictator." The author begins with Hitler's birth and modest upbringing in Austria and failed artistic aspirations, and follows his years as a WWI soldier and his budding abilities as a political orator (an army superior noted, chillingly, "Herr Hitler is a born people's speaker.... He clearly compels the attention of his listeners, and makes them think his way"). The compelling narrative then traces Hitler's gradual accumulation of power, including his early political associations with the Nazi Party, a failed 1923 coup attempt and subsequent imprisonment (where he penned his plans for political domination and the annihilation of European Jews in Mein Kampf). This insightful historical overview describes the social, political and economic conditions that proved ripe for the dictator's ascent, as it outlines Hitler's life and career, including his iron grip on his adopted "Fatherland" and his commitment to Lebensraum (or additional "living space" for Germany) which triggered the series of invasions that pushed the world into another war. Abundant primary source quotes and well-researched photographs enliven this comprehensive volume. A closing chapter describes the rise of neo-Nazism both in the U.S. and abroad. Giblin offers an absorbing portrait of an enigmatic leader who loved dogs and opera but could also order the extermination of millions of innocent people. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-The most complete and successful biography of the Fhrer available for this audience. It takes courage to write fairly about the person who perpetuated almost certainly the most suffering and misery in the 20th century, and Giblin accepts this mantle and bears it nobly. This "extraordinary villain who promised to restore his nation's honor and dignity" began life very much as an average person. His subsequent transformation into brilliant politician and then cruel war leader and finally humiliated vanquished tyrant is presented seamlessly and realistically. The first chapter establishes the ground rules for the rest of the book as it sets out to explore how such "deadly ventures" happened. As the book continues, the historical perspective is superb. For example, while Giblin portrays Hitler's persecution of certain groups as severe and reprehensible, he also mentions the fact that during this time many nations and institutions, including American universities, had specific anti-Semitic policies. The last chapter, entitled "Hitler Lives," shows how some people to this day are attempting to perpetuate the man's legacy and beliefs. This book maintains focus on the life of its subject-including his pets and love life-and does not, as many others do, stray into areas belonging to books specifically on the Holocaust or World War II. Good-quality photos, political cartoons, and reproductions augment the text. A biography in the truest sense, this is a terrifying must for all libraries.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1. The Most Dangerous Dictatorp. 1
2. Young Adolfp. 4
3. Homeless in Viennap. 12
4. Corporal Hitlerp. 18
5. The Power of Speechp. 24
6. Launching a Revolutionp. 29
7. Arrestedp. 39
8. Mein Kampfp. 45
9. A Death in the Familyp. 57
10. The Path to Powerp. 63
11. One Nation, One Party, One Fuhrerp. 73
12. Triumph of the Willp. 83
13. "Heil, Mein Fuhrer!"p. 91
14. On the Marchp. 101
15. Triumphant Homecomingp. 108
16. "Peace in Our Time"p. 115
17. Before the Stormp. 126
18. One Conquest After Anotherp. 136
19. War on Two Frontsp. 146
20. The "Final Solution"p. 157
21. Stalingrad--and Afterp. 170
22. A Bomb Under the Tablep. 182
23. The Last Offensivep. 193
24. Down to the Bunkerp. 202
25. Hitler Livesp. 214
Glossary of German Words and Termsp. 225
Source Notes and Bibliographyp. 227
Indexp. 235