Goebbels: A Biography

Goebbels: A Biography - Peter Longerich

"And when we're victorious who will question our methods. We have done so many things that we must win because otherwise our whole nation, with us at the forefront with everything that is dear to us, would be eradicated."

Whoo, if you're looking for a bit of light reading then this is not for you. If you're looking for a comprehensive and interesting biography of Goebbels then this is the book for you. Not only does Peter Longerich manage to cover Goebbels' life and his role in The Third Reich but he also manages to cover the early days, rise, and activity during the war of the NSDAP.


Much has been written about Goebbels before this biography but Longerich really manages to get a more complete look at Goebbels' life, motivations, and role in the government based mostly upon Goebbels' diaries, which were first published in full in 2006. By using Goebbels' diaries as a source Longerich can show just how narcissistic, and dependent Goebbels was on Hitler. Others have tried to portray Goebbels in just one light when Longerich shows that Goebbels was a complex man. Even though not much is known about Goebbels before 1923 (besides what Goebbels has written himself) Longerich provides a great picture of that time using what sources are available to us.


What I really enjoyed about this biography was the fact that not only readers get to learn about Goebbels' life and his role as Propaganda chief, they also get to read about the early days of the NSDAP and its rise and rule until the end of WWII. You really get an insiders view into the NSDAP (through Goebbels' eyes) and get to see how certain decisions were made and get to see different people's roles in the NSDAP. Goebbels didn't have as big a role (or as successful a role) in his propaganda ministry as he would have lead people to believe. In fact, he was as big a confidant to Hitler as he would have wanted everyone to believe.


My only real complaint about this book was that it could be a bit dry at times but that definitely did not happen that much. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking to learn more about Goebbels and the NSDAP. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the galley.