Adolf Hitler makes a brief appearance in my novel, Summer of Long Knives, but his presence is felt everywhere in it. The state he built, which obliterated all the norms of modern Western governance in favor of the law of the jungle, was a mirror of his own vision and personality. How Hitler managed to accomplish this in spite of his non-existant work ethic and indifference to the details of government policy is a fascinating question, which Laurence Rees attempts to answer in this lecture. He asserts that Hitler’s leadership style was charismatic*, based on his ability to harness image and rhetoric to sell an attractive vision to a mass of people demoralized by defeat in war, economic crisis, and ineffective government. Give it a look.
*Rees is using the word in a morally neutral sense derived from Max Weber’s delineation of leadership styles.