Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeding The Evil Mind

If you read, what you read is a map of your mind. Hitler prided himself on being a reader, bragged about it to excess in fact. What would going through his library tell you of his inner self?

I've been fascinated by Hitler for years, not because I'm a neo-nazi, but because I want to know what made him the evil, banal, charismatic leader he was. It's a very rare path for an angry, perverted, misfit to follow -- not stopping off at Lee Harvey Oswald or Jeffrey Dahmer misfit, but soaring in a brief time to god-like, sociopathic, demagogue, worshipped by the the highly civillized nation of Germany, his most unsupported, incoherent theories accepted as undeniable truth. It's not enough to say it's because he was mad or a great orator. What was it about him that made him -- apart from other capable people -- able to do this?

Part of Hitler's library (though by no means most) survived WWII and is in the Library of Congress, for the most part. Now there's a very interesting book called Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life by Timothy Ryback that tells this story in depth.

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