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Description - The Psychopathic God by Robert G. L. Waite

The Psychopathic God is the definitive psychological portrait of Adolph Hitler. By documenting accounts of his behaviour, beliefs, tastes, fears, and compulsions, Robert Waite sheds new light on this complex figure. But Waite's ultimate aim is to explain how Hitler's psychopathology changed German,and world,history. With The Psychopathic God we can begin to understand Hitler as never before.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780306805141
ISBN-10: 0306805146
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 31mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1993
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Psychopathic God by Robert G. L. Waite

US Kirkus Review » This contentious "psychohistory" of the Fuehrer does not venture absolute conclusions, but lays out an array of issues, approaches, and findings aimed against writers like A. J. P. Taylor and David Irving who have termed Hitler a master pragmatist in sane pursuit of national goals. In opposition, Waite views Hitler as a "borderline" functional psychotic, examining the data at sometimes repetitive but decidedly fascinating and rather witty length. One key to Hitler's spectacular oral and anal fixations, his immature inflexibility and obsession with death, is found in the mother whose ultra-solicitude other historians have minimized by comparison; the "mama's boy" syndrome contributed to Hitler's talent for manipulation by irrational means (and may have intensified his terror of the possible Jewishness of his paternal grandfather). Additionally, the book "comes to grips with the problem of the Fuehrer's testicle"; one was almost certainly missing, whence the Hitlerian architectural mania and aggravated sense of vulnerability. His quest for childhood omnipotence was finally expressed in his Wagnerian suicide (the book's title, however, comes from a W. H. Auden poem). Waite's sketches of German developments and national character - a Williams College historian, he has written about the post-WW I Freikorps - are valuable if simplified. Where he gets most damagingly reductive is in the political and military sphere, e.g., "Since with Hitler, personal feelings often became public policy, the demand for Lebensraum became a guiding principle. . . ." Apart from such easy-target sections, Waite's insistence on psychoanalytic rigor may be turned against some of his own characterizations, while his zest for reexamining sources at the expense of Toland, Rudolf Binion, and others will provoke fresh arguments. A rich, provocative study even for those who swear they will never read another Hitler book. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Robert G. L. Waite

Robert G. L. Waite is Brown Professor of History Emeritus at Williams College. He is the author of Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Post-War Germany, 1918-1923 and Kaiser and Fuhrer: A Comparative Study of Personality and Politics.