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  • Published: 13 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9780099590248
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 848
  • RRP: $24.99

A History of Loneliness

The long-awaited second volume of Volker Ullrich's acclaimed biography of the Führer, taking us through the war years - from the early triumphs of the Blitzkrieg to Hitler's suicide in his Berlin bunker

'Meticulous... Probably the most disturbing portrait of Hitler I have ever read' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
By the summer of 1939 Hitler was at the zenith of his power. Yet despite initial triumphs in the early stages of war, the Führer's fortunes would turn dramatically as the conflict raged on. Realising that victory was lost, and with Soviet troops closing in on his Berlin bunker, Hitler committed suicide in April 1945; one week later, Nazi Germany surrendered. His murderous ambitions had not only annihilated his own country, but had cost the lives of millions across Europe.

In the final volume of this landmark biography, Volker Ullrich argues that the very qualities - and the defects - that accounted for Hitler's popularity and rise to power were what brought about his ruin. A keen strategist and meticulous military commander, he was also a deeply insecure gambler who could be shaken by the smallest setback, and was quick to blame subordinates for his own disastrous mistakes.

Drawing on a wealth of new sources and scholarship, this is the definitive portrait of the man who dragged the world into chaos.

  • Published: 13 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9780099590248
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 848
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Volker Ullrich

Volker Ullrich is a historian and journalist whose previous books include biographies of Bismarck and Napoleon, as well as a major study of Imperial Germany, The Nervous Superpower 1871—1918. From 1990 to 2009, Ullrich was the editor of the ‘Political Book’ review section of the influential weekly newspaper, Die Zeit. On publication in Germany in 2013, Hitler: Ascent 1889—1939 became a top ten bestseller.

Also by Volker Ullrich

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Praise for A History of Loneliness

An urgently compelling story of power, corruption, lies and self-deceits, the damage that happens when we turn our eyes from wrong. Anyone who wants to know what happened in the Irish Catholic Church needs to read this brave, righteously angry and stunning book. Some of us have long wondered what it would be like if a master storyteller turned his powers to this theme. Now we know.

Joseph O'Connor

John Boyne has plunged into the dark and troubled history of the Catholic Church in our time and come up with a novel to treasure. Unflinching, moving and true

John Banville

The complex architecture of this haunting novel is seamlessly constructed. The path to the priesthood that Odran Yates follows is both understandable and sympathetic. And Father Yates is a good man; he is innocent of the false accusations made against him (he's not a pedophile). But as this author accomplished, so masterfully, in The Absolutist, John Boyne has created a character who holds himself accountable -- in the case of Father Yates, for the sins of others. No writer today handles guilt with as much depth and sadness as John Boyne. As Father Yates takes himself to task for all he didn't do, no less than the sexual duplicity and cover-ups of the Catholic Church are indicted. This is John Boyne's most important novel, and of vital importance to Irish history; it is also a gripping story, one no reader can put down until its devastating ending.

John Irving

Beautifully and powerfully written, with an undercurrent of passion, A History of Loneliness is aptly titled. A portrait of one if those individuals we imagine we know -- but have not a clue of his depths.

Joyce Carol Oates

A harsh, unsparing novel...A lacerating portrait of Irish society...Boyne writes with compelling anger about the abuses of power and the dangers of submission.

Helen Dunmore, The Guardian

With this exceptional piece of fiction, Boyne has explored a subject with insight and sensitivity which most would shy away from. It's a brave, angry and powerful novel which sheds new light on a dark chapter in Ireland's history.

Carla McKay, Daily Mail

..this book raises the question of whether being blinkered by faith and bewildered by real life absolves anyone of the greatest sin of all:silence.

Jenny Barlow, Daily Express

A troubling book about a continuingly difficult and disturbing subject.The innocence of the times rings true. Similarly the power of authority - the hierarchy, teachers, parents, gardaí - is demonstrated both forcefully and subtly. It is difficult in any age to convey the dynamics of faith on the page, and the author's efforts here are powerful and arresting.

Christina Hunt Mahony, Irish Times

A beauifully written and admirably restrained response to the systematic abuse which has blighted thousands of lives

Event magazine

Gripping, harrowing and extremely moving...A painfully page-turning read...A vividly three-dimensional dissection of bothe the priesthood and the larger cultural malaise of Ireland

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

In the hands of a less agile writer, the complex narration of this novel and its passionate denunciation of the Catholic Church would likely have failed. Fortunately for us, Boyne is a master storyteller. When I arrived at the last page, I knew I had just read an instant classic.

Toronto Star

Respectfully outraged, timely, scandalous and loaded with more than a little controversy, A History of Loneliness shimmers like a multifaceted diamond.

Washington Blade

Deftly complex . . . Boyne gets it right

USA Today

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