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  • Published: 5 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241532416
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $55.00

Personality and Power

Builders and Destroyers of Modern Europe




The acclaimed historian explores how far individual leaders can alter the course of history

The modern era saw the emergence of individuals who had command over a terrifying array of instruments of control, persuasion and death. Whole societies were re-shaped and wars fought, often with a merciless contempt for the most basic norms. At the summit of these societies were men whose personalities had somehow given them the ability to do whatever they wished.

Ian Kershaw's new book is a compelling, lucid and challenging attempt to understand these rulers, whether those operating on the widest stage (Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini) or with a more national impact (Tito, Franco). What was it about these men and the times they lived in that allowed them such untrammelled and murderous power? And what brought that era to an end? In a contrasting group of profiles (Churchill, de Gaulle, Adenauer, Gorbachev, Thatcher, Kohl) Kershaw uses his exceptional skills to think through how other, strikingly different figures wielded power.

  • Published: 5 October 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241532416
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $55.00

About the author

Ian Kershaw

Ian Kershaw is Professor of Modern history at the University of Sheffield. For services to history he was given the German award of the Federal Cross of Merit in 1994. he was knighted in 2002 and awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2004.
He was historical advisor to three BBC series: The Nazis: A Warning From History, War of the Century and Auschwitz.
His most recent books are Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris and 1936-1945: Nemesis, which received the Wolfson Literary Award for History and the Bruno Kreisky Prize in Austria for the Political Book of the Year, and was joint winner of the inaugural British Academy Book Prize; Making Friends with hitler: Lord Londonberry and Britain's Road to War, which won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2005; and, most recently, Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941.

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