Speer by Joachim Fest
The Final Verdict

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Albert Speer is a great enigma. An unemployed architect when Hitler came to power in 1933, he was soon designing the Third Reich's most important buildings. In 1942 Hitler appointed him Armaments Minister and he quadrupled production, an astonishing achievement that kept the German Army in the field and prolonged the war.
Yet Speer's life was full of contradictions. The only member of the Nazi elite with whom Hitler developed more than a purely functional relationship (he has even been called "Hitler's unrequited love"), Speer was always an outsider in Hitler's inner circle. He saw himself as an artist, above the crass power struggles of the roughnecks around him, but his enormous ambition blinded him to the crimes in which he played a leading role.
Brilliantly illustrated, this gripping account of one man's rise and fall helps explain how Germany descended so far into crime and barbarism.

About Joachim Fest

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Joachim Fest is the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including The Face of the Third Reich. Following Speer's release from prison in 1966, Fest worked closely with him as the editor of his memoirs, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. Fest lives near Frankfurt.
Published November 10, 2003 by Mariner Books. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Hannah Arendt was thinking of Adolf Eichmann when she coined the phrase “the banality of evil,” but those words were tailor-made for Speer, “the successful average man, well-dressed, civil, non-corrupt,” who early on hitched his wagon to Hitler’s star.

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Publishers Weekly

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The German architect who later became armaments minister, Albert Speer has long been considered an "artist" among Nazi wartime officials—as he apparently considered himself, holding himself apart from what he saw as the more vulgar politicians currying Hitler's favor, a favor he already held.

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