Author(s): Sebastian Haffner
This memoir begins in 1914 when the family summer holiday is cut short by the outbreak of war, and ends with Hitler's assumption of power in 1933. It is a portrait of the author and his own generation in Germany, those born between 1900 and 1910, and explains through his own experiences and those of his friends how that generation found Hitler irresistible. The book was written in 1939 but never published. The manuscript was found in 1999, hidden in a chest of drawers, by the author's son, after his father had died. An unforgettable memoir of life in Germany during the rise of the Nazis, a mesmerising study of the way a generation of Germans surrendered to Hitler' Robert McCrum, Observer 'This is a short, stabbing, brilliant book' Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph.
Over 400,000 hardback copies sold in Germany alone and was a number one bestseller list for 42 consecutive weeks A ground-breaking and critically acclaimed memoir that received unprecedented reviews in the UK and rights have been sold to eighteen countries so far This is the first English language paperback edition in the world Selected in newspapers as a Summer Reading choice more times than any other book Paperback to include a new Postscript 'If you have never read a book about Nazi Germany before, or if you have already read a thousand, I would urge you to read DEFYING HITLER. It sings with wisdom and understanding' Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY As a memoir of life in Germany during the Nazi rise to power, it is unsurpassable' Richard Overy, LITERARY REVIEW 'This account ...provides an astonishingly effective and well-written explanation of how the Nazis managed so easily to exploit Germany's psychological weaknesses' Antony Beevor, DAILY TELEGRAPH
Winner of Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Non-fiction 2003.
Congratulations all round as this has just won the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Non-Fiction 2003. Oliver Pretzel, Sebastian Haffner's son,is enjoying a well-earned holiday in Mexico before he retires from his position in the Maths department at Imperial College so his son, Sebastian Haffner's grandson, was on hand to accept the award and pose for pictures with lovely Zadie Smith who also won the Fiction Award. Needless to say, we made sure that Zadie went home with a copy under her arm. Obviously this is great timingfor the paperback, and we are working with Colman Getty who handle the PR for the prize to maximise this. Already we've seen an article in the INDEPENDENT, and a feature on FRON ROW. There has also been a piece in the DAILY MAIL and THE JEWISH CHRONICLE. Finished copies are now in - and don't forget this comes with 6 new chapters, a revised afterword and the full version of chapter25 (April 1. 1933) which was discovered at the same time as these chapters. These were discovered in March 2002 by a young historian working on SebastianHaffner's papers in the German state archives. As Oliver Pretzel says: 'The manuscript now really is, I believe, in its final form, as my father abandoned it in 1939. Although still incomplete, the book also has a more satisfactory ending. Instead of the earlier final note of unreal bliss, it now concludeswith a powerful close-up of Nazi methods in action.' Pick of the Week in theSunday Times: "Haffner has written a painfully honest and effective account of how the best in German culture was so swiftly destroyed." "Tells exactly how Hitler and the Nazis managed to subject an entire nation to their evil will." Daily Express "Graphically describes how a generation of German youth wasseduced by Hitler and the Nazis." Sunday Telegraph "With the belated but highly welcome publication of this book Haffner has had the last word in his struggle to be a German in Nazi Germany." FINANCIAL TIMES
Sebastian Haffner was born in 1907 in Berlin. He emigrated to England in 1938 and wrote for the OBSERVER for many years. He returned to Germany in 1954, where he became a prominent journalist and historian, writing for DIE WELT and STERN. He died in 1999.