Readers See Critique Of Trump In New York Times Book Review Of ‘Hitler’

AP

The New York Times on Wednesday published a book review about a male politician who rose to power on “nativist appeals to the masses,” a “scattershot, impulsive style” and a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.”

That man was not Donald Trump, but Adolf Hitler.

Observers noted that Michiko Kakutani’s review of Volker Ullrich’s “Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939” read an awful lot like a profile of the Republican presidential nominee’s “America First” campaign, though she never once mentions Trump’s name.

Instead, the review catalogues the hallmarks of Hitler’s personality and traces, in terms that ring loud bells to anyone following the 2016 campaign, his rise from a “clown” seen as a “most unlikely pretender to high state office” to the ruthless, authoritarian architect of a world war.

Kakutani runs through bullet points describing Hitler as an “effective orator and actor” who fed off the energy of his audiences, lobbed sharp “put-downs” at hecklers, lied relentlessly and relied on a limited “repertoire of topics.” She writes that Ullrich saw Hitler’s rise not as inevitable, but rather as the result of Germany’s “growing resentment of the elites” and belief that a strong leader “could shake things up.”

According to the review, Ullrich “offers a fascinating Shakespearean parable about how the confluence of circumstance, chance, a ruthless individual and the willful blindness of others can transform a country—and, in Hitler’s case, lead to an unimaginable nightmare for the world.”

Asked for comment, a Times spokeswoman told TPM, “The review speaks for itself.”

h/t The Washington Post

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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