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.
— Emily Peck (@EmilyRPeck) September 28, 2016
Normally I dislike “X is Hitler” rhetoric. But reread this review with “Trump” instead of “Hitler”. Rather apt. https://t.co/FZGHEyCFee
— Anne E. H. Deschaine (@aehdeschaine) September 28, 2016
— Tim de Gier (@timdegier) September 28, 2016
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.”