How many biographies of Hitler would be enough for you to understand Hitler?
Given the general understanding of the events of World War 2 and the Holocaust most everyone has, one in-depth biography of Hitler probably would do the trick. It seems doubtful after reading one biography of Hitler, you might say “You know what, I need another.”
And in the wake of finding out a reporter is working on a story about you—and how you spend your time of late—your best strategy to preempt the news maybe shouldn’t be “I’ve been reading a lot about Hitler.”
But you and I are not the founder of Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capitalist firms. Today, Marc Andreessen went online to tell everyone an internet news publication was working on a story about him, and that he would explain how he was spending his time.
It starts out innocuous enough, building his VC firm, upping investments, sitting on boards, and trying his best to learn about American history. But then takes a turn around tweet 19, as he’s listing books he’s recently read.
“5. Two comprehensive biographies of Adolf Hitler. Hitler: A Global Biography by Brendan Simms Hitler: Ascent and Hitler: Downfall by Volker Ullrich.”
That definitely seems like one too many comprehensive biographies of Hitler, especially when it sounds like one of them, Hitler: A Global Biography, clocking in at over 700 pages, appears to place some blame for the Holocaust not on Hitler’s antisemitism, but on his worries about the U.S.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Simms says that Hitler’s obsessive anti-Semitism (which, he notes, was pathological) was a function of Hitler’s deeper fear—that Germany had embarked on a course of race suicide that would fatally weaken the country in the face of American power. What was needed for a drastic problem was a drastic solution—namely, the Jews’ exclusion and ultimate extermination.”
According to the New York Journal of Books, the book claims that when “When the Anglo-Saxon powers refused to accept Hitler’s conquests, he blamed Jewish-led capitalist influence in both Britain and the U.S. and ordered the extermination of Europe’s Jews.”
The second book he cites is actually two volumes and comes in at around 1,600 pages.
That’s way too much Hitler, man!