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Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich
Parforce (UK) Ltd. | 1996 | ISBN 1872197132 | English | 939 pages | PDF | 2.6 MB

This latest work by Irving (Goring: A Biography, LJ 3/1/89) depends heavily on Goebbels's diaries and related papers. Unfortunately, the diaries are boring. Goebbels devoted much of his journal to describing his emotions (banal), love life (promiscuous), and marriage (dysfunctional).

At its best, this aspect of the book is keyhole history. Far more troubling is Irving's general approach to the history of the Third Reich. He takes pains to insist periodically upon his distaste for Goebbels's Nazi extremism, but to describe Hitler as "less radical on the Jewish question" in 1942 than was Goebbels is to deny reality. Paradigmatic as well is Irving's insistence that Goebbels's vicious attacks on Jews in the 1930s were in response to the "hysteria" generated by the foreign press, the Comintern, and such dangerous "Jewish" organizations as the World League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism.
In contrast, Irving offers no new evidence establishing Goebbels as the Reich's "mastermind." He neglects such important subjects as the sources of Goebbels's anti-Semitism, his development of the theories and techniques of mass propaganda, and his role as wartime Gauleiter of Berlin. Ralf Reuth's Goebbels (Harcourt, 1993) offers readers a more balanced approach.



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