Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives by Alan Bullock - Book Report/Review Example

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This paper "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives by Alan Bullock" presents the book Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. The book does not attempt to say that both Hitler and Stalin might as well have been the same person; the subtitle is Parallel Lives, and parallel lines do not meet our merge…
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Download file to see previous pages The introduction of the book makes mention of an attempt by certain German historians who attempted to show how Stalin was just as bad as Hitler. He, of course, might have been, but obviously history with an agenda is not going to be unbiased. These historians were simply attempting to quasi-apologize for Germany’s role in WWII and the Holocaust by pointing out how the world was not any better off by having Stalin in power at the end of WWII. Instead, author Alan Bullock shows similarities in Stalin’s and Hitler’s lives, as well as the dissimilarities. As an author and historian without an agenda, Bullock’s book attempts to show how we can learn more about more men, their ideas, and the reigns by examining, comparing, and analyzing both of them objectively.

An interesting aspect of both Hitler and Stalin was that they both felt that they were creating an ideal state and that a lot of national pride was behind their motivations. If there is one common thread throughout most of history, it is that rulers who eventually are successful in their reign are more remembered more fondly than rulers who are overthrown. This was their justification for their atrocities to an extent. As Bullock states, “History would justify and forgive them, as it had forgiven their predecessors—provided they were successful” (343). We can even make this comparison between Hitler and Stalin; while they both were responsible for the deaths of millions of people, Hitler is generally considered by the public at large to be the worst dictator ever. Consider the use of images of Hitler and the Nazi party in edgy humor. These images evoke strong reactions in people, though the same cannot be said for Stalin and his Communist party unless they had a personal experience with Russia, Stalin’s government, or other Communist states. While historians might hold Hitler and Stalin in equal regard, it is clear that Hitler is generally considered the worse of the two by non-historians. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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