Richard Overy

The Mind of Evil

The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts


Oxford University Press 357pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Writing in his prison diary in Spandau jail, Albert Speer reflected on his fellow-prisoner Rudolf Hess, serving a life sentence for crimes he could not remember: ‘Now at last he can play the martyr and the buffoon, thus fulfilling the two sides of his personality.’ This was a rough-and-ready analysis. Speer was no psychiatrist, but for years professionals had been trying to unravel the secrets of Hess’s inner mind. They hoped that psychoanalysing Hess would help them to understand the psychological bond that held the German people in thrall to Hitler.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'To be clever without wanting to glory in it, put dimmer people down or make an act of covering it up (viz Boris Jo… ,
    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,