J B Wright

Two Little Hitlers

Napoleon and Hitler: A Comparative Biography

By Desmond Seward

Harrap 256pp £14.95 order from our bookshop

To mark the centenary of Adolf Hitler’s birth in April 1989, Desmond Seward has had the interesting idea of comparing his career with that of another ‘world-historic’ figure, Napoleon Bonaparte. Parallel lives à la Plutarch are difficult to bring off, but Seward has avoided most of the pitfalls. His chief problem is that Hitler is so unspeakable that anybody else, even the unappealing Napoleon, is by comparison bound to seem a thoroughly civilised human being. Yet there are striking points of resemblance.

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