April 18, 2012
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she’s been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call “Word of Mouth.” This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.
The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad
Brown’s first pick is Andrew Nagorski’s Hitlerland, a book about the rise of the Nazi regime told from the perspective of Americans, including foreign correspondents and diplomats, who lived in Berlin during the 1930s and early 1940s.
“What you get through their eyes is this kind of fascinating, gradual journey of what they’re seeing — first of all, skepticism about Hitler, a sense that [they’re] underestimating him, followed by a certain sense of ridicule about him, then a kind of grudging admiration for what he’s doing for Germany, then of course a mounting fear of what’s going to happen, followed by a sense of the most terrifying pervasive evil then [taking] over.”
Brown highlights CBS reporter William L. Shirer, later the author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, as one of the heroes of the book.
“He saw from the very beginning the real evil of Hitler,” Brown says, “and attempted to warn people of the impending calamity that he saw.”