Kaiser and Führer: A Comparative Study of Personality and Politics

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 511 pages
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There are some remarkable parallels, and some equally interesting differences, between Adolf Hitler and Germany's earlier ruler, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The most obvious parallel is that both were cult figures who brought their country to ruin and the world to war, but when Robert G.L. Waite began to seriously compare the two men, the number of specific similarities was striking. Kaiser and Führer is the first in-depth examination of the similarities and differences between these two twentieth-century political leaders.

Waite uses a psychological approach to throw light on the personal lives and politics of Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler. He compares their intellectual worlds, their wartime strategies, and their tortured childhoods. Both men, we discover, had dual personalities - they could be cruel and kind, cowardly and brave, grandiose and vulnerable. Both exhibited homosexual tendencies yet were strongly attractive to women. We see how the personal pathologies of these two men heavily influenced the public policies that resulted in catastrophe.

Thoroughly documented and engagingly written this is a classic work of scholarship that will fascinate historians, psychologists, and general readers alike.

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About the author (1998)

The late ROBERT G.L. WAITE is Brown Professor of History Emeritus at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler.

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