"In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the Reichsführer-SS, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible--especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief."--from cover, p. 
I. Himmler's early years; 1. Childhood and Youth; 2. The Student of Agriculture; 3. Struggle and Renunciation; 4. A New Start in Lower Bavaria; 5. The Party Functionary; 6. Reichsführer-SS; II. Inside the Third Reich; 7. The Takeover of the Political Police; 8. From Inspector of the Prussian Gestapo to Chief of the German Police; 9. The State Protection Corps; III. The order; 10. Ideology and Religious Cult; 11. Himmler's Leadership Style. 12. Himmler as Educator; 13. The SS Family; IV. Into war: Ambition and disappointment; 14. War Preparations and Expansion; 15. War and Settlement in Poland; 16. A New Racial Order; 17. Repression in the Reich; 18. Shifting Borders: The Year 1940; V. The greater Germanic Reich: Living-space and ethnic murder; 19. An Ideological War of Annihilation; 20. From Mass Murder to the 'Final Solution'; 21. The Murder of the European Jews; 22. Settlement Policy and Racial Selection; 23. The 'Iron Law of Ethnicity': Recruitment into the Waffen-SS; 24. A Europe-Wide Reign of Terror; VI. Downfall in stages; 25. A Turn in the War--A New Opportunity?; 26. Collapse; Conclusion
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