Hitler’s Aristocrats: The Secret Power Players in Britain and America Who Supported the Nazis, 1923–1941

Blackstone Audio. Mar. 2023. 14:39 hrs. ISBN 9798212321921. $22.95. HIST
Historian and biographer Ronald (The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s, 1938–1940) argues that the image of a united Allied front against Hitler, with all of Britain and the United States fully comprehending the dangers of Nazism, is simply a myth. The truth was that Hitler and his supporters were masters of propaganda who actively cultivated influential members of European aristocracy and encouraged them to spread the message that he only wanted peace. Leading the charge were prominent individuals such as Princess Stephanie Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lady Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, two of the Mitford sisters, and Father Charles Coughlin. Others included compromised code clerks in the American embassy in London, hotel employees, machinists and quality control inspectors in American industry, Spanish ne’er-do-wells, and Russian ex-pats. These individuals were often motivated by the greater fear of communism, but the horrific legacy of the Great War played a role too. British narrator Hannah Curtis engagingly conveys Ronald’s impeccable research and convincing claims. Listeners will be captivated by her well-paced performance, which complements Ronald’s informative work.
VERDICT An insightful look at the forces and people who helped enable Hitler’s rise to power and an excellent addition to any audio history collection.
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