Friday, June 8, 2012

Hitler's Demons: A Novel of the German Resistance

I read this book over a few days, it was a little longer, (which was perfectly fine by me!), and it had so much information and history and names and people, i researched and read up on so much more about this book, the author, the characters, the time, it took me forever to get this review done!
I have learned so much and am grateful for this assignment, and had nothing but a very interesting time researching and finding so many new things!
I don't know which is even more interesting, the author, or the book!
I wanted to study and learn and search for everything I could, simply so I can truly say, "Wow! This is an outstanding book with the most accurate information that really held my interest!" and so I did, and I can say that, truthfully. This author, Helena P Schrader, really, really, knows her stuff. I also had 3 books about Hitler, all in April, so i thought I should space them out, just a little bit, and well, saved the best for last!
I found this under the "About the Author" tab on Helena's site:
Helena was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the daughter of a professor, and travelled abroad for the first time at the age of two, when her father went to teach at the University of Wasada in Tokyo, Japan. Later, after time in Ann Arbor, the family lived in Brazil, England and Kentucky, but home was always the coast of Maine. There, her father’s family had roots, and the old, white clapboard house perched above the boatyard in East Blue Hill.

It was the frequent travel and exposure to different cultures, peoples and heritage that inspired Helena to start writing creatively and to focus on historical fiction. She wrote her first novel in second grade, but made a conscious decision not try to earn a living from writing. She never wanted to be forced to write what would sell, rather than what was in her heart.
Helena graduated with honors in History from the University of Michigan, added a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and International Commerce from Patterson School, University of Kentucky, and rounded off her education with a PhD in History cum Laude from the University of Hamburg, earned with a ground-breaking dissertation on a leading member of the German Resistance to Hitler. She worked as an investor relations manager with a German bank, an American internet company and a German venture capital fund before joining the U.S. Foreign Service. She is now a career diplomat.

Helena published her first book in 1993, when her dissertation was released by a leading academic publisher in Germany; a second edition followed the following year after excellent reviews in major newspapers. Since then she has published three non-fiction books, starting with Sisters in Arms about women pilots in WWII, The Blockade Breakers about the Berlin Airlift and Codename Valkyrie, a biography of General Olbricht, based on her dissertation. She has also published award-winning historical novels set in World War Two and Ancient Sparta and a trilogy set the Middle Ages.

In June 2010 she was awarded the “Dr. Bernard LaFayette Lifetime Achievement Award for Promoting the Institutionalization of Nonviolence Ideals in Nigeria” by the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria.

She grew up sailing on the Maine coast and served as a petty officer on the sail-training schooners Sir Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller in her youth. She has owned three horses over the years and remains a resolute horsewoman. She owns property in what was once Lacedaemon, which she visits regularly and where she and her husband Herbert intend to retire in the (not so) distant future.

Amazing woman, right? Yeah, that is exactly what popped in my head when I read her biography!
Now, I am not a historian, nor do I claim to be, which is why so much had to be looked up, and from what I have found, and from what others are saying, this book is one of the most accurate of it's kind. Helena spent, I am sure, lots of time, compiling this information, actual events, facts, names, and managed to write this all in a book. Certainly, the accuracy is extremely important and will make or break it, but Helena actually is right on, with every detail.
This story, yes, it isn't just a history book like you would get in school, it is also a story about a plot to kill Hitler. You also have to remember that some of these characters are real, and somehow she manages to tie these stories together and with all of her expertise, write a book that may be long, but will definitely be one we remember.
I am always fascinated by this time period and the horrifying events that took place, and reading this book has also helped answer some questions as to why the Germans took to such an evil person, why did this country accept this? I never could understand these things and sometimes wonder if this type of disaster would take place again, and where? Are people really this vulnerable? I am always interested in people, how they think, why they do the things they do, and this is one of those times that has confused me.
This story really explains a lot of what you do not learn in high school history, and it opens your eyes to the lives, the feelings and how something so tragic could have taken place.
You can buy this book on Amazon!
This is really a perfect choice for any fan of history, and surely an excellent book for vacation, or outside on a beautiful spring day! You will definitely learn a lot from this author and make sure you check out her other books as well!

**I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review**

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