In This Review

Hitler and America
Hitler and America
By Klaus P. Fischer
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, 368 pp

This book has a great premise and opens with great promise. An analysis that showed how Adolf Hitler’s views of the United States affected key policy decisions would be an important work of intellectual and political history. Unfortunately, after a strong beginning, in which Fischer looks at Hitler’s exposure to German writers on the United States, such as Karl May, a chronicler of cowboy stories, the book loses its focus and discipline. This is understandable: there are so many dimensions to the interactions between Hitler and the United States that foreign policy, economic planning, anti-Semitism, and military history all have a part to play. But Fischer gets so caught up with the complexities of the subject that he never manages to pull together an integrated portrait of Hitler’s view of the United States. As a result, this interesting and well-researched book never quite fulfills its potential.