Books: Self-Portrait

HITLER'S SECRET CONVERSATIONS (597 pp.)—Adolf Hitler—Farrar, Straus & Young ($6.50).

Few people remember Adolf Hitler as a thinker. Yet he was one—the kind that is all too frequently found in saloons or on park benches, spinning grandiose, hate-laden theories about the world, tossing off answers to all questions in a manner that the Germans call dumm-schlau (stupid-smart). Such men are usually ignored by others as annoying but unimportant cranks. By a tragedy of history, Adolf Hitler gained the power to put his rambling, dumm-schlaue theories into practice.

For ten hours each day during the war, Hitler pondered military problems; for 30 to 45...

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