A ruthless dictator who saved his country from economic ruin only to nearly destroy itâ€”and an entire peopleâ€”in his quest for world domination, Adolf Hitler forever changed the course of history. Â In this masterful account of Hitlerâ€™s life, biographer A.N. Wilson pulls back the curtain to reveal the man behind the mythic figure, shedding new light on Hitlerâ€™s personality, his desires, and his complex relationship with the German people.While Hitler maintained that his life had been characterized by â€œstruggleâ€ from its very beginnings, Wilson shows that the reality could not have been more different. Hitler grew up in middle-class comfort and, as a young man, lacked ambitions of any sort besides a vaguely bohemian desire to become an artist. And while the Hitlerian mythos holds that he forged his skills as a leader during the First World War, Wilson explains the truth: Hitler spent most of the war as an office boy miles from the front lines, and only received his cherished Iron Cross because of his slavishness to the officers he served. The army gave him a sense of purpose and brotherhood, however, which continued to inspire Hitler once the war ended.Hitler left the army with no skills, contacts, or moneyâ€”and yet, within fourteen years, he would become chancellor of the German nation. Wilson describes the story of Hitlerâ€™s ascent as one of both opportunism and sheer political shrewdness. He possessed no real understanding of the workings of government but had a prodigious knack for public speaking, and found that a large number of Germans, despairing at their countryâ€™s recent defeat and terrified by the specter of international communism, were willing to listen to the right-wing fantasies that had taken root inside his head. Allying himself with the extremist German Workersâ€™ Party (soon renamed the National Socialist Party), Hitler offered many Germans a seductive vision of how the country might raise itself back up and reclaim its rightful place at the center of world politics.