Presented in collaboration with the Judaic Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences, and the generosity of Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport, and Merkaz, the Community High School for Judaic Studies.
In his talk, German born, Oxford educated historian and author Thomas Weber asks how it was possible that Adolf Hitler, returning from World War I as an awkward loner with no clear political ideas, turned into a star propagandist of the nascent Nazi Party. We learn how it took an extremely short period of time as he skillfully became the party’s leader and cunning, skillful political operator and man of ideas. He also argues that Hitler’s metamorphosis into fascist leader is the story of how demagogues are made when liberal democracy and globalism are in great crisis and when that crisis is translated into a yearning for strongmen and novel kinds of leaders.
“The story of Hitler’s metamorphosis being equally that of how demagogues are made, and of the making of a particular one who should not be mistaken as representing all demagogues,” writes Weber. The New York Journal of Books praises, “Weber’s book combines the best of popular and scholarly writing in order to make the case for why Hitler was a unique historical figure.”
After earning his doctorate at Oxford, Weber has published 5 books on the rise of Nazi power, received numerous international awards, appointed as Director of the Center for Global Security and Governance at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and earned visiting fellowships at the U. of Chicago, UPenn, Princeton and Harvard Universities.