The Literary Community is on a Roll with Historical Releases! | Blog Tour + Review: Wolf by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter

7:30 AM

I'm completely consumed by all of these wonderful historical releases. Whether they are non-fiction or fiction, you have to admit we're seeing SO much greatness. Which is why I jumped at the chance to review Wolf.

About Wolf
by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter 

Hardcover: 552 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse (February 11, 2020)
In the Great Tradition of Herman Wouk, Author of Winds of War and War and RemembranceWolf is a Thoroughly Researched and Illustrated Historical Novel about a Man who is Not Yet a Monster . . . but Will Soon Become the Ultimate One: Adolf Hitler.

Perhaps no man on Earth is more controversial, more hated, or more studied than Adolf Hitler. His exploits and every move are well-documented, from the time he first became chancellor and then dictator of Germany to starting World War II to the systematic killing of millions of Jews. But how did he achieve power, and what was the makeup of the mind of a man who would deliberately inflict unimaginable horrors on millions of people?

Meet Friedrich Richard, an amnesiac soldier who, in 1918, encounters Hitler in the mental ward at Pasewalk Hospital. Hitler, then a corporal, diagnosed as a psychopath and helpless, suffering from hysterical blindness, introduces himself as Wolf to Friedrich and becomes dependent upon Friedrich for assistance, forming an unbreakable bond between the two men.

Follow Friedich—our protagonist—who interacts with real people, places, and events, through the fifteen-year friendship that witnesses Hitler turn from a quiet painter into a megalomaniacal dictator. Using brand-new historical research to construct a realistic portrait of the evolving Hitler, Wolf will satisfy, by turns, history buffs and fiction fans alike. And as this complex story is masterfully presented, it answers the question of how a nondescript man became the world’s greatest monster.

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Wolf by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter
Rating: ★★★★☆  
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Not many historical figures are as monstrous as Hitler. He was nothing short of pure evil. He will never be anything more than that. Learning about this bleak and horrific era in history is always something that has been equal parts unsettling and fascinating. Wolf explores this history in a blunt, sharpened into focus, kind of way and leaves readers to soak up the knowledge of why and how Hitler rose to power.

The decade in which he did rise up in the ranks and fed on fear has always been a bit of a question mark to me. Most of us could never fathom the hatred and fear mongering; the cruelty, the murder and relentless targeting. We see the boiling point through a lens of history and textbooks, and the aftermath of such a horrifying time. Mechanically speaking, I've always looked at these horrifying people--and their disgusting acts of hatred and death--and wanted to know how they came to be.

What made them tick.

Who fueled their shadowy nature and fanned the flames.

Something about the history of Hitler, and the Nazi party, has always been deeply baffling to me. Of course, it would be, given the era in which we've lived. Wolf adds this layer to history that is simply put and chilling. The lack of humanity that came with this time in history has always chilled me to the very bone and, like many, I've never been able to quite grasp any logical aspects of it. (Because there are none.)

Wolf provides readers a glimpse into the history of Hitler's rise to power and reminds us of the strange charm he held in the eyes of his followers. Like many of the same types of people, he was full of dark qualities, and charm. He was manipulative and cruel in a way that disarmed many. What has always struck me as heart-stopping is that the act he put on was able to create such a startling and bloody chapter in history.

It goes without saying that this book was highly captivating for me. It gave me goosebumps of fear and disgust. It informed me on some fragments of history that has been lost to time or lesser known. Readers who find the darkness of history fascinating. It fills in a lot of blanks for me and left a taste in my mouth that comes with this particular era. Wolf was a fantastic, well-written and researched novel that will very much so leave you feeling chilled to the bone.

About Herbert J. Stein
Herbert J. Stern, formerly US attorney for the District of New Jersey, who prosecuted the mayors of Newark, Jersey City and Atlantic City, and served as judge of the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, is a trial lawyer. He also served as judge of the United States Court for Berlin. There he presided over a hijacking trial in the occupied American Sector of West Berlin. His book about the case, Judgment in Berlin, won the 1974 Freedom Foundation Award and became a film starring Martin Sheen and Sean Penn. He also wrote Diary of a DA: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took on the Mob, Fought Corruption, and Won, as well as the multi-volume legal work Trying Cases to Win.

About Alan A. Winters 
Alan A. Winter  is the author of four novels, including Island BluffsSnowflakes in the SaharaSomeone Else’s Son, and Savior’s Day, which Kirkus selected as a Best Book of 2013. Winter graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in history and has professional degrees from both New York University and Columbia, where he was an associate professor for many years. He edited an award-winning journal and has published more than twenty professional articles. Alan studied creative writing at Columbia’s Graduate School of General Studies. His screenplay, Polly, received honorable mention in the Austin Film Festival, and became the basis for Island Bluffs.

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