Reviews: Hanns and Rudolf 

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'A gripping thriller,  an unspeakable crime, an essential history,    a scrupulously   dispassionate   narrator.'             - - John Le Carré  


'An extraordinary tale deriving from meticulous research – the story of how a Jew after 1945 almost single-handed hunted down the Kommandant of Auschwitz. - - Frederick Forsyth


'Harding tells the extraordinary story of his great-uncle, Hanns, a Berlin Jew who fled to London in 1936 and, at the end of the war, joined Britain’s war-crimes investigation group. The tale of how he then doggedly tracked down Rudolf Höss, the merciless commandant of Auschwitz, is stunning — not just because it is so gripping, but because Harding interweaves Hanns’s life story fascinatingly with Höss’s. As he unpicks the moral complexity of both men (Höss could be a doting father; Hanns resorted to brutal means to hunt him), Harding builds a compelling, remarkable picture of war and its aftermath.' - - Robert Collins, Sunday Times, Biography of the Year 2013


‘No-one who starts reading it can fail to go on to the end.’ - - David Lodge author of Changing Places and literary critic


'An enthralling, thoughtful book—part history, part biography, part thriller.' - - Ian Brunskill, Wall Street Journal


'Meticulously researched and deeply felt, Hanns and Rudolf is written with a suppressed fury at the vicious moral emptiness of men like Höss, who were only following order.' - - Ben Macintyre, The Times, and author of Agent Zigzag


'Fascinating and moving... This is a remarkable book, which deserves a wide readership.' - - Max Hastings, Sunday Times, author of All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945 


'A gripping detective story and a chilling portrait of an unrepentant mass murderer.' Sally Morris, Daily Mail

'A gripping new book.'  - - The Economist


‘Remarkable … A beautifully balanced double biography, admirably measured but also gripping, which offers a fresh perspective on a much-examined subject’ - - The Good Book Guide


‘A highly readable detective story . This is really a book about the world of Hanns Alexander.[and it is] well worth reading ... Harding has researched it thoroughly.'  - -  Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph, author of Why the Allies Won, The Air War: 1939-1945


'Compelling... Fascinates and shocks.' - - Evan Thomas, Washington Post, author of Ike’s Bluff


'Harding, a British journalist who is related to Alexander on his mother’s side, tells the story with great verve.' - - Ian Thomson, Financial Times, author of the Biography of Primo Levi 


'Absorbing ... Thomas Harding narrates, in careful, understated prose, the story of how his great uncle Hanns Alexander hunted down the man who vaingloriously identified himself as 'the world's greatest destroyer': Rudolf Höss, the Bavarian-born Kommandant of Auschwitz. Harding balances with scrupulous care the stories of the pursuer and the pursued. Le Carré is quite correct. The last section of Harding's book does indeed read like a gripping thriller.' - -Miranda Seymour, Spectator


 ‘In this electrifying account, Harding commemorates (and, for the tired, revivifies) a ringing Biblical injunction: Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue.’  - - Cynthia Ozick , Short story writer, novelist, and essayist 


'This will be one ofthose books that is mentioned everywhere in the end of year round-ups - and with good reason. This superlative look at two men - one, Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz; the other, Hanns Alexander, the man who arrested him after the war - and their actions makes for uncomfortable, but essential reading.' - - Stuart Evers, Netgalley


'This is a stunning book.  Rudolf Höss' descent into the horror of mass murder is both chilling and deeply disturbing. It is also an utterly compelling and exhilarating account of one man's extraordinary hunt for the commandant of the most notorious death camp of all, Auschwitz-Birkenau.' - - James Holland, author of Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams


'Written with the verve of a writer and the sure touch of an historian, Thomas Harding's Hanns and Rudolf is a fascinating, fresh, and compelling work of history.'  - - Jay Winikauthor of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval


‘Its climax as thrilling as any wartime adventure story, Hanns and Rudolf is also a moral inquiry into an eternal question: what makes a man turn to evil? Closely researched and tautly written, this book sheds light on a remarkable and previously unknown aspect of the Holocaust - the moment when a Jew and one of the highest-ranking Nazis came face to face and history held its breath.’ - - Jonathan Freedland, Guardian  columnist, contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and BBC presenter. 


‘A fascinating, well-crafted book, entwining two biographies for an unusual and illuminating approach to the history of the Third Reich, its most heinous crime and its aftermath.’ - - Roger Moorhouse, author of Killing Hitler and Berlin at War


'Hanns and Rudolf packs an extraordinary punch about the nature of evil, told in a cool, dispassionate voice. As these two lives wrap around each other, the quality of evil becomes ever clearer, and more shocking.' - -  Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger, West London Synagogue of British Jews 


'Absorbing.' - - Winnipeg Free Press


'I was moved, chilled by the horror and riveted by the chase.  This has all the ingredients of an Indy bestseller - looks set to be this year's Hare with the Amber Eyes.' - - Tim O'Kelly, owner One Tree Books, Petersfield. 


'This fascinating book, based on the gripping story of one man’s unrelenting pursuit of Rudolf Höss in his search for justice, this book fills a unique and vital role.' - - Lyn Smith, author of Forgotten Voices and lecturer in International Politics at the Open University. 


‘A remarkable book: thoughtful, compelling and quite devastating in its humanity. Thomas Harding’s account of these two extraordinary men goes straight to the dark heart of Nazi Germany.’ - - Keith Lowe, author of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II


'This important and moving book... Well-researched and grippingly written it provides a unique insight into the fate of Germany under National Socialism.' - - Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University


' A fascinating account, with chunks of new information, about one of history's darkest chapters.' - - Richard Breitman, Author of The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and The Final Solution and Editor-in-chief of the U.S. Holocaust Museum's Holocaust and Genocide Studies


'Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding!  I was riveted to the text. Thomas Harding writes superbly, the storyline is better than any contrived mystery, and a compelling part of history.' - - Rabbi Dr. Stuart Altshuler, Belsize Square Synagogue, London


'A gripping, moving read, written with masterful research and endless compassion.’   - -  Bookseller Magazine


'In this gripping biography-based history, Harding, a former documentary filmmaker and journalist, profiles both men in chronological alternating chapters.' - - Publishers Weekly


'Reading anything Holocaust-related is emotionally difficult. Reading the riveting, recently published Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding, is no different. Yet, something sets this book apart. I read it in one sitting this past Sunday ... As soon as I completed the book, I thought to myself: This might just be another “Schindler’s List” in the making. ' - -  Tehilla Goldberg, Intermountain Jewish News


'The protagonists' individual choices and family backgrounds give this biographical history a unique, intimate quality.' - - Kirkus Review


 'A brilliantly written and well-researched book.' - -  Lorri M Writings, book blogger


copyright Thomas Harding 2013