The scheduled publication date is March 28, 2023, and you can order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Texas Tech University Press.

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Author’s description of the book:

Describing the sizeable impact of Adolf Hitler’s poor health and the desperate circumstances that existed in Germany following World War I represents the guiding light for writing this book. Much of the important information about der Führer currently resides in turgid historical tomes or psychologically related articles that prove confusing and off-putting for many readers. Nevertheless, the impact that Hitler’s physical and mental health had on his conduct, especially during the latter phases of World War II, has relevance for a popular audience.

            Even today, charismatic leaders from around the world increasingly undermine liberal democracies with their autocratic rule, ethnocentric views, xenophobia, hate-mongering, and stark cries of ultranationalism. Critically viewing the factors that contributed to the making of Adolf Hitler still has great currency today and provides further understanding of the enigmatic dictator.

            Admittedly, researching Hitler’s health for two decades has proved both enlightening and strangely taxing. Like a magnet with reversing polarity, I would initially feel a strong attraction to the fascinating enigma of the larger-than-life Adolf Hitler, only then to be repelled by his horrendous cruelty and prejudice—factors that unsettled more than a few nights’ sleep. I came to wonder how such a physically unimposing man with such a limited education and unremarkable background could manage to spur a conflict-weary Germany to wage a war of annihilation, attempt to conquer most of Europe, and nearly put an end to the western democracies. Like trade winds for ancient mariners, Hitler’s failing health and historical influences steered his lifelong goals toward the rocky shoals of a galling and inevitable defeat.

            I want to be upfront early on in this book that while Hitler’s medical ailments in the last years of his life impeded his military and administrative performance, his neurological, cardiac, and gastrointestinal maladies did not cause his treachery. His traumatic upbringing and psychological pathologies had been laid down many years before his major medical disorders appeared. Hence, Hitler remains in this author’s eyes fully culpable for the horrors he unleashed upon the world. How this formulation works out will be carefully detailed later in this work.

            Hitler’s political rise to chancellor proves fascinating, but even more so was his descent from the heights of power that coincided with his failing health. We are left to wonder: how had Hitler’s grand plan for a “Greater Germany” gone so very wrong? Seeking to understand Germany’s catastrophic strategic errors in World War II that relate to Hitler’s deteriorating health status became the major focus of this book. Inevitably during a war, the emphasis lands on the leader of the country, especially when the leader happens to be a dictator.

Several principal questions cry out for answers: Why did Hitler launch the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 rather than await a full buildup of standard military munitions and the much heralded “wonder weapons”? Why, as the tide of war inexorably turned against Germany, did Hitler increasingly frustrate the performance of his capable General Staff? Finally, why in the latter stages of the war had Hitler reacted so slowly to military reversals and to unleashing counterattacks?

            From largely medical and behavioral perspectives these questions will be addressed throughout this volume. Scrutinizing Hitler from the viewpoint of his medical history provides insights into the man and his actions (or inactions). In medicine, taking a medical history from a patient is more than merely jotting down the History of the Present Illness (HPI) with symptom onset and rate of progression. It also includes a description of the patient’s Past Medical Health (PMH) indicating illnesses that may relate to the current complaint or have influenced the patient’s life in other ways. An understanding of Hitler’s early health concerns, even those as minor as Hitler’s happened to be, along with comprehending his unusual personality development offers an intriguing backdrop for his adult decision-making and actions.

Published by Texas Tech University Press: Memoir/Medicine; 6 x 9, 240 pages; $27.95
pb 978-0-89672-954-4

goodreads rating

5.0 out of 5 stars  “The lessons of this book are valuable for current events”
By Robert Rietschel

“Doctor Hutton lays out a clear narrative of how health can alter history. He can tell a story without getting bogged down in technical jargon. Hutton will take you from childhood to world war and detail the various factors that contributed to personality traits that controlled decisions that shaped the 20th century. At a pivotal point in WWII, Hitler’s Parkinson’s disease was advanced, and it not only caused poor thinking due to loss of executive functioning in his brain, but Hitler clearly was aware of his failing health and wanted to secure his legacy within a shortened timeline. There have been others who have written about Hitler’s health, but far less authoritatively. This is a must read for World War II buffs.”

5.0 out of 5 stars  
By David Shields

“Just when you thought you had heard everything there is to know about the notorious leader of the Third Reich, Tom Hutton brings to light the obvious missing component- Hitler’s health. So much has been written about Adolf Hitler it would seem impossible for anything to escape the scrutiny of the careful scholar, but Dr. Hutton in fact proves that fresh eyes and the careful analysis that perspective can achieve produces new and valuable insight on the decision making of the greatest villain of the 20th century.

Hutton writes directly and clearly, however, never at the expense of an inviting prose. His style is attractive as it brings you in through the medical life and times of Hitler so much so that you find you have cleared through an entire chapter without much effort. And yet, you are left with the unmistakable weight of coming to terms with what you have read- Hitler’s health played a direct and contributing role in his actions. If indeed this is the case, which the argument proves compellingly, then what does that say of our own health and the consequences it has on our own lives?

Dr. Hutton achieves this seemingly effortlessly with his style of writing. He weaves in complex medical diseases and conditions known to afflict Hitler in a way that is very comprehensible for the layperson. With his years of medical experience, the reader is assured of the objectivity and soundness of his findings and with his easy writing style, the evidence emerges clearly. We are reminded once again the power of our parents in helping to shape our values. We are also sobered by the luck of the DNA draw we all must face.

Still, Hutton makes no apologies for Hitler. His actions descended well beyond any morally sound thinking. It is left to the reader to draw deeper conclusions on the responsibility each of us has to the fellowship and support we offer each other. We cannot mask easily or certainly change our genetic make-up, but loving family and friends enforced by a caring society can go a long way to reduce the worse case outcomes in each of us and build a better society for us all.”

5.0 out of 5 stars  
By Jennifer Kulivan

“An insightful look into Hitler’s early years with an abusive father and the humiliation it caused him.
This book takes the reader into his later years as we learn how Parkinson’s Disease along with drug interactions makes a dangerous man more unhinged and erratic, showing the downfall of an evil man.
I love how the author explains in detail, that even I can understand, the cause and effects of how Hitler, with the prescribed dangerous drugs, made bad decisions, hence his downfall, the downfall of Nazism and of Germany itself.
If you are intrigued by WWII or about Hitler, this book is for you!”

5.0 out of 5 stars  
By LaNelle

“Dr. Tom Hutton’s mesmerizing book about Hitler’s physical & emotional maladies! … & how those traits may have influenced the atrocities, inhumanities &ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany throughout WWII. Dr. Hutton provides an array of Hitler’s physical & mental healt h conditions, plus agonizing details about his demoralizing childhood as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic father. Hutton’s book is an easy, engaging & irresistible “read.” The summary titles of all chapters, relevant photos through the decades, plus the thorough research of Hitler’s childhood along his physicians’ medical records & doctors’ tendency to cater to Hitler’s real or imagined maladies … make a reader wonder about the lack of wisdom, decency & common sense of Hitler & the Nazi sycophants who catered to the lowest common denominater of Hitler’s grandiosity & inhumanity. The lasting value of Dr. Hutton’s book may turn out to be the timing of its publication — a bell-weather warning when history seems to be repeating itself through the ranting,distrustful, hate-spewing, trumpeting rancor of an unlikely TV personality — fomenting discord, suspicion, hatred & an attempted goverment coup … while having shamefully, immorally, clumsily & awkwardly worn a one-term cloak as US president. A.V. White, PhD”

5.0 out of 5 stars  
By Amazon Customer

“I found Dr. Hutton’s book on Hitler to be extremely interesting. His unique insight into Hitler’s early life and later medical issues add a new perspective as to why events such as Germany’s catastrophic invasion of the USSR occurred early in the war when Germany was ill prepared for a second front. Dr. Hutton also reviewed and evaluated the writings of many other authors about Hitler lending credence to some and questioning othersA.V. White, PhD”

5.0 out of 5 stars  
By Reviewed by Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

Tom Hutton’s book, Hitler’s Maladies and Their Impact on World War II: A Behavioral Neurologist’s View explores the impact of Adolf Hitler’s physical and mental illnesses on his political behavior. This well-researched and comprehensive examination sheds new light on one of history’s most infamous figures.

Drawing from historical sources and medical reports, Hutton provides a “medical biography” of Hitler, delving into his various health issues, such as syphilis, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease, and their potential influence on his actions and leadership style.

What truly sets this book apart is Hutton’s ability to seamlessly blend medical analysis with historical context, offering a comprehensive understanding of Hitler’s life, from his early years and adolescence to his rise to power and military campaigns.

Hutton, an esteemed neurology expert trained under the renowned neuropsychologist Dr. Alexander Luria, brings a wealth of knowledge to the subject. With a distinguished career in neurology, including serving as the president of the Texas Neurological Society and holding academic positions such as professor and vice-chairman at the Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology at the Texas Tech School of Medicine, Hutton’s expertise shines through in his meticulous research and insightful analysis.

The book is divided into chapters that cover different aspects of Hitler’s health, including his digestive problems, heart condition, drug abuse, and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Hutton’s writing is clear and accessible, making complex medical concepts easy to understand for readers who may not have a background in medicine.

In addition to exploring Hitler’s health, the book delves into intriguing topics like Hitler’s possible Jewish ancestry, challenging claims that his grandfather had Jewish roots. While there are rumors, the evidence presented by Hutton does not definitively support these claims, leading historians to generally agree that Hitler’s immediate family did not have Jewish ancestry.

Another thought-provoking chapter focuses on the impact of Hitler’s declining physical and mental health on his decision-making. Hutton argues that factors such as Hitler’s drug use and deteriorating mental state played a significant role in his ill-fated decision to launch Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, in 1941. However, the author acknowledges the complexity of the topic as historians continue to debate the extent to which these factors influenced Hitler’s actions. It is crucial to note that Hitler’s ideology, driven by his perception of communism as a grave threat and his desire to eliminate “Judeo-Bolshevism,” also played a significant role in his decision. Pursuing resources, securing Germany’s eastern border, and preventing a potential Soviet offensive further contributed to his choice.

Several chapters of his work examine Adolf Hitler’s Parkinson’s disease and its potential impact on his cognitive abilities and the outcome of World War II. Chronic bowel syndrome and Parkinson’s disease are widely recognized as the most prevalent illnesses that afflicted Hitler. Hutton suggests Parkinson’s disease likely shortened Hitler’s lifespan, hindered his mobility, and served as a persistent reminder of his declining health and mortality. However, the precise influence of Parkinson’s disease on Hitler’s cognitive performance and its role in shaping the course of the war remains a subject of ongoing debate among historians and medical professionals.

Hutton also offers readers a valuable organizational tool in the form of a chronology that encompasses Hitler’s health, social, political, and military status. This chronology serves as a framework, enabling readers to comprehend the timeline and interplay of these interconnected elements. By examining Hitler’s health alongside his actions, decision-making processes, and the broader historical context, readers can better understand how his well-being potentially influenced and intersected with his roles as a leader and military strategist during World War II.

The book is further enriched with several illustrations that not only make it visually appealing but also improve its accessibility for readers.

In summary, Hitler’s Maladies is an enlightening and engrossing read that provides valuable insights into the intersection between Hitler’s physical and mental health and his political decisions. Hutton’s expertise and seamless blending of medical analysis and historical context make this book an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to comprehend the complexities surrounding Adolf Hitler and his tumultuous era. Hutton takes a rigorous and academic approach to analyzing the available date, which includes medical records from Hitler’s personal physician, accounts from his staff, and other historical sources.