“When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain: History’s Unknown Chapters” by Giles Milton

When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His BrainThe second nonfiction book I’ve read this year and it was quite fun. When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain is a history book about facts not commonly discussed. The book is divided into two sections, which are further divided into several parts, and are composed of short essays that are no more than 3- or 4-pages long.

The book is a quick read, coming in at 261 pages, which includes lists of suggested readings for the topics covered. Most of the essays are written in a light-hearted tone with jabs thrown at certain figures whose actions seem a bit comical. Other times, a serious tone is affected when the events and figures being discussed are placed in either inhumane or dire situations.

I enjoyed reading this book. I picked it up by chance while visiting the library because the title caught my attention. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was glad to find that it is easy to read because of the short, snappy essays and that it’s quite entertaining as well. I also like that we are given some background details to better understand why an event occurred or why a person did something.

Of the essays, these stood out the most to me:

“When Hitler Took Cocaine,” which talks about Hitler’s cocaine addiction as well as the concoction of drugs his personal physician, Theodor Morell, fed him. The last sentence in this essay is pretty interesting:

“It is ironic that the man charged with restoring Hitler to good health probably did more than anyone else to contribute to his decline.”

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