Originally published in 1941, this is a biography of the former German Chancellor, former head of the German spy network in America, and one of Adolf Hitler’s highest officials, Franz von Papen (1879-1969).
“In this volume the reader will not find a single love letter, nor an abundance of intimate details about strictly personal incidents.
“Fortunately enough, in Franz von Papen’s case the lack of confidential gossip doesn’t obscure the understanding of the human figure. As it will be seen, he is the par excellence political man who has found a complete self-expression in the practice of diplomacy and politics. It would be vain to try to grasp the full nature of Julius Caesar without knowing what pleasure and vice, what the senses meant to him. Many smaller but important historic figures would never yield the secret of their personalities but for the information we possess about their greed for gold or women, about their appetites.
“Ever since his early manhood, Franz von Papen has hungered for one exclusive object: power. The latter being the very essence of politics, this book is a political biography. It studies the awakening of an individual to the call of power, and the course of his strenuous and tortuous struggle for it on domestic as well as foreign forums. Also, since Franz von Papen’s career has transcended national barriers, the story of his life is indissolubly tied to that other, a collective manifestation of the will to power, whose aim is the domination of the world by a nation.”