Qu from Cohan art [2] Constructing an accurate life-history of Hitler is a daunting task.

Separating actuality from myths, myths that were frequently perpetrated by Hitler himself, is not always possible. The many hints of sexual perversion that form part of the same personality syndrome which led almost inevitably to mass murder and the attempted destruction of Germany when the War was clearly lost, are features of most of the biographies. Yet the evidence contained in many of the studies is very doubtful. Thus, two pertinent questions are raised. First, do the newer studies of Hitler add to our knowledge of his background and personal life ? Secondly, does what we know about Hitler's background and personal life contribute to our understanding of Hitler the world actor ? All of the more recent biographical studies are concerned with some degree of analysis of their subject. In contrast to the works by Heiden, Bullock and Shirer,1 which do include some suggestions of personality maladjustment, but are more descriptive, the more recent works by Fest, Maser, Langer and Waite2 are almost entirely concerned with how the facts and "assumed" facts about Hitler contribute to our understanding of him. Moreover, they attempt, or criticize the attempt, to link the personality syndrome to actual policy decisions. In fact, the two latter works are entirely efforts at psychoanalysis. Psychobiography in political science is not a new phenomenon. The link between psychology and politics was made explicit by Lasswell in the 1930s.3 Since then frequent efforts have been made by political scientists, historians, and psychologists to utilize, either implicitly or explicitly, psychological and psychoanalytic categories to explain the development of the individual under scrutiny.4 But perhaps the most significant contributions to the field of psychobiography have come from Erikson whose analysis of the young Martin Luther serves as a model of the psychoanalytic interpretation of political actors in history. 5 Most important for our own consideration is that Erikson himself has dealt with Hitler's development, and much of the biographical work that has been produced utilizes the language and assumptions of Erikson's earlier work without citing him explicitly.

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