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George Pitt-Rivers and the Nazis


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Table of Contents

1. Acknowledgements 2. Introduction: Britain at the fin de siecle 3. Chapter 1: A World Destroyed 4. Chapter 2: From Nietzsche to the Antipodes 5. Chapter 3: Anthropology 6. Chapter 4: Eugenics 7. Chapter 5: The Nazis 8. Chapter 6: 'Dear Cousin Clementine': Internment and the Second World War 9. Chapter 7: A World Destroyed, Again 10. Conclusion: A Life of Ironies 11. Bibliography 12. Index

Promotional Information

This work examines the life and work of George Pitt-Rivers, a significant anthropologist, eugenicist, and Nazi sympathiser who was detained by the British government during the Second World War.

About the Author

Bradley W. Hart is Assistant Professor at California State University, Fresno, USA and a former by-fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. His previous works include a co-edited volume entitled The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron (2013).


What emerges from this thoroughly engaging study is a fascinating discussion of Pitt-Rivers' 'reprehensible' racial and political views. * Twentieth-Century British History *
This book is well worth reading. It is full of entertaining and lively anecdotes, and is fluently written ... The author has written a fundamental book which will stimulate further research. * GHIL Bulletin *
Not content with having discovered the Pitt-Rivers papers, Bradley Hart skilfully weaves them into the contexts of Pitt-Rivers' numerous interests and networks. The result is a fascinating and insightful study which is an original and compelling contribution to British cultural and intellectual history. * Dan Stone, Professor of History, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK *
Against a meticulously researched historical background, Bradley Hart tells the fascinating story of Captain George Pitt-Rivers - a wealthy Nietzschean aristocrat who aspired to match the reputation of his eminent Victorian grandfather. Befriended by Bronislaw Malinowski during the 1920s, Pitt-Rivers seemed set to pursue a successful anthropological career. But he failed, despite his keen intelligence and old-Etonian charm. Hart develops the narrative thread of Pitt-Rivers' life as a war-wounded soldier, a budding social scientist and a tireless polemicist. Broken marriages, rapacious mistresses and alienated sons add to the poignancy of the story. Pitt-Rivers' profound conviction that western civilization had to be saved from an international Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy, and his admiration for Hitler, led to his downfall. Informed by the latest research, Hart's deft depiction of the shifting political scene is a model of clarity, while his account of Pitt-Rivers' arrest and imprisonment in 1940 has all the ingredients of an espionage thriller. * Michael W. Young, Australian National University, Australia *
George Pitt-Rivers and the Nazis is a beautifully written and all-encompassing look at the iconoclastic anthropologist, aristocrat, and Nazi sympathizer who was detained by the British government during World War II. Pitt-Rivers numbered among his acquaintances such disparate figures as Carl Jung, Adolf Hitler, Havelock Ellis, Bronislaw Malinowski, Oswald Mosley, and Lord Haw Haw, and the local villagers claimed he planted the hedges on his estate in giant arrows to guide Luftwaffe pilots toward London. Bradley Hart's fascinating biography brings Pitt-Rivers to life as assuredly as if he had walked off the screen of a theater showing Remains of the Day. * Jonathan Spiro, Associate Academic Dean, Castleton College, USA *

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