A political outsider with a mass following comes to the top post in the nation at the invitation of an embattled party wanting to ride on his popular appeal. They are convinced they can control him, but woefully miscalculate. Sound familiar? I picked up Volker Ullrich's recent biography of Adolf Hitler, wanting to understand all the details that led to the fall of Weimar Germany's democracy. In this first volume of a three-part biography, Ullrich covers Hitler's beginnings as transient artist to political agitator to chancellor of Germany.