It is impossible to offer an adequate parallel to Hitler's situation in 1936. With the peaceful resolution of the Rhineland crisis, Hitler became both the adored object of the vast majority of Germans and an international symbol of modernity and dynamism. He managed this while in reality being the dictator of a system of single-minded viciousness new to human experience.
A good example was his daily routine while he lived in Berlin. He was usually awakened between eleven and twelve o'clock by a knock on his bedroom door from his butler. He would eat his first meal of the day about one o'clock and then start his work for the day. He began with someone reading him a summary of the news of the day. Then he would meet with different members of the government or the party for a discussion of ongoing projects or new plans. The meetings were generally small groups or individuals. He did not hold a meeting of his official cabinet from 1938 until his death.
In the afternoon he would have tea and cakes and make small talk with his secretaries acting the part of a Viennese petite bourgeoisie. A typical dinner would include some of his inner circle who would be treated to a monologue by Hitler on topics from history to diet. Hitler loved to talk about the superiority of his vegetarianism. After dinner there would be more meetings or perhaps work on a speech that was coming up. Then beginning about twelve or one o'clock he often watched movies with many of the same people from dinner until he went to bed as late as five o'clock.
The only task he put serious work into was preparing and making speeches. He was chief propagandist for the regime. The speeches usually focused on the same themes; Jews, Bolsheviks and the enemies of Germany. The same program he set forth in Mein Kampf. Certain anniversaries, such as January 30 when his regime took power, would be the occasion for a speech. Often the speeches were made to mobilize the people for foreign policy events or internal Nazi Party campaigns. During the war, particularly after the attack on Russia in 1941, there were fewer occasions for speeches. This was the life of the leader of Germany and the Nazi Party.
The government was run by the civil service and the Party. Kershaw uses a concept he calls "working towards the Fuhrer" to explain how many of the government programs were planned and carried out. Some ambitious party member or government worker would come up with a program inspired by Hitler's ideas and either make a formal proposal to Hitler or begin carrying it out. Sometimes Hitler would take the lead as when he initiated the four year economic plan and appointed Goering to lead it. The author makes it clear that Hitler knew about and approved the Holocaust. It was part of his program from the beginning and he was careful not to leave any fingerprints on the workings of it. The administration of the German government was a hodgepodge of competing government and party functionaries all working to curry favor with the Fuhrer.
The Army was the third center of power in Germany. Hitler's plans for military expansion won their support at the beginning of his regime. After he took power all members of the military swore a personal oath of loyalty to Hitler. As the war progressed Hitler acted as commander-in-chief and spent most of his time in command centers established on the Eastern Front. After the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 Hitler purged the army high command and exercised closer personal control over all of the military. The attempt came very close to success.
Toward the end of the war he moved into the bunker next to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. As the Russian artillery moved closer and closer Hitler still had his afternoon tea and cakes and talked about victory. As he realized defeat was inevitable his last campaign was the destruction of Germany to destroy the future of the German people. They had failed him and did not deserve to survive. On his last day he married Eva Braun and then they both committed suicide and their bodies were burned. His last remains were his lower jaw bone and a partial plate.
The only emotion I felt at the end of the book was a deep satisfaction that Hitler was dead. He was a true megalomaniac who was able to get millions of people to join in his psychotic belief in himself. The author speaks of a pseudo-religious belief translated into the mysticism of national salvation and rebirth. The book is a chronicle of what happened I do not believe there is a rational answer as to how or why.
Kershaw's main concern seems to be to defuse the myth of Hitler as a master-strategist or a Machiavellian leader. The most Kershaw is prepared to allow him is a gift for timing his attacks. Kershaw stresses that Hitler only had one real strategy: to put himself into a situation where the only way out was forwards. Once he had overstretched himself and was facing defeat (from 1943 on) he had no response left, and simply went to pieces. Another thing that comes out very strongly is the chaotic way Hitler ran his administration. He seems to have been morbidly suspicious of any sort of collective decision-making process, so he tended to delegate vaguely-defined, overlapping powers to individuals and leave them to fight it out between themselves. As Kershaw points out, one consequence was that the most ruthless, radical policies tended to dominate, and another that Hitler himself was always at arm's length from any policy decision (hence people could say "if the Führer only knew..." and his individual popularity survived far longer than that of his party).