Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people." Three years before the start of the Second World War, Flanner wrote a comprehensive three-part series titled “Führer”, on Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. She later told the fiction editor Katherine White, “The only job on the magazine that I am really proud of was the fact that I had sufficient apprehension … to propose to write about Hitler as an important man.” In Part III of the series, which ran March 14, 1936, Flanner superbly anatomizes Hitler’s dogmatic persona:
Lacking the cerebral faculty of creating new public ideologies, as a fanatic [Hitler] has developed his unusual capacity for adapting those of others. Being self-taught, his mental processes are mysterious; he is missionary-minded; his thinking is emotional, his conclusions material. He has been studious with strange results: he says he regards liberalism as a form of tyranny, hatred and attack as part of man’s civic virtues, and equality of men as immoral and against nature.