This is an extremely lucid and interesting guide to the elements, going back many decades, that went into the rise of the Nazi party and to its assumption of power in 1933. I highly recommend reading the book, but I can't recommend listening to it. Narrator Sean Pratt consistently uses strange pauses and emphases that obscure and often even change the meaning of Evans's sentences. I can't help but wonder how Evans feels about this audio.
Good book to get a feel for how Germany devolved into the tyranny of Hitler's dictatorship. I wish it would have delved more into the personal lives of those involved. Why did the Jews not revolt, stand up and not take it? It does go into how rights were steadily laken away. But it stops well before WWII. Understandable since it is titled "The Coming of the 3rd Reich". All in all a good read.
Absolutely not. He's the worst narrator I've ever heard, in his own unique category. His voice is pleasant and intelligent enough. His German pronunciations are mediocre (for every word that he pronounces perfectly, there's another that he totally mangles). But he's defined his turf by inventing a new way to make spoken sentence structure unclear, ambiguous, and utterly confusing: any time he seemingly (this is the only explanation I can think of) comes to a word at the end of a line that *conceivably* *could* be the end of a sentence, he assumes that it *is* the end of *the current* sentence, even if it makes absolutely no sense in the context of that sentence--and regardless of whether it has *any* punctuation after it. No punctuation = end of sentence. Comma = end of sentence. After an end-of-sentence pause with appropriate inflection, etc., he then continues on with the rest of the sentence (the part that's obviously on the next line) as if it were a sentence on its own, even though it makes absolutely no sense.
This alone makes the book almost totally unlistenable.
Unfortunately, before I started listening to anything, I bought all three books in the series. I assume the same thing is going to happen throughout. And I shall persevere, whether the narration drives me crazy or not (see my comments below about the book itself).
The author, in the preface or introduction to the book, states (I'm paraphrasing) that the book contains pretty basic information, and that if you're at all knowledgable on the topic, you might not learn anything new. I wish to disagree: I know something about the topic, and yet I find the book to be *very* educational, interesting, instructive, and the like. I think he's selling himself short. Audible just needs to find a better narrator for him.
A meaty plunge into the history of the origins of the main players of the third reich. It layed out in copious detail the beginnings of the Nazi regime.
NO NO NO!!! (altho I may be forced to since I plan to listen to the remaining two books in this triligy). He is a very.......poor......narrator.......with .........inappropriately........placed........and ........lengthy ........pauses......(are you frustrated reading my visual representation of his vocal cadence yet?) intersperced throughout his narration.
As the first of three books the author has written about the Third Reich it provides a detailed analysis of German politics and society fro the late 1800s to 1933.
He does a good job of presenting the currents and frustrations of Germany without injecting undue judgement or editorializing. He is plenty critical of the Third Reich (it is definitely not an apologist or revisionist book) but he sticks to facts and concrete examples. At the same time he helps the reader get inside the heads of the German people and see things from their perspective.
Although he states that the book is written for the lay press, not historical professionals, it is still rather dry and written at a fairly high level. (I did not subtract a star for this because I think anyone buying an 18 hour audiobook is expecting something above average.) He provides genuine accounts of violence and intimidation without getting pornographic.
It is a good summary of and response to the various theroies of the past 60 years about the roots of Germany's darkest hour.
For me, this book walked that fine line between scholarly and popular efforts. Just the right mix of details and higher level impressions. And I found the conclusions that th author drew were not too biased towards one political view or another. So many books on this period have such a strong foundation in a given ideology that they are annoying to a a moderate like myself. I learned a lot about this important time in history that I didn't know and that will always be relevant - how a minority fringe party was able to openly seize power. How extremism becomes mainstream. I was riveted throughout and found myself sitting in my parking lot at home or driveway at home listening to "just 5 more minutes" But, I did find it intellectually draining to absorb, constantly trying to relate what was being said to my existing knowledge, other historical events, and to current affairs. So I'm going to listen to some lighter books before I return for the second volume.
wrote a longer review for the third reich at war.
engaging at times, but long stretches where this is just boring. Part of this is the reading is terrible. in addition, i find the author to be very arrogant. In the beginning of the book he talks (for over an hour) on his goals for the book. I find it amazing that he is so critical of Shirer's book, who has the advantage of actually having lived through the period. Then on top of that he argues that he is not here to be judgemental of the nazi regime. Hello? Every sentence he is being judgemental.
still tilting at windmills, after all of these years.
... "horrifying" and "unspeakable," i suppose i shall withhold until parts two and three, respectively of this series (to which i have listened).
the fall of the doomed weimar republic was truly riveting. evans addresses society in post wwi germany from as many perspectives as one can imagine.
as a whole, this series of books leaves one shaking one's head at the depths to which humanity can sink.
erik larson, author of "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" had an interview with terry gross ('fresh air') and alludes to the very real depression he felt by the time he got to book three.
all i can do is agree.
these are 'must listen' books, but be ready ...
This book has clearly been thoroughly researched and there was much information that I had never come across before. What was missing for me was a coherent narrative if how the German people came to embrace Hitler and Nazism in the face of such obvious danger signals. Perhaps this is a failing on my part and not the author's. As such, it is more of a reference work than a narrative that compels you to read it through for understanding. Nevertheless, I am happy with my purchase, and will be buying the other two parts.
Evans not only brings an unbiased view of the process that would culminate with the empowerment of Nazism, but formulates solid lines of thought, some profound, some shocking, some a little of both, that brings to the listener a consistent picture of events and facts that translates in a deeper undertanding, accomplishing what many other traditional sources were unable to.
I found the narrator, despite some of the negative comments given, simply perfect for the job. The pauses are well intended and gives the reader the much needed time to digest the various ideas, suggestions and concepts that thrive in the text, thus assuring continuity of understanding. Several non-fiction audiobooks I've listened through Audible are read fiction style (fast paced and block bound), where plot is usually more emphasized than meaning, with disregard for the complexity contained in most non-fiction historical or scientific texts.