Although as informative as Shire's book, the delivery of ones own work should not continually depict Adolf Hitler as a common man, and fails to portray his achievements, while indirectly pointing out his failures with great contempt. I don't think I will finish the series because of this authors idealisms of the Third Reich.
This is a very in depth and informative book. It's definitely a bit slow though, without the narrative charm of some other books such as "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." I'd recommend it to anyone who is already knowledgable about and fascinated by this period of history. I would not recommend it to a casual listener. The readers voice is good, smooth, and easy to listen to, but not overly captivating.
There is plenty of good material here. I've read Shirer's Rise and Fall a few times and this book (series of books, I should say) does indeed dig deeper. I would characterize Evan's writing as mediocre. There is no particular flair that some historians can pull off and which can really add a lot to a dry subject like the slow political evolution of the early Nazis. I'd still recommend the book to those with a strong interest in the topic.
I cannot recommend the audiobook, however. Pratt is quite awful. He speaks in a mostly monotone voice that exacerbates the aforementioned dry material, and he has a strange inflection at times that messes up the tone of the prose. What's worse, he constantly mispronounces words. Not just the German and French (side note to audiobook publishers: get a reader who can speak German when you're doing a book about German history), but an astonishing number of English words as well. Evans overuses the term "demagoguery" in his text, and Evans mispronounces it every time. I'm disappointed that a professional reading can still be this bad in this day and age.
After a longish introduction indicating why so many of the classic works on Nazi history are not accurate or deficient, this book rehashes secondary sources as many of the overview histories that Evans is critical of in his introduction. No news here nor does it deliver on the breadth and scope it promises at the outset. That the book substantively overlooks the entire story of how Hitler was funded and the role of industry in his rise seems an egregious omissions given the portentous introduction. The history of the Germany in the last three decades of the nineteenth century was interesting and the endnote comparisons between what was happening in all other parts of Europe at the start of the Third Reich was well done. But overall, it is a rather boring account of the most earth shattering events to have ever taken place in human history.
I've read many books on Hitler & the NAZIS from Shirer to Kershaw. This is the only one that truly puts the NAZIS in context within the political environment of early 20th century Germany.
This is a must read for anybody who wants to see exactly were the NAZIS fit into the political landscape of 1920's Germany. Over the last decade there has been a concerted campaign by some on the 'far Right' to re-write history and claim that Hitler and the NAZIS were 'Left Wing'. The Coming of the Third Rieth is a goldmine for debunking such revisionism.
I would recommend this is a friend provided my friend also had read other books about this period of history. This book is good at showing you what was going on in germany through the eyes of citizens while hitler/nazi party were making their moves for dominance. It does not provide a detailed enough picture of the politics to understand the complex rise of the 3rd Reich. It is essentially a sharing of diaries and happening in Germany at this time and also pretty much just stating facts like (for example) the nazi's did not gain a large enough vote but the storm troopers etc. a so-and-so wrote in their diary "I did not like the way I had to . . ." then people were dismissed from blah blah. So it is a telling of the story but not with much analysis and not enough for you to fully understand why things are going down the way they were at the time. It does however give you enough of a cultural understanding at the beginning to allow you to understand the mindset of the average person during the time. I can appreciate much more now how the regular German "allowed" the third reich to "happen."
There was no differentiation. His style was monotone and slow. I listened at 2x speed for the majority of the book and it felt very natural at that speed.
Read other works on the third Reich first. I very much enjoyed the rise and fall of the third Reich by William L. shirer. I would recommend that one first, then this one. I hope the other books in this series are better. There is almost no mention in this book of how other nations are seeing/viewing/reacting to any of the goings on. I realize it is not about foreign policy, but I find those details important.
Covers the decline of the Wiemar Republic very well, especially as regards the rise of the NAZI movement. It is a little weaker on the short period of stability Wiemar achieved during the middle of the 20s and it is not as heavy on the political leadership in the early years of the republic as in Shirer's classic work, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and several others. But this is well covered in other general histories of the period. In addition, you get a better feel for the milieu of the 20s with this text. The best political coverage centers upon government decisions toward the end of Wiemar; as with Hindenburg's and von Papen's decisions and actions to name Hitler Chancellor. This shortfall is more than made up for by the inclusion of the economic setting of Wiemar and by a greater inclusion of the cultural and social developments. A great deal has been accomplished in many monologues by historians on the social and cultural material of this period and it was time to see it in a broader, well-written general history of the period between the end of the First World War and the collapse of the First German Republic.
The writing is clear and direct, and the author's selection of specific individuals when wishing to stress a point is done excellently. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a broad study of this period. I have not yet listened to the second and third parts of Evans' history on the Third Reich, but I am looking forward to the remaining two volumes.
I've listened to a number of WWII history books now, and am in the middle of this one. The writing is good and engaging. If you enjoy political and social history, you'll enjoy this book. However, the reader has a strange cadence and pauses and hesitates in the oddest places. Normally I can get over something like that, but I have to admit that in this case, it's really bad and distracting. Not enough to ruin the book completely, but definitely irritating at times.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This book begins with an introduction that was a bit off-putting. I had just finished listening to William L. Shirer’s popular THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH (RFTR) and learned a lot from Shirer’s narrative of the inside workings of the Nazi Party. Evan’s introduction pointed out that RFTR has been universally panned by the more academic historians. I then approached the balance of the book with some trepidation; not anxious to listen to some pompous dry work of pure scholarship or to possibly have my preconceptions shattered on what I thought I knew about WWII history. What followed was less a deconstruction of my WWII knowledge than an expansion. I thought the strong point of RFTR was on the rise of the Nazi party to power but Shirer barely scratched the surface. Richard J. Evans goes into the various cultural, political and economic currents that led to the Nazi Party. He traces the history of Germanic thought back to the time of Charlemagne, to the First Reich. I found this narrative history to be eminently accessible and engaging. After listening to this book I can begin to understand why the account of RFTR was incomplete; it just does not dig deep enough into the background of the German people to offer a full understanding ot the factors that led to the rise of Adolph Hitler. The Nazi movement was a product of years of Teutonic life in the shadow of strong rulers and a patriotic fervor that bordered on religion. Evans puts forth so many interesting concepts that I think it will require a second listening for me to grasp an understanding of the factors that led to the rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 20th century..
Sean Pratt reads the text clearly and has excellent enunciation. His narration becomes transparent quickly making assimilation of the material possible.