I admit to being picky about narrators. I thought this one spoke just a little too slow for me to stay engaged, which is a shame because the material is top notch. I ended up buying hard copies of the whole trilogy and would highly recommend.
Evans's synthesis is erudite, comprehensive, up to date. It accounts for the vast new scholarship on the period locked up in specialist monographs and balances its occasional descent into detail with informed analysis of larger trends. Its discussion of the embedding of antisemitism into German culture is chilling and revealing.
Other reviewers' attacks on narrator Sean Pratt go overboard. I have listened to other works by this narrator and did not find his phrasing, cadence, or pronunciation distracting or troublesome. One wonders what people expect the narrator to sound like. I listened to a dozen chapters while traveling and in fact found his unorthodox style helped to hold my attention to the narrative.
So thankful to finally have a good source for info on this time period. Have been told often that to understand WW2 you needed to look at WW1. And wondered for many years how one man could subjugate a whole country, now there is a great source that does it!
Tremendously well organized and consistent bring each aspect of the the unparalleled political rise to the forefront.
Each chapter had a clear layout and built on the previous chapter allowing for ideas to build and give a greater understanding of not only the outward appearance but also the inner workings that allowed for such a historic movement to grow and then occupy power.
Without losing context Richard Evans exhibits the truly unbelievable setting the world was in. He shows just how everything and everyone played a role in shaping the atmosphere of the world and in Germany.
Recommend this book if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the Nazi rise and the eventual consequences of what seemed like small events but did eventually lead to the horrific tragedy of what world war 2 would become.
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.