The narrator is superb, and the content chilling. As German democracy, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia and then Poland fell, I wanted to scream "Can't you see what's happening?"
Hitler was insane. That would be a three word summary of a 57 hour book.
Claus von Stauffenberg- a hero. When someone finally stands up and says, enough: "This must stop even if it costs my life." That's a hero. This part of the book read like fiction.
Molotov is pretty good. A calculator in the line of great Soviet chess players, many moves ahead of his competition.
The jewish revolt in Krakow moved me to tears.
Give it a listen, you won't regret it. Only criticisim is Shirer's homo prejudices. Maybe a sign of the times, but he ably shows the Nazis to be thugs, criminals and psychopaths. Didn't need to call them perverts, too (without mentioning the "perverts" on the Allied side).
I realised I had never done any serious reading/listening on WWII history. To cure my ignorance I bought The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich, and 57 hrs 13 mins later, I do not regret the decision at all. I was a bit suspicious that I might feel like I had done enough in the WWII department after this book, but now having completed it, my interest has grown and not diminished. I highly recommend this book.
This must rank amongst the top histories available on Audible.
Among the best.
The inside details from beginning to end
I would recommend to a friend but only one that its a history buff like myself .
I enjoyed how factual and in depth the story was .
There is no way you could finish this all at once .
Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.
No book other than the bible has ever moved me like this one. My father was a POW and fought in the war, and he said this book is the launch code for Nazi Germany. He was right. I got this book because it was 1 credit. Only 1 credit for 57 hours! God bless Mr. Shirer and... Grover Garder you are amazing. Amazing! Bill Shirer would have been proud.
I have read the print version and while the author has done a superb job at gathering the historical facts and presenting them in an entertaining documentary fashion, the audio narrative adds a new dimension to the documentary.
I listened to the book in my car and I actually looked forward to sitting in traffic just so I could continue listening.
Grover Gardner's portrayal of the historical characters is outstanding. He also does a phenomenal job at capturing the essence of William Shirer's viewpoints. Highly recommended listening.
William L. Shirer has created an absolute masterpiece. Even 53 years after it was first published, this audiobook stands strong. It kept my attention for all 57 hours and Grover Gardner's narration was superb. After so long an audiobook Gardener's voice and this book became a companion, keeping your entertained as you carried out those mundane activities which we substitute audiobooks for entertainment. When the book ends, it is a bit sad but satisfying to have completed such an amazing journey. I found no flaws with this book.
I think everyone should read this one - it should be required in all high schools as part of history classes. The parallels between the past and the current USA is frightening.
Though there are some bits that are kind of dry the book is fascinating and interesting. I'm a bit of a WWII buff and there were things in this book I was unaware of. Fascinating read all around.
The book is 57 hours of spellbinding history. Grover Gardner does a great job of reading and pronouncing the various foreign names.
Looking back on my education in high school, I find it appalling as to how major, world altering events were glossed over in trivial fashion. The history of the second world war tends to be a hefty a chapter in most curriculum in high schools around the globe, but the history of Nazi Germany is relegated to a few paragraphs (at least it was in my case). In many ways, one should view that as borderline criminal. To me history is all about the "whys and hows" rather than the "what happened and when". In that light, "The rise and fall of the third Reich" is an in depth look into the "whys and hows" of the what is undoubtedly one of the darkest chapters of humanity.
Why was the treaty of Versailles such a blow to Germany?
How could the land that birthed the likes of Engels, Richter, Brahms, Beethoven and so many other cultural icons also create a Hitler?
Why did Hitler think the way he did?
Why was Nazism so popular (if it even was)?
How on earth could Germany create and field an army of such devastating strength and volume right under the noses of everyone else?
Was Adolf brilliant and fearless or just lucky and plain crazy?
And many, many other questions like these.
After going through this book it became apparent to me as to why Shirer's work is taken to be "the" definitive text on the rise and fall of the third Reich. It is very thoroughly researched and though the author does have personal inputs, he does well to openly admit to his biases in the rare cases where they do exist. It is obvious that Shirer was a foreign corespondent of high quality and as such, his status as reporter gave him the kind of access that historians would kill to have. It is also interesting (and a little amusing) to see some of the politically incorrect phrases and view points that sometimes show up. If anything, they only add to the charm of the book, although this is admittedly a personal opinion.
Grover Gardner does a good job of narrating the book. This is a long listen and to his credit, Gardner had me rapt with attention. His delivery did make me miss some of the weighty and warm tones that someone like Charlton Griffin brings to his performances but this again, is a personal opinion.
Any way you look at it, "The rise and fall of the third Reich" is one of the most important works of modern history. If it were up to me, I'd make this required reading in high schools everywhere.