Parts, but not the whole thing, in fact I already have. Again, not the whole thing because it is such an extensive work.
The parts after NAZI Germany began to lose.
The story doesn't have scenes, and in this book I'm not sure there are favorite parts to be had. I can say that I wept like a baby the entire 27th chapter, which focuses specifically on NAZI atrocities, although the Third Reich was so awful that there are atrocities that show up in almost every chapter.
'Thankfully for humanity, the NAZI gangster empire was snuffed out in its infancy.' Not sure if that's a direct quote or a paraphrase, but even by just typing it out tears began to well up to my eyes.
This is a profoundly moving volume.
Among the best
It is an amazingly detailed book and chilling that it is non-fiction
I read this book in hardcover as a teen; listening to it a second time forced me to listen to everything and I realized how thorough this book really is. It is definitely a political history rather than a military one, though of course it necessarily deals with a lot of military components. The pace is very good, though I do feel that Shirer spent too much time on certain aspects of the Third Reich - especially the conspiracies to murder Hitler. Since these were ultimately unsuccessful and incompetently handled, it felt strange that he would spend so much time talking about them.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book - it is a classic for a reason. As long as it is, there are of course some passages that seem to drag, but not as many as you would expect. Grover Gardner was the ideal reader for this book. He has a very even tempo and his voice is excellent.
If you're interested in WWII history and have never read this book, I give it my hearty recommendation.
Probably not - kind of long.
I don't know maybe "Les Miserables" for length.
Not sure that I have.
That would be physically impossible.
I wanted to echo a previous reviewer's comments about "start to finish". This book does hold your attention and interest the whole way through despite its length. Of course, there is a natural revulsion to the subject matter in spots, and so that slowed things down a little bit here and there as I had to take a break and regroup.
Near the top
Thoroughness of detail and realism
When the good guys started winning.
Extreme, yes -- my experience with literary villains has been mostly fictional -- Darth Vader, Sauron; or ancient, such as Pilate and Herod. What amazed me about this book is that although fictional authors can write their villains to be as evil as they want, none of them even came close to the evil of this reality.
It really made me think about where God was in all this.
There is no need to write a long review of this book as it it is already recognized for its brilliance...and for good reason. What you might not know is that the author was there during many of the momentous occasions making the narrative absolutely engaging and 100% authentic. It is long and comprehensive but the performance and the quality of the work is so outstanding that it is a highly recommended journey. As shocking and depressing as some of the material is, the intelligence and deft writing hand of the author carries us through. Upon its completion I was inspired to return to several other books on WWII (Storm of War) to put together the missing parts of the story that only this book could provide. Again, the narrator is among the best I have ever heard.
This book was obviously extensively researched and therefore both convincing and convicting. That a cultured, educated, modern society like Germany of the 1930s could be duped by a madman, megalomaniac, criminal, bigot (take your pick) like Adolf Hitler is a definitive reason that we must learn from history or risk repeating it. The book produced the strongest possible evidence that indeed "absolute power corrupts absolutely." As my "headline " says, this is a lengthy book (I actually listened to it in "pieces"), but it was extraordinarily engaging, the more so because the reader's intonation and emphases added immeasurably to the compelling content. I consider that several professional historians negatively criticized this "history written by a journalist" nothing less than petty jealousy.
This was a gripping story, however, the seventh part ended well prior to where the actual book ends. It is a shame that this unabridged version omits so much material.
In parts, not straight through
I've studied history for a long time, but the details about the Nazi brutality to Jews, Russians, and all people not "desirable", though well known, was well covered including the complicity of the average German. A most powerful portion of the book.
William Shirer (an American journalist) succeeds in his attempt to comprehensively chart the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. Written in 1960, the book is largely based on captured Nazi documents found after the war. The author also includes personal reflections from his time as an American journalist living in Berlin during the 1930s. A warning to potential listeners of this audio book. This is NOT a World War 2 history lesson. I was very surprised to find that this book is about 70% finished before the outbreak of World War 2. Hence the book concentrates mainly on the rise of Nazi Germany and its initial acts of aggression and subsequent appeasement by the Western powers. Consequently, at times I found the middle section of this audiobook rather tedious. I must admit, however, that despite the books length (57 hours) I was still quite engaged for the majority of the time.