Don't kid yourself, this is a VERY long book but it is well worth the time it takes. Shirer combined history and his personal experiences to put together one of the best books explaining what really happened in Germany. I am glad I picked it up and took the time to listen!
absolutely. It might be too long for some people's taste but it is an entertaining 50+ hours
If you liked listening to Grover Gardner, don't mind at all long audio books, and enjoy history, Shelby Foote's 3 volume history on the American Civil War is another great audiobook.
I enjoy that Shirer actually put forth concepts about how and why the German's were susceptible to Nazi control of Germany. However these are controversial and critical of the German people of this time which might turn some people off. In a nutshell, Shirer states that the Germans were subservient and use to taking orders w/o question, preferring structure and order to civil liberties, that and Germans love David Hasselhoff.
I grew up with the usual stories about Hitler and WWII but never heard the details about how he rose to power. This book tells it all.
Hitler didn't hesitate to lie and deceive his friends, enemies or fellow citizens in order to get what he wanted. Not withstanding the holocaust itself I saw many parallels to our modern day politics and wonder if we have forgotten the lessons he taught us.
I love learning about the universe and our place in it by listening to Audible.
The book will hit you at a visceral level and be prepared to listen to it beyond your normal listening routine. It's not a history of the war. The war is treated as a background character to the machinations of the political intrigue that transpired.
The book is a series of stories with a narrative that ties them all together. Be prepared to listen to 8 or so hours about a single topic such as the run up to the incursion of Austria or the invasion of Poland. The book is not a set of sound bites but is mostly exhaustive details on the political intrigue surrounding the topic.
Why can't all readers be as good as Grover Gardner?
I had ran out of science books on audible to listen to and had low expectations for this book. My expectations were wrong.
Exploring a history I thought I knew. I am no scholar, but this was a fascinating exploration of Hitler's rise and fall.
The narrator's pronunciation of German names and locations surely outstrips what my limited German vocabulary could match.
Hitler was a spectacular liar. I nearly had to skip the Holocaust chapters (but don't).
Great book, narrated spectacularly.
For nearly sixty hours I was held in thrall by this history and the author's sources and insights.
I highly recommend it.
I have read many books on the civil war and revolutionary wars, but realizing that I didn't know much about the specifics of WWII, I began to look for books about this time. Naturally, I came first to this book. It promised to answer for me what I felt is the big question as you look back at the atrocities of WWII, "How could someone like Adolf Hitler actually come to power and rule over a large nation like Germany?", "Why was he tolerated,even when his regime was so obviously brutal?" This book answered these questions completely and revealed atrocities and intrigues that I had no idea of. I believe that every American, indeed every human, should read this book, so that something like Nazi Germany has very little chance of occurring again. Even if you are familiar with this time period, you may be surprised, as I was, at the visionary genius of Hitler. A mad genius, to be sure, but he clearly knew what he wanted to happen and planned out all aspects of his rule far in advance, including the surprise attacks and extermination of anyone who might oppose him. You also get a sense of what the world would have to expect if Hitler had succeeded, simply because he had already crafted his plans for all the territories that he hoped to occupy. In many ways this book is the most terrifying book I have read, because it shows how evil man can be.
This book combines the authors notes as a war correspondent, research into public records from the war and most importantly, secret documents of the Nazi military and government bureaus. It provides a historical "man on the street view" and a "behind closed doors" view of Hitler's inner circle.
Shirer really seems to have the inside scoop on Adolf Hitler's rise to power. The book is an excellent account of the remarkable set of circumstances that came together to make the Nazi party what it was. Note, this is not a play-by-play of the war, but focuses a bit more on the politics and important figures surrounding Germany during that time period.
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I think this is an incredibly important story to hear, to understand how something as tragic as Hitler's reign came to be. I just wish there was an abridged version, even if it was 30 hours; 57 hours is a major committment to one book.
I don't normally have much interest in books about wars, but bought this book out of a primarily historical interest. I found it well written, interesting, long and perhaps having greater detail than a mediocre level of interest would require. For a general-interest listener, it may be a little too long and cumbersome. However, interest is maintained most of the time. (I am looking forward to getting back to a lighthearted novel now!) :-)
The audio book is well read by Grover Gardner.
My only qualm is that - as a listener specifically interested in historical facts - the author intersperses the book with too many of his personal feelings and impressions. Initially, we are bombarded by his concept of Hitler as the village idiot, and later he calls him the "insane genius". As a thinking being, I would prefer, after 7 Parts of accurate historical facts, to draw my own conclusions. In all likelihood, Hitler was neither of the two.
The book is focussed primarily on military history. I would perhaps have enjoyed more about the daily lives of civilians, and what they were experiencing, as opposed to minute military details. But that's just my personal preference, and as i've mentioned - I'm not too interested in wars.
Overall, a very good and interesting read.