The first thing to say about this entire series is that all 3 books form a wonderful history of the Third Reich. It also seems important to mention that this volume is a history of the Third Reich during the war, not the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Wehrmacht, so there is only limited coverage of the actual battles.
Rather this book concerns itself mostly with government policy concerning those living inside Germany itself and the occupied territories. It is very detailed and I found some sections on the extermination camps very emotionally painful to get through. The book also does not cover some areas that I would like to have heard about. For example, how were Allied soldiers who were minorities treated in prison camps? Did the Wehrmacht follow the Geneva Convention rules or not? What was the relationship between the Wehrmacht and the SS? Since the book is about government policy these areas were not covered in any detail.
Regardless this book, as well as the preceding two volumes, form an invaluable history and should be required reading for anyone who wants to know about the Second World War in Europe. I also agree with another reviewer who suggested that these books, along with Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, should both be read since they are complimentary. Highly recommended.
I read this book in paper format more than 30 years ago, but I had forgotten how good it really is. When I saw it available in audible format I jumped at the chance to listen to a previous good read.
Some of the reviews I have read are very hard on the book, but I believe that the are looking in the wrong place. What makes this book so interesting and unique, at least to me, was the idea that humans could encounter aliens so different that all of our assumptions would be wrong. How do two species interact when one is general and adaptive in nature and the other is differiented. That is at the core of this story; at least for me.
The process of meeting, all of the mistaken assumptions and the final realization as to just how different the species are is, I believe, a very interesting story with, for new readers, an unknown conclusion.
But listeners should know that this story is from 1974 and hence some of the story line is 35 years out of date. I believe that to be the cause of some of the bad reviews. Perhaps those listeners did not know the copyright date and might have been more charitable to the male-centered character of the story.
All in all I think this is a nearly great book with more than adequate reading.
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