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The Coming of the Third Reich | [Richard J. Evans]

The Coming of the Third Reich

There is no story in 20th-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time.
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Publisher's Summary

There is no story in 20th-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.

©2005 Richard J. Evans (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[A]n impressive achievement.... [Evans'] opus will be one of the major historical works of our time." (The Atlantic)

What Members Say

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  •  
    One Size Fits None Rural New Jersey 01-26-13
    One Size Fits None Rural New Jersey 01-26-13 Member Since 2010

    One Size Fits None

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    "Sets the Stage"

    The three part series by Richard J. Evans is an excellent history of the Third Reich split into three phases: the early years (until 1933), pre-war (1933-1939) and war years. This book is well researched, well thought out, well planned. It's really the foundation for the other two books, if you are going to listen to them.

    On one level, reading this book is like sitting in the theater watching the stagehands set up the stage. You know who's going to be coming out and which chairs they'll sit in. You have a general idea where the chairs will probably be, and when the characters will be coming onstage (and sometimes leaving in unfortunate circumstancs). But in this book, the characters aren't entirely the individuals we all know. Some of them are the ideologies that drive the individuals (and the ordinary people whose names we'll never know). After you've heard this book you will come away knowing how the Nazis scrabbled and bullied their way into power. Themes set up in this book persist through the series. If you skipped this one, you would be fine with the others - but if you do listen to it, you'll get much more out of the rest. It could easily stand on its own. But as you get near the end, you're glad there are two more volumes. There's still so much to say.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celina Nichols Louisville, Kentucky United States 01-09-13
    Celina Nichols Louisville, Kentucky United States 01-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb"

    This book (and the other two books in the trilogy) are must reads for anyone who wants to learn about Nazi Germany. The first book was especially compelling because it gave me the background that I often find lacking in examinations of World War II and the Nazis. I appreciated. At times, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of detail and because I did not know the names and their spellings. I simply listened to the book again to pick up those details. The book is depressing, heartbreaking, and even on occasion uplifting. It was nice to see a well rounded, objective approach to the subject. The narrator did an excellent job. I wish that he was the narrator of another book I am about to finish. It would have made the other work much easier to wade through. I cannot recommend this work highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste Baldwinsville, NY, United States 11-22-12
    Celeste Baldwinsville, NY, United States 11-22-12

    The White Queen

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    "New insight forall despite grocery list narration"
    Would you listen to The Coming of the Third Reich again? Why?

    Yes, but only if reading the actual text was impractical. Despite how distracting the poor narration can be at times, the material is compelling enough that even some truly egregious errors and disorienting stops and "stutters" are able to be ignored.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book is the answer to questions that linger after reading all the rest. Not that it provides the reader with a clear, black and white answer to the question "How could anyone murder millions of people?"; not at all. That is left to the reader to formulate from the evidence provided.

    As such, it is a mistake to condemn the author for distancing himself from making moral judgments about the events he describes. Evans has no need to spend valuable time and space on such exposition; that is the reader's job. It's his job to narrate events and provide guidance in the realm of interpretation, cause, and effect. He doesn't ignore the moral consequences.

    Rather, he highlights the landmarks on what was essentially a moral "journey" for the Germans. The rantings of polemicists about the "Jewish Question" eventually turned that phrase into the modern day equivalent of "The War on Terror" or "Wall Street vs. Main Street Economics"; that is, it went from being something only a few extremists yapped on about to something that was on the table in any discussion and was accepted the same way many Americans right now accept that Al Qaeda and Muslims started the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or that rich financiers destroyed our economy.

    Note; I'm not saying they are wrong! I'm saying it's a valid topic for discussion with a clear, anonymous, conspiratorial villain of vast powers, and a way of framing a "question' as to guarantee its "answer".

    What this book does is explain how what we think of as a single nation of "Germans" was really a conglomeration of various minority populations that had been consolidated only in the latter half of the 19th Century. This union was held together by leaders with strong personalities and iron fists.

    The failures of the "kinder, gentler" post-World War I Weimar Republic to stabilize the economy, feed the people, and make any kind of meaningful decisions did not instill respect for democratic rule. It only promoted nostalgia for when the trains ran on time, reinforcing the romantic myth of the "Leader".

    Disturbing parallels abound throughout history, not the least of which was the one in Italy at the same time. "Il Duce" means the same thing as "Der Fuhrer", and this fact only stresses that although Germany was devastated after World War I, it was not the only European nation threatened with disintegration from the foundations up at that time.

    In short, this is a great buy. I don't really regret ignoring warnings about the narrator, because being able to listen to the book being read aloud is a major convenience and a prime reason for buying it for that purpose alone. I just don't have my hands and eyes free to read when I am working, and being able to switch between music and a book for variety is wonderful. The narrator is poor, there is no doubt about that. But I was able to get past that and concentrate on the material. It is that compelling, and definitely worth your Audible credit despite the flaws.


    What didn’t you like about Sean Pratt’s performance?

    The narrator is clearly inexperienced and inconsistent in his pronunciation of relatively well-known and simple German, French, Russian, and English words. I can only deduce that a very incomplete knowledge of the subject matter itself is at the root of the narrator's strange pauses, emphasis on the wrong words, and the overall tendency to read this the same way one reads a grocery list or a Chinese take-away menu out loud.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arjay 04-09-12
    Arjay 04-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Overview of Germany in the 20s and 30s"
    What made the experience of listening to The Coming of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    I like the way the author strings events together. He is especially good when explaining the historical contect of some of the Nazis' legislative actions and showing how they weren't necessarily as radically thought of as we do now after 80 years. He showed how many of the political parties and actors agreed with the actions taken by the Nazis after they got into power. He did well in explaining how their message before coming to power was pretty generic, so that most segments of the population could agree on the broad principles that they espoused. Not until after they got into power did they show their total disregard for anyone who disagreed with them and their ruthlessness in eliminating dissent, segment by segment. It gives meaning to the old saying,


    Any additional comments?

    The author's stated intent was to introduce this topic to those who knew nothing. I know some of the topic but have never had it tied together like this book does. The author also dumbed down some of the German phrases like

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-31-12
    Ron Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-31-12

    A great fan of stories and audiobooks. Good ones.

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    "Like History class, fascinating"

    Interesting and engrossing. Like looking through an in-depth book without the eye strain, and seeing how an evil empire evolved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 03-19-12
    Amazon Customer United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Story is Hot, the reading is not."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone that enjoys readings from someone that reads like reading a textbook.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Coming of the Third Reich?

    How Hitler managed to weasel himself into power


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    As stated before, he sounded like he was reading a textbook. His reading was dry.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    What should have sparked anger, sparked apathy.


    Any additional comments?

    Fortunately I got the book on sale, so I would say that I got my money's worth, but I may end up buying the book on kindle (if available). The Computerized voice seems more exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Jay Perkins 12-22-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pratt's Narration ruins an excellent work"

    Pratt's narration is abysmal. His pacing is odd. He makes pitching choices (adding or not adding emphasis thorugh vocal pitch) that are simply wrong, constantly mis-cuing the listener. But, worst of all, he constantly adds incongruous pauses throughout the narration, often coming to a full stop in the middle of a sentence. He pauses luxuriously before every "and" or "that" and, most annoyingly, for no understandable reason at random positions in every third or fourth sentence. The listener is put in the position of trying to reconstruct the pacing and meaning of the previous sentence while trying to listen to the next. I found myself so annoyed and distracted by the narration at times that I completely lost track of Richard Evan's content.

    Pratt also mis-pronounces common German words, like "volk", which is unforgiveable in a book discussing the history of the Third Reich. (This is the kind of thing the producer of the audiobook should have corrected.)

    I've just finished listening to the preface and first two chapters and am seriously considering stopping at this point and moving on to another title. The content, which, from what I can tell, is very well-researched and well-written, is entirely and sadly eclipsed by an incompetent narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 07-30-11
    JoAnn 07-30-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Looking forward to the next book"

    I wasn't sure I would listen to this entire book, but I found it very interesting and look forward to the next volume.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Kleimeyer 06-20-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Left wanting more"

    Nazi Germany is the great boogeyman of the West, most chillingly because Germany was one of the most advanced, progressive states in the world at the time. This book does a great job digging into the how - including both personal and global accounts, and bringing cultural, political, personal analysis in addition to the dry historical facts.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifetimeRoad 10-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed the book, not the narrator."

    "Stuffy" narrator , thorough account. With a different narrator the story would have been fascinating but as it is one's mind tends to wander from the account at times.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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