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
"[A]n impressive achievement.... [Evans'] opus will be one of the major historical works of our time." (The Atlantic)
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.
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.
"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.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. -- Winston Churchill
This audiobook is remarkably interesting, very complete and detailed, provides a convincing explanation of how the 3rd Reich came to power and does so with a fresh perspective. It does not fall in the "Hitler is crazy and the Germans are too" pitfall: instead, it gives a human understanding of this process.
The narration is also flawless. This is an excellent buy.
yes yes yes
Having listened to Rise and Fall I was prepared to be bored with facts that were repeated. This is a whole new look at the history of the beginning of the Third Reich. I honestly do not hear what the others have said about the commentator. I find his narration to be soothing and well modulated. I defintely will be buying the second book in the series.
I'm a manager of a lawncare crew that listens to audio books when feasible. I have 2 years of business and 3 towards a history degree.
This author has no idea what he is saying. I've listened to about 8 hours so far, and he contradicts himself repeatedly. He frequently states such bad things are solely done by the Right in German, then two sentences later states the left did is some too. He even goes so far as to simply very complex political movements as Right and Left, but you can't cut things that easily. The Nazis were very nationalist, which is right, but also very socialist, which is left.
Evans refers to a an author named Pretzel, but doesn't mention that Pretzel wrote under the name Sebastian Haffner and fails to cite the name of the book. The book by Pretzel that Evans refers to is called "Defying Hitler," which I've read and is an amazing book. It's very clear that both Nationalists (right wing) and Communists (left wing) both joined the Nazi movement if Evans ever bothered to read the book he cites. The Nazis were known to preach "National Communism" as part of their movement compared to "International Communism" of the Soviets. Soviet Communism was an international movement, and the Nazis liked the idea, but wanted such a system on a National level. This blending of Right-wing Nationalism and Left-wing Socialism/Communism is a concept that Evans completely skips.
He also states very clearly he didn't want to be political, and would try his best to keep things simple and unbiased. He then mentions that his book is relevant to events at the time of it's publishing (Bush is president). He lumps every bad person as right wing, and all the good people as left wing. I only bought this book because of a sale, and now I'm disappointed I did so. If you want a real account of the rise of the Third Reich, listen to "Defying Hitler" by Sebastian Haffner.
(I majored in History and read "Defying Hitler" in college and had to write a subsequent paper on it)
The reader was the WORST ever. My mind constantly wandered as I listened, and I had to rewind to hear things again.
First, I completely agree with the other reviewers that this reader is TERRIBLE. Absolutely the worst reader I've experienced in over 140 Audible books. I continually found my mind wandering and had to back-up and re-listen to passages. This has never happened to me with any other audio book. Having started the next book - The Third Reich in Power - with the same reader, I can tell you that he is just as bad in that book.
As to the book itself...
It's a generally good survey of the years 1919-33 in Weimar Republic Germany, though I can't say it told me anything I didn't already know. The only exceptions to this are the dozens of small stories of small people, none of which add much to the narrative. On the other hand, the author skims over the "Revolution of 1919". From reading the book you'd have no idea what happened during this period. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a history of that period in Germany, and how Hitler came to power, this is a good resource.
One issue I have with the book is with the author's characterization of the Nazis and any nationalist org as "right wing" or "conservative". There have been plenty of left-wing nationalist parties over the years - in Russia, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, for example. There have been plenty of left-wing racists - Margaret Sanger, Harold Laski, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and William Beveridge, to name a few. Just because the Nazis were violently opposed to Communism doesn't make them right-wing. The Menscheviks were opposed to the Bolsheviks, yet all that made them was a competing left-wing group. The Nazis were classically left-wing - they wanted to mobilize every aspect of society to serve the state, they intruded into every nook and crannie of life, they were an extreme perversion of the Progressivism of the era. By my own and many others' commonly understood definition of "right-wing" as being in favor of minimal government and maximum individual liberty, Nazism is just another radical, murderous left-wing ideology.
But then I realized that author Richard Evans is probably a left winger himself, so he consciously or unconsciously had to characterize the Nazis as right-wing. The tip-off was when he wrote that the Nazis' brutality and torture in 1933 didn't compared to the more systematized torture in "Argentina, Chile, and Greece in the 1970's". How about Stalin and then Beria's Soviet Union, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Mao's China, Fidel and Che's Cuba, or any other Communist dictatorship over the past 100 years? Are Argentina, Chile, and Greece really the apogee of systematized torture?
If you can ignore the constant references to "extreme right-wing" Nazis, and if you haven't already read or studied this period in Germany, this can be a useful book.
The narrator. I got this for my son who loves history and he just couldn't get past the narrator.
As a history buff I purchased all three of the books in this series at one time and looked forward to hours and hours of listening pleasure. This was not the case. If your ambitions in life include becoming a dictator of country, and needing to know every little nuance of how Hitler succeeded in doing it in order to formulate your game plan, then this book is for you. If all you want to do is learn about the Nazi's and their rise to power, there are other books that are far easier to listen to and much more entertaining. Even though it is a work of fiction, Herman Wouks "The Winds of War" and "War and Rememberance" have all of the historical facts correct while being wound into a very well written story. "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William L Shirer is the classic and also very well written and concise.
In summary I respect the authors intent and the amount of research that went into these books, but as far as listening to them for entertainment purposes, they are like having somebody reading the dictionary to you. I find the narrators dead pan voice in my head so aggravating at times I start to scream! It is like someone is forcing me to listen to them as part of a prison sentence.
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