Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.
Now, many years after the end of World War II, it may seem incredible that our most valued institutions and way of life were threatened by the menace that Hitler and the Third Reich represented. Shirer’s description of events and the cast of characters who played such pivotal roles in defining the course Europe was to take is unforgettable.
Benefiting from his many years as a reporter, and thus a personal observer of the rise of Nazi Germany, and availing himself of some of the 485 tons of documents from the German Foreign Office, as well as countless other diaries, phone transcriptions, and other written records, meticulously kept at every level by the Germans, Shirer has put together a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany, and planned and executed his six-year quest to dominate the world, only to see Germany go down in flames.
This is a richly rewarding experience for anyone who wants to come to grips with the mysterious question of how this menace to civilization ever came into being, much less was sustained for as long as it was. The answer, unfortunately, is that most of Germany, for a whole host of reasons, embraced Nazism and the fanaticism that Hitler engendered.
©1990 William L. Shirer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“One of the most important works of history of our time.” (The New York Times)
”A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions.” (The New York Times Book Review)
Shirer's seminal work on the Third Reich is a must-listen for anyone interested in how a small, awkward man can become a demagogue and warlord.
This is a story of the horror men can inflict redeemed by the bravery of ordinary men. How can a nation be shepherded to such grotesque measures? How responsible were the everyday people? Why did it take so much for the US to enter the war? Were most Germans made subservient by fear? Is this a flaw in the German people? Are we all susceptible to be complicit to maniacal tyrants? Can we picture ourselves zealously chanting "Sieg Heil" to someone who promised a Valhalla?
Having traveled to Germany several times, the WWII slice of history has always been fascinating to me. I was initially intimidated by the length of this book, but found it to be a less so as I went on. This is a very detailed and extensive documentary on how things escalate to the point of total war in Europe and how it ultimately ended. There's little on the subject of the pacific theater, but the book does a good job of showing the link between Germany and Japan in the war.
No better book than this on World War II. I have read this book about 20 times over the years. The writer is insightful and very literate. This is one of the best books I have ever read.
I always wanted to know how Hitler and Nazi Germany actually came to be. How did that monster come to lead the country and then create the worst war in history.
There is so much going on in this audio book. It's over 70 hours. It took me months to finish as I would listen and put it down and come back to it, but it was very insightful and well performed.
Wow! This was a lot to get through, but worth it! Written within 15 years of the end of WWII, it tells the complete saga of Hitler, the rise of Nazism, and how Hitler essentially co-opted the German people and hijacked their culture. It answered (now a 1/2 century ago) questions that crop up even now in alternate historical fiction books and conspiracy theories. The length is prodigious but necessary for so complete a treatment - I feel like I've really accomplished a task by finishing it. Narration is excellent.
Long car rides have rekindled my love for 'reading' I like a good history book, thriller and - most importantly - zombie fiction.
The depth of information and detail is almost staggering. I learned more about Hitler and the Third Reich than I ever imagined. The narrator absolutely made the story. His emotion, capture and depth made the somewhat dry nature of the topic come alive.
The depth of information as well as the author's candid commentary on the people and times.
No, but I imagine this stands up as one of his best.
I don't think you could make a film that would effectively capture the depth of this book.
Unlike a high school history book, this voluminous chronicle of Adolph Hitlers infamous rise to power and ultimate fall, if not from grace-his own people never really believed and/or understood the utter insanity and evil this man was-most definitely from the pinnacle of his warped world domination ideological seat of power in Germany, is the most complete yet readable account of such an important time in world history!
Awesome. The reading was intensely performed and kept my attention from the beginning. At times, admittedly, a bit more detailed in the minutiae than I could keep up with. Yet, the painstakingly difficult task of research, organization, and effort to pull all the disparate documents, records, diaries, court transcripts, and interviews of eyewitnesses must be appreciated for such a recount of world history as Hitlers will definitely cause much consternation & debate on what is true, false, lies, and utter nonsense. such detail provides the bead crumbs one needs to refute or prove ones claim
Everyone know that Hitler started WWII & eventually failed at his aims, but I for one had not known (or remembered the history from my youth had it been explained in more detail in school) this full tale of utter madness and manipulation of an entire group of people & world powers!
I recommend this book to any and all who, like me, came to ask..."why did WWII start?"...why was Hitler so against the Jews?...and why were the Italians & Japan fighting with Hitler?
Like most history buffs, I know a lot about WWII stuff. In listening to this book, however, I realized that I knew in general terms the story, but not the details of some events. I didn't understand the Anschluss with the interesting detail this book provides. I certainly didn't understand what a disaster the Munich agreement was. I certainly didn't understand the thinking behind Hitler declaring war on the Soviets and then the Americans. This book provides insight into those actions.
Its amazing to me how the Nazi's were able to make all institutions subject to the state. Outside the state there was nothing that they didn't control. It strikes me as an important reminder that a free society has businesses, organizations, churches outside the control of the state.
The narrator was good, but a bit slow. I listened at 1.25 speed and it worked great for me.
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