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)
This is one of the best Audible titles I have listened to. Not only is Shirer a great writer and journalist/historian, Grover Gardner is excellent in his reading of this book. I was extremely impressed with his pronunciation of the German language when he needed to be. He also made the story of Nazi Germany come to life when so many historical books are dry and boring. Do not be daunted by the 57 hours. It flew by and I wished it were longer!
Awesome narrator and incredible information.
"Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent" Another book by William L. Shirer, Just as good as "The Rise and Fall" with amazing insider information
If you enjoy books about the NSDAP then this is a must read.
Making my way through all the US President a biography at a time.
Critics say this book lacks methodological sound historical analysis which is true in parts, particularly at the beginning (e.g. Lutheranism would eventually create a Hitler, bitter Homosexual bias) yet I think it's clear where these are and one can move on to a narrative that is so comprehensive that it is worth staying with. He knew the men of history as a journalist in Germany so he is scathing in tone but equally this creates a proximity to the characters that other histories fail to achieve. The early years are amazing and an eye opener. Despite years of the History Channel. The end comes quick and obviously the author felt others had covered the key military battles sufficiently enough not to waste too much time but reflect their impact on the system and Hitler. It's long and the names can be difficult to follow, particularly in an audiobook. Well worth the commitment.
An amazing look at Nazi Germany from the perspective of the people's own documentation (journal, records, etc...). The author wonderfully interconnected all of this into a fantastic story told from the many different perspectives.
The audio book (though long) was very engaging and the narration was very well done.
Gives valuable insight to the minds of Hitler and his followers, how he managed to gain power, and who helped him achieve this. And how easily he could have been stopped long before he was a threat to human kind.
Gut wrenchingly prophetic.
I love how the tension builds in the lead up to the war. The politics of then and now are much the same - the constant push and pull between conservatism, nationalism and more progressive politics. It also illustrates the danger of allowing one party to overwhelm the state and the omnipotence of the state.
Excellent narrator who has paced the action very well.
At times I felt as if I wanted to shout and scream at the participants in this slice of history - to warn and slap some of them. It seems almost inconceivable that they could not see Hitler for what he was in the face of his relentless mendacity.
I picked this book up as I wanted a companion to Winston Churchill's history of WWII - as Churchill's was incredibly subjective and obviously one sided. It soon over took Churchill's and I ended up finishing this marathon book. It is worth every penny.
This is by far the best account of WW2 you will ever hear. It is not just an excellent book about history, it will also help you understand how dictatorial leaders can arise out of economic and political chaos and threaten the world. It is a blow by blow intimate account from a man who was there when it happened. Its riveting, fascinating and amazingly detailed without being boring! It sounds a warning for today 2016 and what is happening in the world that we do not make the same mistake. Sadly what we learn from history is that we don't learn from history!! You will not be disappointed.
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