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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Audiobook

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 08-18-13
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 08-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    "One of the best books I've had the pleasure read."
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    Well written and voiced


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    The truth of it was painful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several. I went out and purchased a hard back.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this if at all interested in World War Two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent 08-16-13
    Brent 08-16-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Worth your time!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    If you are a WWII buff like me your always looking for a new perspective. This book give it to you.


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    First one I've listened to like this.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Great performance. Its not easy to keep my attention for this long but he did.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Hitlers was a D*ck


    Any additional comments?

    great context for any WWII listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Product, poor delivery by Audible"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The book itself is fascinating as a history and as a lesson as to how such a recipe for disaster as Nazi Germany could happen again. The reader was clear and concise in his delivery

    Unfortunately I can not say the same for Audible. The delivery on the part of Audible was abysmal and the information provided was wrong. Whoever had the responsibility of the final review of the overall project before release needs a bit more training. Here are the specifics:

    Audible states that the e-book is not available yet, however, I purchased the Kindle at Amazon on the same day. Isn't Audible owned by Amazon? If you can't get information through internal department resources due to a lack in cooperation, can you get on the website and see if Kindle offers the book in e-form?

    In addition, the book was transmitted in seven parts with no indication as to the order, so I am left listening to the first few minutes of each part until I find the next one in the order. As it was, the parts were not delivered in order, but randomly. The first part of the book was transmitted last, so I began the book thinking that it was abridged in that it started at approximately chapter 6 (One of the reasons I purchased the Kindle version as well as the Audible).

    This was an outstanding work done by the author. After all, the book has been out now for 50 years! The narrator did what I believe to be, a very respectable job. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand what happened those many years ago, and what could very well happen again if we are not careful. What angers me is the deplorable presentation provided by a company I have been purchasing from for nearly two decades. I have been a long time customer of Audible. I hope this error is not an indication of things to come. If it is, many customers such as myself will need to look elsewhere. I also hope that it will be corrected in a timely fashion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin United States 08-12-13
    Benjamin United States 08-12-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Showing its age"
    Any additional comments?

    This is an impressive book on a fascinating subject, but flawed in a few important ways. Obviously, because it covers the history of more than a decade, and a momentous one at that, it is forced to gloss over many details despite its length. This made it quite frustrating, therefore, when the author spends chapter after chapter devoted to German conspiracies against Hitler which, by his own argument, failed to do anything useful. The endless repetition of plots that went nowhere quickly grew tiresome, and, since I already knew they failed to kill Hitler, I found the stories of their ineptitude rather beside the point.

    More generally, this book suffers from a problem of tone. The author was a journalist in Berlin before the war, and therefore was not a young man even when writing this book in the 60's. His personal anecdotes of meeting many of the people discussed were interesting, but many of his portrayals are colored by these impressions. He shows his age also in his moralizing tone, especially with regard to homosexuality, and his, um, 'old fashioned' terminology with regard to race (nipponese? really?).

    Finally, it is important to know going in that the author is a journalist and not a historian, and it shows. His tone is not nearly as objective as I would have liked, and his focus wanders. I went into this book knowing nothing about the author, who is very present in the book, and so expecting a more objective work such as we might see about the napoleonic wars. This is not that book. That is not to say it is a bad book. It does cover this period in much greater depth than any single volume I've ever read, and the author's personal reminiscence is sometimes quite interesting. If you are looking to learn more about the war or Nazi Germany, this book will probably help. Just be aware that it might not be exactly what you were hoping for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy White Neenah, WI 07-27-13
    Andy White Neenah, WI 07-27-13

    Enjoy long books, history and lots of classic British stuff.

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    "A must"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the must read books of all time


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Takes a long time to read but worth all of the 57 hrs plus


    Any additional comments?

    If you haven't then this is a must read book. The narrator makes the book far more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JayPeg 07-22-13
    JayPeg 07-22-13
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    "Long but enthralling"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It has taken me forever to finally listen to this book. I'd being putting it off for many months always preferring something smaller and less complicated to cater to my ADHD mind. However I finally took the plunge and wish I had earlier. This is a marvelously written book and Grover Gardner is a fantastic narrator, one of my favorites.No doubt those with a finer appreciation of some of the historical points will find some or other factual error or incorrect interpretation, but this is an audio book well worth investing the time to listen too. The story flows naturally and without boring the reader or becoming slow and ponderous. The author clearly knew how to keep ones attention and you will get much pleasure from listening to this audio title.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Impossible I think for a book of this length although if I could I surely would!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon 07-19-13
    Jon 07-19-13
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    "Best book ever"
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Best book ever


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    This book is in a league of its own


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Bravo!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hitler's vagabond days were very interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the most thorough, well-researched, informative book I have ever read (well, listened to). Unbelievable details about the Third Reich, from Goebbels' diary to the day to day communications of the foreign office it's all here in this book. And the performance is spectacular. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 07-16-13
    Tim United States 07-16-13 Member Since 2011

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    "Complete History on the Enemy"

    I've been reading WWII for many years, but I have never read the most comprehensive book about Nazi Germany and Hitler until I bought "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." I cannot say enough of this book. It is by far the best book out there on the subject and the most complete to tell what went on the enemy's side.

    Most books that I've read thus far has always been troops, fighting the German and how we conquer each battle and ultimately won the war, but I never read anything in depth on what went on with Hitler and his troops and the demolishing their iron curtain.

    Instead of reading about battles, troops on the fields, air raids, and street parades of winning the war, The Third Reich is all about a history of Nazi Germany. There is no happy ending for them during that period of time. The book is overwhelming at times because there is so much information that has not been presented by other authors, but even at 57 hours and 13 minutes, I manage to finish the book in 10 days.

    There are no other novels out there that explains about the enemy besides this one.

    Simply, it's a must read for any history major on what really went on besides the war.

    I beg to differ that you will find any new information that William L. Shirer already presented in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Torsten Will 06-22-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent, deeply moving and truly educational."
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    The detailed style got taught be a lot of things I did not know. A school's education of history could not prepare me for this level of detail -- nor can it being a german for over 40 years.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The authenticity, the reports (the author calls "objective")


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Does a good job, speaks clearly


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Deeply moving, authentic and objective


    Any additional comments?

    The author has written a truly remarkable book. It has only a few downsides, they are minor, but I will name them nonetheless. He calls his book "objective" and it is, because he is writing from first hand observation, collected reports and brings in other sources. But as a journalist he should know that using so many adjectives when describing people is not a good "objective style" ("the narrow-minded X", "the dull-witted Y", etc).
    I also have the feeling that the author falls into the same trap as the subjects he writes about when he talks about his opinion of germans, mainly in the prologue and epilogue. He simplifies and is prejudiced. The reduction of the german to "is used to obey commands since the middle ages (or was it the roman imperium?)" is ridiculous. In his prologue he is writing from a 1960s point of view and I could understand his hesitance towards germany at that time. But the epilogue written in the 1990s just after the Wiedervereinigung shows he did not change his view on germany as a whole -- that I found a bit unsettling, because I *know* germany as a country is *not* what it has been up to 1945. I speak as a german and -- I hope -- a world citizen.
    I wrote too long about this small issue: The book is still truly remarkable, educational and deeply, very deeply moving. I regret that it has had better critiques outside of germany then inside it. I find it should be mandatory reading in schools, especially german ones. Only not forgetting will make it never happen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Toronto, ON, Canada 06-20-13
    Daniel Toronto, ON, Canada 06-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Grover Gardner!"
    What did you love best about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    The writing was compelling. The delivery was crisp. The book is massive, but Grover Gardner is a pleasure to listen to, and is extremely effective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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