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)
I put off reading this book for many years because of its length and the weight of the subject. Like many readers, I also had cross-generational wounds to reckon with in it: one whole side of my family was wiped out in the Holocaust.
It's an extraordinary document, one of the most valuable, memorable books of history I have ever read. It combines the author's personal experience of most of the major figures and events of the Third Reich as a news correspondent with his deeply effective use of captured records of one key decision and conversation after another at the highest levels of German power.
To this he adds years of interviews and correspondence with key figures after the war and a rich grasp of European history, philosophy and cultural tradition.
My world view is wider as a result of reading this book, and it still throws light on current world events 65 years after it was published.
Tell us about yourself!
The narration of the story was excellent. Really astonishing how many times wwII could've been prevented but a sociopath leader could manipulate the entire world out of fear. How so many were led to follow this person and do heinous acts on other humans is terrifying. Also the bizarre relationships with Italy's Mussolini, Russia's Stalin and Japan.
Dare to dream...
William L. Shirer has created a very fine historical account of the rise and fall of Hitler's nightmare which became a terrible reality to humanity, and an abomination before God.
Grover Gardner's narration is superb. Well done!
There was one chapter on cryptography and I found it fascinating...
It seems like an extremely long book when you first start, but it flies by like a good movie. I found this book enthralling.
This question is clearly meant for works of fiction. This is a book of history, not fiction. However, I think the author did manage to tell this important history in a very narrative and exciting way.
I have not.
History happens in the span of a minute.
Don't go through the whole book in one sitting. Split it up over a month or two, peppered with other works about WWII.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
Intersting not a dry account of facts and figures or a text book. Highly recommend.
This book is incredibly detailed and informative. Anyone interested in WW2 and German history will appreciate this book. My one complaint is that the book is dated and the author slightly too opinionated. He refers to the 'homosexual perverts' within the Nazi ranks. While there may have been homosexuals in the group, I don't appreciate homophobic and prejudice comments in the midst of otherwise informative writing. As always, critical reading/listening is a must.
Extensive history of Nazi Germany. The narration is excellent and the historical references really helped make it come alive.
This performance was different. The last one I listened to (North and South) had many characters that he able to develop. I still enjoyed it very much.
Report Inappropriate Content