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)
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.
This book is for anyone who likes history. It is unusual from my perspective, because it was written from the German viewpoint, whereas all the other books read were from an Allied point of view. It adds to ones understanding of the thinking of the German people, although they were misled constantly by the Hitler government!
It is hard to believe that World War 2 happened only 70 years ago! My father was in Holland and had SS Soldiers living in his house during the war. This book was a marathon book in terms of length, but I was never bored for an instant. The book is so well written and informative. I was really impressed with the detail provided on the Rise of Hitler and what a monster he was. It is hard to believe these atrocities really happened. I felt so sad for humanity as I read this book. I couldn't help but wonder how I would have acted if I had been alive at this time. Would I have had the courage to stand up to Hitler? Would I have deluded myself about what was really going on? Trust me, this is a book that will impact your life. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich still looms in our collective memory and it must not be forgotten!
This is one of the books on my library bucket list. I was pleasantly taken aback by the new information of history I thought I knew. I'm not a historian by any measure but I have an interest. Important history told as a great story.
Honest impressions of the authored commend to all who want to understand this era in history
The book is touching, informing, and entertaining. Truly a masterpiece. I know feel like I have a much better grasp on the rise and fall of the third Reich. Although it's a topic that one could spend a lot of time studying, this is an incredible book to give someone a good idea of everything that happened on a higher level, with many interesting and helpful details.
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