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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany | [William L. Shirer]

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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  •  
    Chris Duesseldorf, Germany 05-01-11
    Chris Duesseldorf, Germany 05-01-11
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    "Marvelous"

    Adolf Hitler and his government is difficult to address in literature, because there is content available in all media in excess and each person has deep and a lot of associations with the man and the era. This is a book written by a first hand witness, who can even comment on daily moods of the German leader. It is well researched too. Excellent and interesting page after page.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas United States 04-26-11
    thomas United States 04-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "riveting, fascinating! best reader ever!"

    in reading the prior reviews, i was skeptical how a book, let alone an audiobook could keep one's attention for so long. this is the best audiobook i have ever listened to. the content is actually all very interesting with each chapter a treasure trove of new personalities, enlightened facts that all coelesce together. and.....the reader is flawless. he has an air of knowledge and authority while not being too much like a schoolmaster. this book got me thru 360 miles in preparation for a marathon. it is a must for anyone interested in nazi germany in the second world war. dont hesitate because of the size, it just makes it that much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Curtin, Australia 01-10-11
    Greg Curtin, Australia 01-10-11
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    "Simply a joy to "read""

    I have replayed this book about five times in the past couple of months. The author writes from such an interesting perspective as an american journalist living in Nzai Germany. Very, very interesting. Flows so very well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Raleigh, NC, United States 12-23-10
    Adam Raleigh, NC, United States 12-23-10 Listener Since 2010
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    "A masterwork but with some problems of perspective"

    "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is a riveting account of the events leading up to and within the Third Reich. The detail and depth with which the history is treated is awe inspiring. One feels as though he or she is sitting there in the offices and beer halls where history shaping conversations were being held. The private accounts of events taken from journals and notes are used to great effect to recount every important meeting and conversation in these momentous times. The accounts of diplomatic intrigue and the struggles and personalities involved are transfixing and enthralling. I've seen nor heard no better account of the events surrounding Hitler's rise and fall and the World War he precipitated.

    This book, as near perfect as it is, is not without its problems. William Shirer was stationed as a foreign correspondent in and around Germany during and before Hitler's reign and had a "front row seat" to much of what occurred in the Third Reich. This gives Shirer a personal and involved perspective on the events covered; this turns out to be a mixed blessing. Written less than 20 years after the end of World War 2 Shirer shows considerable biases and levies personal judgment against some of history's actors that sometimes, at their worst, come across as unprofessional personal attacks. Additionally Shirer occasionally makes anti-homosexual remarks and judgments that, though indicative of attitudes of the time, appear crude and distasteful to the modern reader. Still, foibles aside, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is a book that should not be passed up and is required reading for anyone who is interested to know the details of one of the most important chapters of the modern age.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan Traralgon, Australia 11-18-10
    Ivan Traralgon, Australia 11-18-10
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    "Riveting...enjoyable...makes you stop and think."

    Very riveting listening,read the book years ago.Different to sit back and listen and enjoy this most major event and tragic event in world history.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AverageJill 05-29-12
    AverageJill 05-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Thrillingly told is an extreme overstatement"

    If you like your history dry as toast, this book is for you. Overly academic and overly detailed chronology. Narration is definitely NOT thrilling. A real snoozer!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 03-04-11
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 03-04-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Five Stars"

    A masterwork, from an eyewitness of the many of the events. Some of the scenes described are incredibly dramatic, and it's like we're in the room while it's happening. A very impressive, absorbing book, that shines a bright spotlight on a subject that's so often referenced, but never so well understood as when reading this account.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael WOODSTOCK, GA, United States 01-12-14
    Michael WOODSTOCK, GA, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    since there is no way to mark books as read in the library I thought this might be a way to mark them


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg Yonkers, NY, United States 03-07-13
    greg Yonkers, NY, United States 03-07-13 Member Since 2006

    Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very import book needs to be read by all and a c"

    When a sat a listened to this massive book, what struck me is how timeless it is. It is not just an excellent almost journalistic view of the war in Europe , but, if looked based on the issues we face around to the US and the world, it also a cautionary tale for our times

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Christopher Dallas, TX, United States 01-09-13
    Christopher Dallas, TX, United States 01-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A Ponderous Tome"
    What would have made The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich better?

    probably removing 1/3rd of the pages and giving it any sort of human life


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Probably something else historical


    What didn’t you like about Grover Gardner’s performance?

    monotone as hell


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I did learn a lot about WWII and the events leading up to it. And I would consider myself to be a very knowledgeable person on the subject in general


    Any additional comments?

    This book is long. And doesnt get anywhere near interesting until the last 20%. I dont see what every one else liked.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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