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 would recommend to a friend but only one that its a history buff like myself .
I enjoyed how factual and in depth the story was .
There is no way you could finish this all at once .
Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.
No book other than the bible has ever moved me like this one. My father was a POW and fought in the war, and he said this book is the launch code for Nazi Germany. He was right. I got this book because it was 1 credit. Only 1 credit for 57 hours! God bless Mr. Shirer and... Grover Garder you are amazing. Amazing! Bill Shirer would have been proud.
I have read the print version and while the author has done a superb job at gathering the historical facts and presenting them in an entertaining documentary fashion, the audio narrative adds a new dimension to the documentary.
I listened to the book in my car and I actually looked forward to sitting in traffic just so I could continue listening.
Grover Gardner's portrayal of the historical characters is outstanding. He also does a phenomenal job at capturing the essence of William Shirer's viewpoints. Highly recommended listening.
William L. Shirer has created an absolute masterpiece. Even 53 years after it was first published, this audiobook stands strong. It kept my attention for all 57 hours and Grover Gardner's narration was superb. After so long an audiobook Gardener's voice and this book became a companion, keeping your entertained as you carried out those mundane activities which we substitute audiobooks for entertainment. When the book ends, it is a bit sad but satisfying to have completed such an amazing journey. I found no flaws with this book.
I think everyone should read this one - it should be required in all high schools as part of history classes. The parallels between the past and the current USA is frightening.
Though there are some bits that are kind of dry the book is fascinating and interesting. I'm a bit of a WWII buff and there were things in this book I was unaware of. Fascinating read all around.
The book is 57 hours of spellbinding history. Grover Gardner does a great job of reading and pronouncing the various foreign names.
Looking back on my education in high school, I find it appalling as to how major, world altering events were glossed over in trivial fashion. The history of the second world war tends to be a hefty a chapter in most curriculum in high schools around the globe, but the history of Nazi Germany is relegated to a few paragraphs (at least it was in my case). In many ways, one should view that as borderline criminal. To me history is all about the "whys and hows" rather than the "what happened and when". In that light, "The rise and fall of the third Reich" is an in depth look into the "whys and hows" of the what is undoubtedly one of the darkest chapters of humanity.
Why was the treaty of Versailles such a blow to Germany?
How could the land that birthed the likes of Engels, Richter, Brahms, Beethoven and so many other cultural icons also create a Hitler?
Why did Hitler think the way he did?
Why was Nazism so popular (if it even was)?
How on earth could Germany create and field an army of such devastating strength and volume right under the noses of everyone else?
Was Adolf brilliant and fearless or just lucky and plain crazy?
And many, many other questions like these.
After going through this book it became apparent to me as to why Shirer's work is taken to be "the" definitive text on the rise and fall of the third Reich. It is very thoroughly researched and though the author does have personal inputs, he does well to openly admit to his biases in the rare cases where they do exist. It is obvious that Shirer was a foreign corespondent of high quality and as such, his status as reporter gave him the kind of access that historians would kill to have. It is also interesting (and a little amusing) to see some of the politically incorrect phrases and view points that sometimes show up. If anything, they only add to the charm of the book, although this is admittedly a personal opinion.
Grover Gardner does a good job of narrating the book. This is a long listen and to his credit, Gardner had me rapt with attention. His delivery did make me miss some of the weighty and warm tones that someone like Charlton Griffin brings to his performances but this again, is a personal opinion.
Any way you look at it, "The rise and fall of the third Reich" is one of the most important works of modern history. If it were up to me, I'd make this required reading in high schools everywhere.
Absolutely! It is engaging, interesting, and enlightening. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
It is laid out in a manner that is easy to follow and gives you the ability to see how Hitler came to power and the way he thought.
No, but I very much enjoyed this one.
Although very long, this is a must for anyone interested in history.
I will probably listen to it again, but it will be at least a year before I do. This is a very long and detailed historical accounting of the Third Reich and requires concentration, but it is worth the effort.
It would have to be mini series, but my tag line would be "No detail left out"
I have only read about a dozen WWII books, but this is the first book by a journalist who lived and reported on the war first hand. My other books are historical perspective books. This book has the feel of the man who saw Hitler et al in action. This experience along with what had to be years of research of actual Nazi documents make for an exceptionally thorough telling of the story. I did enjoy this book, but I must admit I am exhausted and ready to listen to something lighter. Once I've had a break, I will listen to it again as there are many details I could not keep straight. I want to absorb the information at least one more time to further my understanding of recent world history.
When I was in high school, I read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". I just listened to it on Audible. It really is an extraordinary book about a truly unbelievable series of events. I really think everyone should read or listen to it at least once. If you think you know the story, trust me you don't. It is long to be sure, but I can't recommend it highly enough. Listen to it. It will change the way you think about everything.
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