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)
Probably the best historical audiobook I've listened to. By using only primary sources Shirer uses his journalists inquisitiveness and a historians exactness. He mixes the sort of exhaustive social analysis utilized by De Tocqueville with a captivating following of storyline that keeps the reader thoroughly interested.
Two specific events described particularly moved me, breaking through the calloused historical look at Nazi atrocities. The first was the Luftwaffe low altitude bombing of Belgrade a city that had nothing to shoot back with. The second was Joseph Goebbels murder of his 6 children before ordering himself and his wife shot.
I'd recommend this work to anyone interested learning more about Nazi Germany and how far mankind can fall into barbarism.
Yes, There was so many interesting details that I am sure if I listen again I would learn something new again.
I have never understood how so evil a man as Hitler could rise to power -- after reading/listening to this book I understand now. A lesson to be learned that fragmented political parties can allow such to occur.
The staggering number of human life so blazely taken by the nazis in the Concentration Camps & of the POWs
I am still unbelieving that there are people who believe the Holocaust never happened. Shameful.
This is the definitive history of Nazi Germany written by one who witnessed most of the events. It is exhaustive in detail yet eminently readable (listenable?). The perfprmance makes it a pleasure to listen to (if pleasure is an appropriate word given the subject).
It helps to explain, to some degree, how a civilized nation could fall so easily to Barbarians.
This is such an great book. It fits right in with any resources for World War 2. The narrator is good and his voice isn't annoying. If you are interested in World War 2 or how Hitler got into power and what he did with that power this book is a must read.
The Book Rev
I loved this audible version, it allowed me to enjoy a long book in parts, listening during my all to few few free moments. I have wanted to read this book since middle school, back in the days of the dinosaurs, and this version made it possible. I did not have to lug a large book about but instead I carried this monumental work of investigatory journalism in a small mp3 player, how cool is that?!
Can you image that history may be repeating itself? When Hitler invaded Russia he first attacked Crimea and the Ukraine! Hitler wanted Crimea for it oil and the Ukraine for its food. Today we see Russia attacking Crimea and the Ukraine, we are seeing weak leaders in Europe attempting to appease a strong aggressor, etc., etc.
This is an unprecedented look at the history of Hitlers madness and folly. Lets just hope and pray that Vladimir Putin is not as crazy as he seems.
Six Days of War: both works give complete views from as many available sources as possible
No, but this was a great performance.
The lost opportunities to prevent the Holocaust.
This is really a necessary read for anyone interested in the history of the Third Reich. More recent works have better information on some topics, and Shirer's military analysis is limited, but nevertheless, if you've not read this work you won't have as complete a picture as you need in order to understand Europe in the mid-20th century.
While I haven't read the print version, I can't imagine how the experience can possibly be any more fullfilling than what I got from this audio book.
Hitlers early Vienna days and his first years as a politician leading up to the Beer Hall Putsch was absolutely fascinating, even though I knew much of the story already. For learning purposes I would have to say the chapters about economy and living standards in the Third Reich were great sources of information for me.
I would imagine a lot. Of all the audiobooks in my library, this is hands down the best narrated of them all. A master of his craft.
The personal tragedies in this story are too many to count. But I can't look past the Polish people and the hell they lived under throughout this phase in history. Horrific stuff.
Comprehensive. Detailed. Emotional.
For me, Grover Gardner is the best narrator of non-fiction material. His voice, his tone, and his pace are all perfect.
I find this book really extraordinary. First, I was rather put off by the length. Then when I started, I was captivated. The book tells the story of the rise of Nazis from the perspective of someone who was a direct witness of the beginning of the tragedy. It is very well written and narrated.
It reminds one how terribly actual it is. Would Europe be able to stop a similar development if it were to arise now? It makes you think, remember recent tragedies like Yugoslavia, and see the events in Crimea in different light. And it makes you realize how special the time we live in is.
It is not an amusing book but it is really great and should be read by as many people as possible. Some parts made me literally shudder, and so they should.
I enjoy history, biographys, and nerdy/ dorky things.
Masterful, detailed, sad
I've never read anything this detailed before. At 57 hours it is a masterpiece of history.
Yes, I listened to Titan, a biography about John. D. Rockefeller. Grover Gardner has a fantastic voice, and again does a great job with this book.
In school we were taught about the horrors of the 3rd Reich. However learning of these horrors through the written letters, and reports of SS, and Gestapo officers is very sad. Not just because of the crimes, but that human beings could treat other human beings so, in-inhumanely.
Any book this long has it's slow points. In section 3 or 4 the book really slows down. This is dedicated entirely to Germany acquiring Austria, and Czechoslovakia. This was the only issue I had with the book. I didn't think 8 hours needed to be spent on such a subject. Learning about Hitler's upbringing, background, soaring victories, and finally embarrassing defeats were a joy to listen to.
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