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)
As an audiobook, this is excellent. Grover Gardner is a superb narrator! The work is just as advertised. It is monumental. I am astounded at learning how this evil empire actually came to power. In context this book brings to understanding how it happened. But also, the total horror of the evil of the Nazi regime is explained. This event is not even a century behind us. I was not bored in the least as the author takes you in detail through each event, each diplomatic conversation, each attempt to appease the Austrian Corporal to no avail. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.
I definitely recommend this book. It not only is a very detailed and informative history of the Third Reich, but the author (who witnessed these events first hand) often adds his own testimony as to what he noticed and how he viewed the situation at the time.
This is a very thorough study on Nazi Germany. The story follows Hitler from the first World War through his rise and then his eventual fall. The material is very good but occasionally tiresome. At times it was hard to follow some of the characters in the beginning due to the German names (I am American). Maybe it would have been easier if I had read the book instead of listening. Overall this was a very good fifty-seven hour audiobook.
This is such a well written and thorough covering of the Third Reich I can't imagine ever needing to read another.
I Like scifi-fantasy,non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight Archive, GoT, Ken Follett's work. Last read: Words of Radiance
If you like history and would like the chronological order of all the events that led to WWII, this is the book for you. Excellent research work from the author. Mr Gardner did a great job too. Worth listening to if you are a history buff.
German by birth - cosmopolitan by conviction. A CFO enjoying dynamic and multicultural Asia. Classic car and history buff and scuba diver.
For me, William L. Shirer is THE capacity in describing and explaining the disastrous rise of the national socialists in Germany and the reasons behind the German nation supporting the and suffering from the system the nazis had established. I have read and listened to a lot of books dealing with the subject over the last 30 years but could have cut it all short if I had picked this one as the first. Shirer was right in the middle of it all and his first hand experiences make a huge difference to all the more distant observers and historical scientists. This is a must read for anybody truly interested in the subjects.
The book has the immediacy of someone who witnessed many of the events chronicled and the excellence of the reader adds to this.
As long as this book is, I was never bored in the listen. As I worked or while I drove or even chores around the house, this book is very good. I am always watching history on the educational channels and this was as good as any. A bad time, an evil time in German history, you come to understand how one man was able to come to power at the right place and right time, for him that is, not for the world.
It's long and the first few hours are a bit slow but it is well worth the time to listen. I like history but thought my knowledge of WWII was enough for me to understand its importance. After listening to this book, I am beginning to sense that I knew very little. Listening to this while on work/vacation in Poland made me regret my lack of understanding. It is the kind of work that makes you want to learn more and more.
My only minor criticism was that the narrator did not attempt to do an impersonation of Churchill. Churchill's speeches are memorable and inspiring but are more appreciated in that unique voice. Check out 'The Storm of War' for a few good examples.
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