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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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  •  
    Dan BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-19-13
    Dan BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Detailed"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very tops


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    Many. The depths of evil are almost unbelievable.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Excellent. He has a voice and manner that make you think of a great teacher you once had.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was easy to follow even considering its length. There were no real low points.


    Any additional comments?

    History is our greatest teacher. We should not forget the travesties that happened such a short time ago. There are still evil people in the world. They're waiting for an uneducated and undiscerning populace to to rule.

    This book shows, so clearly, just how gullable a populace can be. Listen and learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    larry LAKE CITY, FL, United States 12-31-12
    larry LAKE CITY, FL, United States 12-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "great history verging on definitive"
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    thorough, written by a journalist who was in Germany during Hitler's rise. a must read for any serious student of the 20th century.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    classic reader of the very best sort. this is one you can put in your pipe and smoke for a while, go over again. think about, not a quick read, only a must read and study...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    very long no can do at one time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul port charlotte, FL, United States 07-10-12
    Paul port charlotte, FL, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2015

    sully320

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    "Superb work. A classic of historical non-fiction"

    Shirer has the benefit of actually being present to witness the rise and fall of the Third Reich. His narrative voice held my interest throughout this relatively long book. Grover Gardner is one of the best narrators I have heard. His work here and on Shelby Foote's series on the Civil War is outstanding

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Hawk niceville, fl United States 05-16-12
    The Hawk niceville, fl United States 05-16-12 Member Since 2013

    Frank 56

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    "excellent work."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to be better than the print version?

    read the book 30 years ago. now that I'm almost 80 I enjoyed listening to it as i fell asleep.


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    roman empire. napolean and france.


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

    he is a great narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the absolute brutality of the Nazis towards Jews and slavs. The depravity of the top echelon of the leadership of Hitlers henchmen. The lack of remorse by the instigators and implementers of the final sollution. The idea that modern day Germans lectured us on our conduct in the Vietnam war--given their collective history. On a trainride from Dresden to Praque some years ago, 3 teenage German girls berated Ronald Reagon to my family and I as a threat to world peace and the US as an evil empire--seemingly they never heard of Hitler, the Austrian Anschluss, the rape of Checkoslavakia, the attack of Poland, the murder of the jews and slavs etc. Evidently the vaunted German Hoch Schules, Gymnasiums etc leave out the history of Germany from 1937 to 1945.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Brooklyn, NY, United States 02-03-12
    Lawrence Brooklyn, NY, United States 02-03-12
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    "Great listen. But beware"
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    This is an incredible telling of an extraordinary period of time in the 20th century. Very detailed and specific connecting


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Grover is excellent. Giving character to what could be dry history.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The events at times can make me sick.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 01-27-12
    James 01-27-12 Member Since 2011

    Just me.

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    "Excellent book, excellent performance"
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    The shear detail in this book is amazing. I've been learning about this subject for years and this book provides more detail and history than any other I've read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The subject for me has always been compelling enought to make me want to learn about in a single read. I found myself lost in its telling of the facts and losing track of time, but due to the total duration one would have to give up all other concerns and consume copious amounts of stimulant to get thru this without stopping.


    Any additional comments?

    Well done recounting of the amazing and terrible rise of a madman. Add in first hand experiances of the author to key turning points and this book is as close as it comes to being, if not is, the defacto standard of this dark and shameful part of world history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Brock Chicago, IL, United States 01-19-12
    Bill Brock Chicago, IL, United States 01-19-12

    Bill Brock

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    "essential history:great presentation"
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    Shirer is a wonderful historian, and the book holds up extremely well. Gardner is a very sharp narrator. Highest recommendation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff DULUTH, MN, United States 01-12-12
    Jeff DULUTH, MN, United States 01-12-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Great unexpected detail"
    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to and why?

    I've been into collecting and researching war and specifically ww2 since i was 10 im now 30 and this is the most descriptive single resource of the line of reasoning in the third reich i have come across. love it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Edmonton, AB, Canada 01-03-12
    Matt Edmonton, AB, Canada 01-03-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Fabulous"

    I read this book as a teenager and reading it 20 years later I can see why I had such awful nightmares. The author shows the prejudges of the age by proving the psychotic Nazi leaders moral underpinnings suspect sue to homosexuality but that aside this is a magnificent work; Broad, compelling, intimate and horrifying without succumbing to often to sadistic voyeurism in the telling itself. Grover Gardner's narration is very fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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