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)
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.
Firstly, to addresss the length question, while a long book, it holds your attention throughout. More importantly, simply one of the best (and most important) pieces of history I have had the pleasure to read.
there are no words to describe the awfulness of these events. so instead i will comment on the performance. i was held spellbound over the period of about the week it took me to listen to this. a superlative performance of a brilliantly written piece of literature. a masterpiece of modern history.
I remember reading bits of this when I was younger. The book was so dense that I found the idea of reading the whole thing too daunting. However I kept coming back to it for historical research and began to view it as nice roadmap to that tragic era. I just finished listening to the totality of it and I am still impressed. The work has a point of view. That the nazi regime was murderous, criminal, and a low point for humanity. The works of the nazi themselves go a long way to bolstering Shirer's point of view. However he keeps his temper in check while recounting the events that led up to WWII and the catastrophic end of the 3rd Reich. As time goes by this work will only get more important since its author was there, in Berlin, during the rise of that regime. This not an opinion piece. In many ways the story is told through the captured Nazi documents that are oft quoted and printed in their entirety. The most damning condemnations of the 3rd Reich are in the actual words of its adherents.
excellent source of knowledge and understanding of the mind and attitude of Nazi Germany, well written, very well read and a nice flow to the story, even thou a bit long at times it was hard to stop listening.
highly recommended for any one intersted in history
When I was in high school (mid '60s) the paperback version was a must read by numerous classmates. The shear size of the book kept me away for 45 years. The advertised length (57 hours +) of the Audible version was a concern but price is attractive and I loved Shirer's "Berlin Diary" so I downloaded this version.
It's hard to imagine but the 57 hours flew by. The narration is smooth, well paced, and informed. The story-line is chilling. I too noticed Shirer's few moments of homophobia but that was limited to but a few sentences and addressed those in "the enemy" (possible rationalization, I know).
I loved this audio book. It's likely you will also.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content