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)
This was a gripping story, however, the seventh part ended well prior to where the actual book ends. It is a shame that this unabridged version omits so much material.
In parts, not straight through
I've studied history for a long time, but the details about the Nazi brutality to Jews, Russians, and all people not "desirable", though well known, was well covered including the complicity of the average German. A most powerful portion of the book.
William Shirer (an American journalist) succeeds in his attempt to comprehensively chart the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. Written in 1960, the book is largely based on captured Nazi documents found after the war. The author also includes personal reflections from his time as an American journalist living in Berlin during the 1930s. A warning to potential listeners of this audio book. This is NOT a World War 2 history lesson. I was very surprised to find that this book is about 70% finished before the outbreak of World War 2. Hence the book concentrates mainly on the rise of Nazi Germany and its initial acts of aggression and subsequent appeasement by the Western powers. Consequently, at times I found the middle section of this audiobook rather tedious. I must admit, however, that despite the books length (57 hours) I was still quite engaged for the majority of the time.
Tremendous work, excellent narration. To say this is worth the time is an understatement.
I the quality of this writing is only outweighed by the truly unbelievable underlying story. We shall Never.... Never.... Never....
I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!
Of course this book is historically accurate; Shirer was there! It is a little bit of a misrepresentation to some people though. For example; this isn't a book for you military history buffs out there. Why? Because the little bit of military history is hidden in between the lines of the political story of Nazi Germany. Thats right, if you hate politics, than this book is not for you; the majority of this history is exactly what the title says: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Mostly about the political party and governance. But it is indeed, a complete work on Nazi Germany.
The fact that this book was based on original sources, actual captured documents from the Nazi Government and interviews, letters, and diaries of the actual Nazi and Allied characters.
The story is riveting because it is true. The history of Nazi Germany as taught to me in school was watered down. This story takes you inside the lives of those involved with viceral descriptions of the events surrounding Hitler's terrible rein, mostly through the words of the people involved.
I've enjoyed many Grover Gardner narrated audio books. He has a great gift for giving personality to the characters of the story. He also has the ability to convey through his voice the rye humor used by William Shirer in the writing of this book.
Probably not possible given the length of this book....however I did find myself remaining in my car after arriving at work or at home to finish some engaging part of this story.
It was written by someone who was there, and written in a timely fashion. Excellent writing skills and readability.
couldn't put it down.
Hitler killed himself and the other monsters were hung.
One reflects and wonders
I wish I had read it years ago.
Yes! Although it is a painful chapter in history, it is one that we need to learn from. All voters should be familiar with this era.
There are many lessons here to be learned. Unfortunately, history is barely taught in schools these days and the history that is taught is molded to fit a particular political view. This book gives you the facts and leaves it to you to decide what could have been differently. Churchill called WWII the "unnecessary war". Had the world only listened to him millions of lives could have been saved.
Never let it happen again!
WWII was the worst war in the world's history and it could have been avoided. Everyone should read this book and others like it to understand how.
Fascinating front-row seat through a journalist's eyes--not a historian, but a writer who saw it as it happened. Interesting insight into the Mussolini/Hitler relationship.
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