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)
My favorite genre is Mysteries. Thank you Audible for keeping me company on my commute, doing chores, etc. What a treat!
This is a thorough accounting of the start to finish of the war based on the factual evidence available at the time. It helped me understand the chronology of events, players, relationships between the nations involved and overall increased my interest in the subject. It can be a bit dry and a few sections seemed to bounce around (chronologically that is). But overall it's superb and I'm glad I invested the time.
Plotting to take over the world since 1969
Journalistic, opinionated, interesting
Yes, with some reservations.
Pacing, timbre and expression all excellent.
Authors somewhat dated homophobia occassionally jars, even to this (straight) listener.. Cant use the word "homosexual" witout adding the word "pervert" for instance . This is not the fault of the performer, who is excellent. Overall a good book, but needs to be read/listened to with the understanding of the times in which the writer lived.
This is no dispassionate history, and the writers (very understandable) distaste for the subjects of the book occassionally detracts from the narrative. However, it covers many of the events well, and is an interesting and well-researched insight from a person who personally experienced some of the events in Berlin first hand.
Thorough provocative heart wrenching account from an eye witness author and vast trove of captured documents. I strongly recommend it.
I have no idea what William Shirer actually sounded like, but he should have sounded like Grover Gardner. This is a down-to-earth history with a matter-of-fact narrator.
Last Man Standing
This is by far one of the best historical book I have ever read. Bravo to the writer and the narrator. We must never forget. Lots of the same mistakes are repeating it self, with the current fight against ISIS.
Yes if they like history. It's a great narrative about the Nazi-ifcation of Germany and the consequences thereof. I found it spellbinding and the narrator was excellent.
I found the part about him rising to become Chancellor was quite good.
Don't have a favorite. Just enjoyed the entire thing.
"Decent into Madness", because that's what happened to Germany.
The only problem with the book is the author's constant implication that much of the Nazi leadership were "homosexuals and deviants". You can tell that it was written in an earlier (less enlightened) era where being a homosexual somehow made you immoral and evil. Be prepared to hear that kind of judgmental junk a few times.
Yes - This book gives a thorough, detailed, interesting story of the Third Reich. It does not bog itself down with particulars of battles, equipment, tactics, etc. like so many WWII histories do. Instead, it focuses on the political, leadership, economic, and diplomatic events that underpinned the war. The result is a very much deeper understanding of the war than can be gleaned from the usual battle histories.
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