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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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  •  
    Chris Fairy Meadow, Australia 09-03-12
    Chris Fairy Meadow, Australia 09-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Sci-Fi, Hell yeah!!!!!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    3
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    Story
    "WOW!!! Detail to the smallest degree"
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Detailed, Detailed and Detailed


    What did you like best about this story?

    As someone born in the 70's and has only war movies and video games to follow when it comes to the history of WW2 it was a pleasant surprise and thrill to listen how things were. I had heard of the miracle of Dunkirk and for some reason thought the whole evacuation was over one day. This taught me from Hitler's grandparents to the end of WW2.


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

    This was the first book I had listened to of Grover and he dis it first rate. Will defiantly look to other books he has done with confidence.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The whole story from start to end. No bull!!!!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Oconnor, Australia 09-02-12
    Michael Oconnor, Australia 09-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    1
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    "Insightful history listen. Amazingly non-boring!"
    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    able to listen to it whilst driving. It is quite a heavy book and not having to read every word was a blessing.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jack Rockyview, Australia 08-05-12
    jack Rockyview, Australia 08-05-12
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "NEW ATTITUDE"
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    After listening to these accounts i have a better undrstanding of events


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

    The german population being convinced by a group of thugs under a powerful speakers manipulation of lies and deceit


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    hearing words in context that i usually miss by reading


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

    Why 11million people didnt get rid of the group of deathdealers and stood by,for a race of highly intelligent people,leaves me wondering about our future under current governments


    Any additional comments?

    for me to listen a book that long has given me new insights

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jm Arcata, CA, United States 08-03-12
    Jm Arcata, CA, United States 08-03-12 Member Since 2002

    Professional Escapist and Self-Help Junkie. I have a background in the classics, but a love for fantasy, horror and science fiction

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    "The scariest book I have ever read."

    There are an unfortunate number of similarities between the U.S. now and Germany prior to WWII... And I can't help thinking of Santayana's quote, "those who Cannot remember the past..."
    Aside from that, this book was tirelessly researched and attributed, and very well written, making it easy to forget that the book is over a half century old.
    The narration is simply impeccable.
    Think of it as a history book for non-academics, meaning it is clear, easy to understand and very interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randerson Tejas 11-29-11
    Randerson Tejas 11-29-11 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Hope History Doesn't Repeat itself"

    It took me almost two months to complete but it also made me go out and buy my own copy for my library. Disturbing is the best word I can use to describe this book. And it frightens me to see similair things playing out today with most people saying it will never happen again. And when it does will be be standing around like the German people saying I wish I would have stood up earlier. I can see why so many people have bought a copy of this book, less we ever forget.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott FORD, WA, United States 04-26-11
    Scott FORD, WA, United States 04-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "A hard look at evil."

    This is a very informative book. If you are looking to learn all about the politics of the nazi party, than this is the book for you. It is a very in depth book that at times is very difficult to listen to. It can be very difficult to listen to the actions of the Nazis directed against.... everyone. I have never listened to a book and felt like I was witnessing pure evil. My only complaint is that this portrays the wars ups and downs as being controlled completely by the Nazi's actions (and the soviets). No action by anyone else mattered. By this I mean they lost because they made bad decisions as opposed to the nations of the world working against them.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Macauley86 California, United States 03-22-11
    Macauley86 California, United States 03-22-11 Member Since 2010
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    "A great book, magnificently read by Gardner"

    This is a very long audiobook, but it does not feel like it. It's gripping like a novel. Gardner does a magnificent job reading it; his pronunciation of foreign words is also great. Well worth it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Lincoln, CA, United States 03-09-11
    Tom Lincoln, CA, United States 03-09-11 Member Since 2008
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    "The Rise and Fall Third Reich"

    Just an outstanding history book WWII - must read so we do not forget what happened in the World.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Monroe, WI, United States 02-20-11
    Steve Monroe, WI, United States 02-20-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Good Comprehensive History"

    "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is an excellent history of Nazi Germany and World War II. The author has the unique perspective of being a correspondent in Germany during the years leading up to the war and the war's outbreak, as well as having full access to captured Nazi documents after the war. Shirer clearly was in a perfect position to write a history of Nazi Germany. My one complaint is that this work focuses too much for my tastes on the diplomatic dimension, and not enough on the military dimension (the war itself) or life in Nazi Germany. That said, this is pretty much required reading for anyone curious about Nazi Germany.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Thibodeau South Pasadena, CA 02-11-11
    John Thibodeau South Pasadena, CA 02-11-11 Listener Since 2007
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    "Riveting!"

    Best book I've listened to on Audible so far! I listened to those pretty much every day on the way to and from work, and have taken many long walks, just so I could listen to it.

    Shirer describes Hitler's early life, how he joined a little known party, how he formed that party into the NAZI party the world came to fear, how he brought the party to power and installed himself as Chancellor, and then how he took Germany to dizzying heights, but ultimately destroyed her. This is not a military history. It is most definately a political/diplomatic history. Shirer spends a long time on the many diplomatic maneuvers and ploys engaged in by the NAZI's before the start of the war and then spends realitively little time on the actual battles. But if you understand this is not a miltary history, you won't be dissapointed.

    Shirer relies on mainly on primary sources, but this is not a dry scholarly account. What I love about Shirer, is that he tells like it sees it, and the way he sees things is very intersting, insightful, and often humorous. For example, he often uses the adjective "corpulent" when describing Goehring.

    To top it off, the narrator is amazing. Best narrator i've heard on Audible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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