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)
Detailed, well-written, relevant.
Grover Gardner narrates well, and his voice is clear and compelling. Unfortunately, his pronounciation of the German names and places was enough to significantly distract me so I found myself waiting for the next German name (of which there are many) and shouting the correct pronounciation to the distress of fellow travellers. This was enough to make me stop and give up after a few hours... in fairness, though, Grover Gardner IS a good narrator and I will be actively looking for other books narrated by him.
Yes, the pronounciation of the German names and places made me cry ;-)
If you are not a German native speaker, I strongly recommend this audiobook as well as Grover Gardner's narration.
older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?
I orignally listened to the books-on-tape edition (circa 1985). This was really a great learning experience
The Hitler histrionics
This is really supurb
Please -- this is about the most dastardly war monger of the world. It makes you sit up and notice
Listen to it -- do yourself a favor
Eclectic and mindful. Enjoy literary forensics with an eye on how the effects of postmodern deconstruction shapes our worldview.
What I find draws me into this historical work takes place in the introduction when I learned that original personal diaries were used as source material prior to returning those captured diaries to back to Germany (huh?). In addition, Shirer's painstaking and detail description of how an entire society was turned using propaganda, talking points, spin, class envy, fear and the ultimate silencing of the voices of dissent is a chilling backdrop to tactics of social engineering used today in various forms dubbed "asymmetrical warfare." What I appreciate most is how relevant Shirer's work is to understanding how an entire society develops into one that is desensitized to brutality as a means to an end.
This work stands out as must read for any WWII scholar, military professional, or political scientist and offers insights that are beyond battlefield narratives so the reader gains a focus on how state sponsored intolerance, in this case, began with a blend of party politics and personality.
Well written and voiced
The truth of it was painful.
Several. I went out and purchased a hard back.
Get this if at all interested in World War Two.
If you are a WWII buff like me your always looking for a new perspective. This book give it to you.
First one I've listened to like this.
Great performance. Its not easy to keep my attention for this long but he did.
Hitlers was a D*ck
great context for any WWII listen
The book itself is fascinating as a history and as a lesson as to how such a recipe for disaster as Nazi Germany could happen again. The reader was clear and concise in his delivery
Unfortunately I can not say the same for Audible. The delivery on the part of Audible was abysmal and the information provided was wrong. Whoever had the responsibility of the final review of the overall project before release needs a bit more training. Here are the specifics:
Audible states that the e-book is not available yet, however, I purchased the Kindle at Amazon on the same day. Isn't Audible owned by Amazon? If you can't get information through internal department resources due to a lack in cooperation, can you get on the website and see if Kindle offers the book in e-form?
In addition, the book was transmitted in seven parts with no indication as to the order, so I am left listening to the first few minutes of each part until I find the next one in the order. As it was, the parts were not delivered in order, but randomly. The first part of the book was transmitted last, so I began the book thinking that it was abridged in that it started at approximately chapter 6 (One of the reasons I purchased the Kindle version as well as the Audible).
This was an outstanding work done by the author. After all, the book has been out now for 50 years! The narrator did what I believe to be, a very respectable job. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand what happened those many years ago, and what could very well happen again if we are not careful. What angers me is the deplorable presentation provided by a company I have been purchasing from for nearly two decades. I have been a long time customer of Audible. I hope this error is not an indication of things to come. If it is, many customers such as myself will need to look elsewhere. I also hope that it will be corrected in a timely fashion.
This is an impressive book on a fascinating subject, but flawed in a few important ways. Obviously, because it covers the history of more than a decade, and a momentous one at that, it is forced to gloss over many details despite its length. This made it quite frustrating, therefore, when the author spends chapter after chapter devoted to German conspiracies against Hitler which, by his own argument, failed to do anything useful. The endless repetition of plots that went nowhere quickly grew tiresome, and, since I already knew they failed to kill Hitler, I found the stories of their ineptitude rather beside the point.
More generally, this book suffers from a problem of tone. The author was a journalist in Berlin before the war, and therefore was not a young man even when writing this book in the 60's. His personal anecdotes of meeting many of the people discussed were interesting, but many of his portrayals are colored by these impressions. He shows his age also in his moralizing tone, especially with regard to homosexuality, and his, um, 'old fashioned' terminology with regard to race (nipponese? really?).
Finally, it is important to know going in that the author is a journalist and not a historian, and it shows. His tone is not nearly as objective as I would have liked, and his focus wanders. I went into this book knowing nothing about the author, who is very present in the book, and so expecting a more objective work such as we might see about the napoleonic wars. This is not that book. That is not to say it is a bad book. It does cover this period in much greater depth than any single volume I've ever read, and the author's personal reminiscence is sometimes quite interesting. If you are looking to learn more about the war or Nazi Germany, this book will probably help. Just be aware that it might not be exactly what you were hoping for.
Enjoy long books, history and lots of classic British stuff.
One of the must read books of all time
Takes a long time to read but worth all of the 57 hrs plus
If you haven't then this is a must read book. The narrator makes the book far more interesting.
It has taken me forever to finally listen to this book. I'd being putting it off for many months always preferring something smaller and less complicated to cater to my ADHD mind. However I finally took the plunge and wish I had earlier. This is a marvelously written book and Grover Gardner is a fantastic narrator, one of my favorites.No doubt those with a finer appreciation of some of the historical points will find some or other factual error or incorrect interpretation, but this is an audio book well worth investing the time to listen too. The story flows naturally and without boring the reader or becoming slow and ponderous. The author clearly knew how to keep ones attention and you will get much pleasure from listening to this audio title.
Impossible I think for a book of this length although if I could I surely would!
Best book ever
This book is in a league of its own
Hitler's vagabond days were very interesting.
This is the most thorough, well-researched, informative book I have ever read (well, listened to). Unbelievable details about the Third Reich, from Goebbels' diary to the day to day communications of the foreign office it's all here in this book. And the performance is spectacular. Highly recommended!
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