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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Audiobook

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

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Jfadams Alexandria, VA United States 04-23-13
    Jfadams Alexandria, VA United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2010

    Jfadams

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    "Incomplete rendition of this unabridged book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Carver Gaineville, FL USA 04-18-13
    Ryan Carver Gaineville, FL USA 04-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Detailed and entertaining"
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    In parts, not straight through


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Hawthorn, Australia 04-16-13
    Justin Hawthorn, Australia 04-16-13
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    "Comprehensive and compelling"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lowell Wilson Cincinnati, OH United States 04-10-13
    Lowell Wilson Cincinnati, OH United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Incredible!"

    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....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 04-07-13
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 04-07-13

    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!

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    "Excellent book, historically accurate."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Westlake, La, United States 03-29-13
    Sandra Westlake, La, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Book!!!"

    This book is very long but I must say I could hardly put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Fredericksburg, VA, United States 03-22-13
    Michael Fredericksburg, VA, United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Required Reading"
    What did you love best about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita G. Wwilkerson martinsburg west virginia 03-18-13
    Anita G. Wwilkerson martinsburg west virginia 03-18-13 Member Since 2014

    anitawilkerson

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    "extraordinary"
    What did you love best about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    It was written by someone who was there, and written in a timely fashion. Excellent writing skills and readability.


    What did you like best about this story?

    couldn't put it down.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hitler killed himself and the other monsters were hung.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    One reflects and wonders


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had read it years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Waykuy 03-12-13
    Waykuy 03-12-13 Member Since 2012

    kas7946

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    "A story that needs to be read!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    No.


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

    Never let it happen again!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Royal Oak, MI, United States 03-11-13
    C. Royal Oak, MI, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2014

    CJ

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    "Can't believe I waited so long to read this"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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