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)
After years of procrastination, mostly due to its length, I finally started to listen to this audiobook. I'm sorry it took so long for me to commit to it. Not only is it well researched, it is unbelievably well written and well performed. I looked forward to putting my headphones on every day for the time it took me to get through this masterpiece.
For anyone interested with how history could've allowed this man, and this party, to rise to power, this is the definitive resource to not justify, but to explain how the turn of events created the domination and insanity that was 1930s and 40s Germany.
While certainly not a short read, it is most definitely a fantastic one. It is no wonder why this is the definitive work on the topic.
In the top three or four.
Hitler's obsession to achieve power first through democratic means.
No, much too long
I read it in high school 50+ years ago. It meant much more after a lifetime of experience and a visit to Auschwitz.
This is certainly the finest book on history I have read period. The plethora of first hand accounts and research of original documents make this accurate and true. The personal touches make it very hard to put done.
Having just finished All The Light We Cannot See, I became somewhat fascinated with the study of Nazi Germany and the WWII time period in Europe. Mostly - "how did this happen?"
This book, while long, is an amazing and detailed account that answers the how question and many more. Brilliantly told through very detailed (and well referenced) anecdotes and events, it provides a very digestible and entertaining perspective that keeps your attention. A "light on a very dark time period" as a New York Times reviewer called it many years ago...and I have to agree.
Narration is spot on and Grover Gardner is the perfect choice to tell this story in an engaging and very believable way.
I've read the book twice since I was a teenager, and listened to this audio book recently and it is just as informative and engrossing as the first time.
This book definitely chronicles the entirety of the rise and fall of the Third Reich and it does so in a pretty objective way. Very informative, also pretty impersonal. There were definitely chapters that were dry and hard to get through, but overall it is worth reading if you are interested in the subject.
It was the most detailed yet enthralling account of the Third Reich I've ever listened to/read. The author does a marvelous job of painting a true picture of each major and minor character during this period with fascinating looks into their motivations or viewpoints via personal journals or memoirs. Great book that I might purchase in hard copy to read at a later time.
Always wanted to read this but never had the time to sit and read. Listening was a wonderful alternative!!! Great book...great audio!!
1. The reader is great.. Clear and compelling. He does sound a bit like a 1950s radio "personality", I.e lacking some but given the subject matter and when the book was written it fits.
2. Much other work has been done and this book challenged since its writing but it still presents a clear and compelling narrative as to the world in which the nazis grew, lived and fell.
3. While it does deal with the holocaust, does not do so extensively, nor does it mention some now recognized victims, such as LGBT individuals. If you would be disturbed by the lack of attention, prolly not a good bet.
Shirer's book is a classic. Although the history of this dark period continues to be written and debated, this book published only 14 years after the collapse of the Third Reich is still an amazing historical record. The circumstances surrounding Hitlers rise to power still boggle the mind, and the ineptitude of all those who had opportunities to stop him - the British, the French, and most especially the the Germans themselves is still staggering. Grover Gardner gives an excellent performance. Highly recommended.
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