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)
I've always been intrigued by WW II. This book provides an excellent narrative using an inside view but mostly based on the journals and documents of those that were part of Hitler's inner circle. I highly recommend this book to all.
Some parts are very disturbing, but we should never close our eyes to the bad side of human nature. The scary part is to think that it happened only seventy or so years ago.
I now want to know more about the second world war. A good way to spend your credit.
Well researched; fascinating.
Wonderful having someone read this; the subject matter being what it was, I sometimes have difficulty digging into the information, so having a narrator along for the ride was extremely helpful!
Horrifying to listen to the way half of the world fell into insanity.
This is An amazing account of the life and actions of Hitler. It is often very complicated but the writer keeps it interesting. I wish everyone, especially high school students would read this book. It is a piece of history that we don't really know. The holicost is only a piece of the pie. The man was an evil genius. I'm glad I took the time to get through the whole recording.
There are no favorite characters.
I would never never have gotten through this book by reading it. This recording makes it interesting.
The entire book amazed me. So many time, in the book, the writer tells of an event and then explains that if this hadn't happened, history would have been totally different. Small and large events that all contributed to Hitler's devastating path. It was amazing.
If you can't get through this book, there must be an abridged version that is a must read. We need to know what this man did and ask ourselves how did he get away with it?
retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so
I listened to Mr. Shirer's book while in a phase of reading and listening to nothing but Nazi Germany. I read two books by [the gold standard] Ian Kershaw ["The End"] which discusses the last year of the war, excellent and compelling and "10 Decisions" about decisions made in 1940 1941. I read a 1000 page autobiography of Hitler by Mr. Kershaw. (Etc) It wasn't that I was tired of this topic when I came to "Rise and Fall" it's just that the compelling parts of Mr.Shirer's story gets lost in the amount of details he gives. Every letter, every document, every telephone call. Perhaps that easier to read, but as an audio book, difficult to assimilate. Having said that, I listened to all 57 hours, Mr. Gardner providing his usual high standard and the time passed relatively quickly. In the end, however, I feel I will have retained more of Mr. Kershaw then Mr. Shirer. If you want this topic, go to Mr Kershaw. I recommend Mr Shirer only for the very dedicated.
This ranks number one among the nonfiction audiobooks I have listened to so far. Although the audiobook is very long it’s journalistic style is compelling and the overall impact on my view of world history was profound.
The events are told in a frank and even couragous manner.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a behind the scenes account of the men and madness that brought Europe its darkest hour. Most American accounts of the European war focus on battlefield heroism and the horrors of the Holocaust. Shirer, who reported from German from the early days of the Weimar Republic until the declaration of war on America, focuses on the conversations behind doors, diplomatic confrontations, and generally how decisions were made in this regime. To this end, he seems to have read every relevant diary entry and the minutes from every important meeting. His narrative does not stand aloof with academic objectivity but tells a dramatic story of deception, betrayal, ruthlessness, and sadism dripping with vitriolic contempt for the Nazis and those who failed to stop them.
Gardner's reading is compelling as well. It definitely kept my attention for the whole 60 hours.
I really like how the author pulls many different sources to give a seemingly well rounded account of events during Hitler's life.
To many. But hearing about Hitler's early years is a plus.
Not laugh or cry, unless you count the emotions that are sure to arise when listening to accounts of how human beings treated each other.
A very long read, but one which I believe needs to be visited. To hear a history of the Nazi party for yourself, and not just hearsay over the radio or television.
Obviously this is a classic, and while I have to confess up front that I haven't finished the listen yet, it is a fascinating account from a contemporary.
Be aware, though, that this book does not have 21st century sensibilities as regards homosexuality. Shirer therefore skips discussing anything bad that ever happened to them, and instead focuses on Nazism's original acceptance.
It does make me wonder what else he ignored or glossed over... I'll let you know if I find out.
One other thing, I heard one "Please put in Disk 2," but no others so far-- guess that one slipped through editing for Audible.
This book is extremely detailed but the details are absolutely riveting, William Shirer was there when it all happened. He obviously can speak German and gives an overview of Adolph Hitler's speeches, which is fairly unusual and he interprets the personality and psychology of the man like nothing else I have ever read. It is a wonderful experience to have first hand interpretations of events as they were happening. I personally found it totally engrossing from first to last page.
The book is for people that want to learn in detail the history of Nazi Germany. It 's a must for those who want to know / understand why we make wrong decisions at all levels. Hitler could have been stopped at a very early stage, both within Germany and later by the French and the British. Wrong decissions let to the 2nd world war.
"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich"
William Shirer’s experience of the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich presents a hands on, learned and heart rending account of this odious character (Hitler) which ties together many of the historical facts and issues regarding the subject matter; brilliantly narrated by Grover Gardner.
"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich"
Outstanding.Totally gripping from beginning to end.
"Amazing window into modern history"
This is fantastic value in terms of story length per credit. Excellent reader. Excellent writing. It is truly riveting to listen to the story of Hitlers' formation and philosophy. There is a clear fractal into our modern disease of economic imperialism and an insight into the ways things are going in our European project. And I'm just on volume 1 !!!!
absolutely recommending this book. great book with plenty of answers why?when?how? about the 2nd world war... and great narrator!
"Very, very long."
Oh, dear. I really wanted to listen to this, having read some very glowing reviews but I'm afraid I gave up before the invasion of Poland. I just couldn't face any more of the horror of a thoroughly evil man and his megalomaniac rise to power. Sorry, but it's for serious history buffs and I'm not one of them.
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