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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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  •  
    Mmgo905 08-10-12
    Mmgo905 08-10-12 Member Since 2013
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    "History to listen to"

    I now want to know more about the second world war. A good way to spend your credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michaelbrent Meridian, ID, United States 07-30-12
    Michaelbrent Meridian, ID, United States 07-30-12
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    "THE Work on the Subject"
    If you could sum up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in three words, what would they be?

    Well researched; fascinating.


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

    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!


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

    Horrifying to listen to the way half of the world fell into insanity.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan I. 07-30-12
    Joan I. 07-30-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Long but worthwhile"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are no favorite characters.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I would never never have gotten through this book by reading it. This recording makes it interesting.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemarie Fishkill, NY, United States 07-12-12
    Rosemarie Fishkill, NY, United States 07-12-12 Member Since 2015

    rc1000

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    "Important and compelling"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The events are told in a frank and even couragous manner.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Midland Park, NJ, United States 07-11-12
    Daniel Midland Park, NJ, United States 07-11-12
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    "Compelling and Complete"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey 07-06-12
    Corey 07-06-12
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    "Be prepared for a long haul."
    What did you love best about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    I really like how the author pulls many different sources to give a seemingly well rounded account of events during Hitler's life.


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

    To many. But hearing about Hitler's early years is a plus.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DrandomTubas New Hampshire 07-05-12
    DrandomTubas New Hampshire 07-05-12 Listener Since 2009
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    "Good, but written in the 50s."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Len 07-02-12
    Len 07-02-12
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    "Written by a man who was there when it happened."

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Warsaw, IN, United States 07-01-12
    Christopher Warsaw, IN, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Revealing"

    This book is a true revelation on what why and how the nazi party rose to power and then took total control of Germany and then much of europe and then lost power and control and now is only a symbol of and for hate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeb United States 06-30-12
    Jeb United States 06-30-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent information."
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    I will listen to again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    More info than I ever knew


    Any additional comments?

    I thought I knew a lot about WW2 Nazi Germany. I didnt know as much as I thought. This is one of the best reference books on the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Greg
    4/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, reads like a thriller"

    Over 50 hours may sound rather long, but trust me it isn't with this pacey and exciting audiobook, even though we all feel that we know the story. The reader is superb, and the narrative rattles along like a thriller and is packed with the incredible unbiased telling of the rise of Hilter and his band of Nazi cronies. If only my school history lessons could have captured my imagination like this book, then I would have been an academic. I managed to listen to it whilst driving, cooking, doing chores or just relaxing. Other audiobooks may seem stuffy and short after listening to this this treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Basingstoke, United Kingdom
    2/26/14
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    "Excellent recounting of the facts"

    Highly recommended as a summary of events and insight into the Third Reich, including the pivotal events of the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robin
    London
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A difinitive study on the Third Reich"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a very thorough and well researched book, which is also well read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The personal experiences of Shirer provide a unique perspective, which makes this book rather unique.


    Any additional comments?

    Obviously this text is a little dated, and a little primitive in some of its conclusions. Nonetheless it is well worth reading, a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    west sussex, United Kingdom
    1/31/14
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    "Excellent"

    Really truly excellent. Go no further is your search. The narrators performance matches the authors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    United Kingdom
    11/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "The definitive treatment of the Nazi Party"

    This book has massively changed my understanding of the Nazis, the Germans and the Second World War. It is incredibly thorough, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.

    My only criticism would be that the book is not objective. The author raises this at the beginning. He was a journalist, not a historian. He was actually there, and his opinion is freely given throughout the book. It's also frequently pithy and unnecessary. It's easy to spot and tune out, though.

    It's worth pointing out, though, that this book is not a treatment of WW2. This book rigidly follows the Nazis from inception to destruction. This alone makes it a massive tome. It covers other topics only as they relate to the Nazis, which includes WW2. The Nazis were the cause of WW2, and were obviously heavily involved in it, so consequently there is a great deal in the book about the war. However, there are enormous omissions. For example: there is virtually no coverage of the Pacific campaign; the Italian Greco war gets about about a paragraph; the entire Russian campaign is covered exclusively from the German perspective. All of these omissions left me wanting more, but I don't count this as the fault of the book. It covers one topic, and it covers it well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. G. Laing
    London
    10/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to be better than the print version?

    Don't think I would have got round to reading this book as it's so thick, which would have been such a loss as what a great book. I drive a lot with work and put it on and it's been like a constant companion. Having listened to Stephen kings the stand read by Grover I knew he was a brilliant narrator as unfortunately there are a few naff ones out there.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    8/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best World War Two book I've read so far"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its up there with the best, this book tells you everything from before 1933 to 1945 and beyond, you learn about the in-fighting the political moves within germany, you learn the sociological aspects of the third reich (many people mistakenly believe the Nazi party to be socialist when this actually was used as a way of gaining power)


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think it is most comprehensive look at germany and the Reich during the period of time, it goes into great depth from someone who was there for a long period of the time


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

    the narrator is ok, if you have Stephen King's the stand or many other audiobooks then you have heard his voice, hes a big name in the industry and does a good job here, his speech is clear and his mannerisms suit the book


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

    this is not a book which will move you but will give you the facts you need. im pretty sure i could go into a history exam at any level on the period and give a half decent attempt at passing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    United Kingdom
    8/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic history of Nazi Germany."
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    Possibly not the entire audiobook, but I would certainly drop in again and listen to many specific section.


    What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to, and why?

    I don't think I can really compare this to anything I have listened to or read on Nazi Germany or the Second World War in general. I haven't found anything to match the scope and scale of this.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Grover Gardner?

    Possibly not, the narration was very dry and sometimes failed to capture my interest.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    7/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptionally good"

    For a history book, the narrative is remarkably accessible and entertaining to listen to. The narrator does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J
    Doncaster, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "EASILY DIGESTIBLE HISTORY"
    What did you like most about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?

    I like the comprehensive nature of the book with the history told in understandable language and written in an accessible way.


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

    The description of Hitler's rise to power and the way in which the author brings out the fact that he did what he said he would do from the beginning.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Very good intonation with a clear style.


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

    Since it is abut 35 hours this was not possible, I did it in 1-2 hour sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    A most informative and enjoyable read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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