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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

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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

4.6 (6078 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 08-27-12
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazing and Horrifying"

    This is a big chunk of book! It is everything you ever wanted to know about the Third Reich. Shirer is thorough, extremely thorough, yet somehow not boring. The narrator also keeps things flowing, without sounding like a droning history teacher. Very well done.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Canada 08-20-12
    Dave Canada 08-20-12
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    "Fantastic - better than sitting in history class"

    I learned more listening to this book than I did in my entire semester of history. And " I am enjoying it!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent 08-11-12
    Brent 08-11-12
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    "Hard to stop listening to this one"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  •  
    Ji 07-30-12
    Ji 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 2016

    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
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  • Luke
    1/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    Probably the best audiobook I have listened to so far. It took me 3months to listen to the whole thing but I found it all incredibly interesting and in depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Carnegie
    UK
    1/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dated and arrogant."

    Shockingly homophobic - OK, I accept it was published 1960, when women and black and LGBT people were still Untermenschen. (Thank God for '68, when the world went Technicolor!), and not sure at all that Luther and all Germans since should be held fully responsible for Hitler - to commit a mortal sin it is necessary to be aware of error.
    Nor would I wish to regard all US voters of guilty of having electing Regan or the Bushes!
    Am only continuing to listen in hope author will redeem himself. Wasn't it ever revised? Typical US arrogance - regards UK as just England. Narrator equally intentionally dismissive of Europeans. Pronounces French names and words bizarrely, hard to decipher at times. Tries with Nazi names, but not with German words or place names.
    Hitler must have been convincing con man - Concordat with Vatican agreed though Catholics would have followed Jews to gas chambers. Should have been better, given author's knowledge of Berlin and access to documents.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bernie
    12/19/15
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    "Excellent"

    Fascinating look inside the 3rd Reich. It is surprisingly current considering it was published first in 1959.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Malc
    12/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much detail."

    I listened intently to try and get interested. There was too much detail and I got fed up with it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Rothesay, United Kingdom
    12/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly interesting and informative."

    This is one of those stories that you are keen to get back to. It explains a lot of what you thought you knew about the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peer Nelz
    9/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insulting, Incorrect, Ignorant"
    What would have made The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich better?

    This is not a history book. It is a subjective story from the authors perspective!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Grover Gardner’s performances?

    The Performance is gripping.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not to be taken serious but its a good story... . Its not an objective account of history.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    7/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great history"

    A bit dated. Some new facts have emerged since it was written but still a great book.

    The fact that he knew most of the leading historical characters and lived in Nazi Germany and saw events personally gives it an edge over purely historical histories of the Third Reich.

    Would recommend this without hesitation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR P N MASON
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Important History for Everyone"
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    I have listened to this book twice: once on its own, and once using Audible in conjunction with the hard copy book. I recommend the latter.


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

    The final scenes of the Third Reich live with me to this day from the book. The fall and folly of the once mighty.


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

    No. But after listening to him for over 60 hours reading this epic I feel I have known him for years!


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

    This book is recommended reading for everyone. It leaves you thoughtful as you see similar scenes playing out across the world 70 years later. Why does the human race never learn lessons from history.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Ultimate Story of WW2"
    Would you listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again? Why?

    This was a mammoth listen, with such great detail and clarity. Too much to absorb in one go, will replay again later in the year.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Philip savvides
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful"

    A history and an education, bringing together lots of different sources in one text, stating where others are conflicting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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