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)
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.
I learned more listening to this book than I did in my entire semester of history. And " I am enjoying it!"
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.
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?
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.
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.
"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.
Fascinating look inside the 3rd Reich. It is surprisingly current considering it was published first in 1959.
"Too much detail."
I listened intently to try and get interested. There was too much detail and I got fed up with it.
"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.
"Insulting, Incorrect, Ignorant"
This is not a history book. It is a subjective story from the authors perspective!
The Performance is gripping.
This book is not to be taken serious but its a good story... . Its not an objective account of 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.
"Important History for Everyone"
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.
The final scenes of the Third Reich live with me to this day from the book. The fall and folly of the once mighty.
No. But after listening to him for over 60 hours reading this epic I feel I have known him for years!
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.
"The Ultimate Story of WW2"
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.
A history and an education, bringing together lots of different sources in one text, stating where others are conflicting
Report Inappropriate Content