The final volume in Richard J. Evans’s masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a “people’s community” to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler’s campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as “a masterpiece” (William Grimes in The New York Times) and “the most comprehensive history… of the Third Reich” (Ian Kershaw), this epic trilogy reaches its terrifying climax in this volume.
Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war’s progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people - from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since.
Fresh insights into the conflict’s great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker. But just as important is the re-creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, staggering under pressure from Allied bombing and their own government’s mounting demands upon them. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermination of Europe’s Jews, set in the context of Hitler’s genocidal plans for the racial restructuring of Europe.
Blending narrative, description, and analysis, The Third Reich at War creates an engrossing picture - at once sweeping and precise - of a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. It is the culmination of a historical masterwork that will remain the most authoritative work on Nazi Germany for years to come.
Listen to previous volumes in Richard J. Evans' Third Reich trilogy.
©2009 Richard J. Evans (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp
"Masterful….Evans demonstrates a fluent style and a sweeping grasp of the Third Reich’s history and of the enormous historical literature….Evans narrates the Reich’s end in gripping fashion as the Allies closed in on Germany. Evans’s fellow historians as well as a broader public will listen to this work, not quite with pleasure, for there is little joy in this story, but with admiration for the author’s narrative powers.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
I just completed all 3 books in the series and enjoyed them. Narrator Shawn Pratt got on my nerves at first but in the long run his voice was comfortable. I would have liked more time devoted to Hitler but that's just my preference. Also, much time was given to details of how Nazism effected every aspect of life. I wearied at times anxious to get to the next segment or chapter. I am thankful that when describing the treatment of the Jews' persecutions, tortures, and deaths Evans used restraint. In other words he could have been much more graphic describing rapes and tortures. The imagination can take care of what is lacking.
I like the fact that he portrayed the leaders of Nazism as brute beast worthy of the worst punishments for the horror for which they were responsible Nevertheless, no book or books will EVER capture the summary of evil that took place in Europe during WWII.
For anyone with even a passing interest in world history. This book is a much deeper dive into Nazi Germany's war than just the tactical outcome of battles. Evans meticulously and often painfully reconstructs the horror that was among the most murderous and evil regimes in human history.
Beautifully read and beautifully written. You get a good picture of what life was like in Nazi Germany during the war.
I like classic sf/fantasy best, but urban fantasy a'la Butcher & The Hollows hits a place, too. I own 4 cats, 3 Bengals & a stray I adopted.
Top-notch; ranks among the best history books I've ever read.
The content is arranged so that various topics are related together rather than haphazardly all in a jumble. Of course this makes for a bit of repetitiveness, but the overall clarity is worth it.
Narration is extremely professional and fits the subject matter in tone and inflection. I noticed that the narrator occasionally pronounced the same words (usually names) differently, but that didn't bother me since I don't know the correct pronunciation for those words anyway.
Yes. It took me a while to break free of the Civil War narrative that I knew him for, but overall I felt his delivery was good.
This book contains a wealth of information in support of the military narrative. I say "in support of" because the detail associated with the military battles and campaigns is minimal when compared to other writers like Beevor or Keagan. What you will find is the underlying policies, intrigues and social/economic/political environment that is the setting for the military actions. Truly German-centric, enough of the broader context was provided to keep things relatively well rounded. For those who know nothing of the individual battles and campaigns, you will not find the details here. For those who do know the details, this provides an often missing context.
I will echo one complaint of another reviewer: common German terminology. At first I thought this criticism was petty, but it really did start to bother me as the book progressed. "The Leader" instead of "the fuhrer". The "military SS" instead of the "Waffen SS", even going so far as to translate the names of the SS units to "Greater Germany" instead of "Das Reich", "Death's Head" instead of "Totenkopf", or the one that really drove me crazy was "Personal Flag unit of Adolf Hitler" instead of the "Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler". At moments like these, I felt like I was listening to a poor Google translation of the book. Does it make a big difference? To me, not really, as I am aware of what is talking about most of the time. But for those who are not familiar with the terms, they may be increasingly confused when they do further study and encounter the German terms...as they will with just about any other history text on this subject.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Here is a detailed look inside the inner workings of Hitler’s Third Reich. As the accounts of the atrocities pile up Evans manages to break up the horror by documenting some popular jokes that were circulating at the time. I found this third volume less interesting that the first two that depict Germany’s power grabs and control methods. Their administration of the war is a study in incompetence. It does serve to bring the Nazis down to size, a necessary effort, since before the war they seemed to be unstoppable. This is a lesson in the end result of tyranny. If you don’t nip it in the bud, it will strangle everything you love like Kudzu on an a cherry tree. The Nazis at their height only garnered 34.7% of the popular vote. But they were fanatics easily to roll over the majority. Don’t let it happen here.
I appreciate Sean Pratt in giving a dispassionate rendering. A more emotional account would have undermined my efforts to keep the book on a purely intellectual level.
I was presently surprised at the audio quality of this book, in that the audio quality remained consistent throughout the entire book. The previous history audiobook that I bought was jarring to listen to because the reader's voice as well as the audio quality was constantly changing ( I assume this was due to re-reading sections to correct misspoken passages or because the original reading was done on multiple devices and then patched together) which made the reading hard to follow.
This reading is very smooth and consistent and the reader's very slight inflection used to denote a direct quote is very effective and doesn't pull you away from the story.
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