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Publisher's Summary

In this narrative of extraordinary richness, depth, and authority, America's preeminent biographer/historian explored the German national character as no other writer has done. The Arms of Krupp brings to life Europe's wealthiest, most powerful family, a 400-year German dynasty that developed the world's most technologically advanced weapons, from cannons to submarines to antiaircraft guns; provided arms to generations of German leaders, including the Kaiser and Hitler; operated private concentration camps during the Nazi era; survived conviction at Nuremberg; and wielded enormous influence on the course of world events. William Manchester's galvanizing account of the rise and fall of the Krupp dynasty is history as it should be written - alive with all its terrifying power.

©1968 William Manchester (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Scott
  • South Burlington, VT, United States
  • 06-24-17

Where did Chapter Nine go?

The audiobook jumps from the middle of chapter nine to chapter 10. Missing is the pivotal scandal that consumed Fritz Krupp, leading to Bertha becoming "Cannon Queen." It's just gone. Fortunately, I've read this book before, but Audible customers are gonna be going, "Huh? Whaaaaat?"

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • Farnborough, United Kingdom
  • 06-12-17

BIG CHUNK MISSING

Audible has no mechanism for reporting techniocal issues in its recordings. So I have to use this review in the hope that somebody reads it and does something to fix this one. It is not the first like this that I have found and I am sure it will not be the last. But this one just got really annoying.

The recording truncates chapter 9 of the book. I don't know how much is missing but it is enough to exclude the suicide of one of the central figures after a sex scandal and half of the dynastic implications that it caused. Annoying in itself but doubly so when the rest of the book makes continuing references to that period for which, as a listener, you have been given no information. Its a 47 hour book and about every 20 minutes for the last 37 hours of it an oblique reference is made to a conversation that you have not been allowed to hear.

The book is fine. The narrator is fine. The recording is massively frustrating and substandard. Audible needs to pay a bit more attention to QA or at least let its listeners do the job effectively for them.

51 of 52 people found this review helpful

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So what happened to Fritz Krupp?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Not leaving out a pivotal part of the book (part of chapter 9)

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Arms of Krupp?

The fact that they skipped one of the pivotal sections of the book.

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

I found him an excellent narrator overall.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Arms of Krupp?

None, unlike the "unabridged" audio book I payed for.

Any additional comments?

I wish they'd fix the issue with the missing section.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • J.
  • Moorhead, MN, United States
  • 07-19-17

Merchants of Death Are People Too

I read this book more than forty years ago and loved it then. I love the audio version more. This is a long long book and many might drown in it's minutia. Manchester, however, is a master at epic story telling. He weaves history, period drama, and technical explanation into a compelling work that holds one's attention. Of course it helps that each generation of Krupp patriarchs had their quirks and closet skeletons. The Krupps were not king makers, but they were the family that armed kings. They allowed good men to make strong states and bad men to commit mass murder.

This is an old book and it is easy to forget that at the time it was published the implication of Germany as a whole with the Holocaust and not just the Nazis was new and controversial. Much of the second half of the work examines the Krupp family's willing use of slave labor to maintain the Nazi war machine. Critics charged Manchester as unfairly biased against the Germans; this at a time of the Cold War when it had become an important ally. Readers today should have better distance to judge.

Historians as well criticized "The Arms of Krupp" for its pretense as a scholarly work. There well may be a few cases where Manchester does not allow facts to get in the way of a good story, but more likely academic poo-pooing has more to do with envy over's Manchester's ability to make money from his historical writings.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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What a terrible narrator!

What did you love best about The Arms of Krupp?

Unusual history.

What did you like best about this story?

The international aspect of Krup contracts and the details about the family.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His German pronunciation seems affected and clumsy. His pronunciation of the word Krup* was completely distracting. Every time he said Kkkkkruuup, unlike any person I have EVER heard, in Germany or America, I lost my place. It was very distracting and actually interfered and interrupted my listening. English or American pronunciations of foreign titles, names, or places always annoy me - especially when the correction is simple - but this guy is in a class all his own. He almost manages to roll the K; I can't believe the editors or people helping him record this didn't say something. I can only assume they don't speak German and never hear it spoken.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

Comprehensive.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • EDWARDS, IL, United States
  • 06-04-17

Pronunciation may be correct, but annoying.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Ok, but too easy to put down due to narration.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Another History title.

How could the performance have been better?

The pause prior to every attempt at 'proper' pronunciation of names, words and phrases was so irritating. Would have preferred Grover Gardner's narration by far.

Do you think The Arms of Krupp needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

All good books on German oligarchs' participation in Nazi militarism should be added to audible titles. Alchemy of Air is best.

Any additional comments?

Over emphasis of non-English pronunciation is distracting, annoying and so unnecessary. It ruined an otherwise acceptable title.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • ES
  • Centreville, VA
  • 05-30-17

just ok

Any additional comments?

For the most part the book is interesting and informative. However the author has the annoying conceit of liberally sprinkling the book with German phrases along with their translations. Unless his purpose is to provide lessons in German this does nothing except to slow down the narrative. The narrator does not have a comfortable cadence and has the habit of drawing out the name Krupp to KKKrrupp.The book is unnecessarily lengthened by the inclusion of the German phrases and uninteresting details. Otherwise the book is a good history of Krupp.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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German Militance Disguised as Industrialism

This was not an edge-of-your-seat kind of experience, and exhaustive. But the historical revelations make this book well worthwhile, as is anything written by William Manchester. Widened my perspective of European War from 1860 on. Wish I had some German language skills as the language is used widely throughout, and that's a bit of hill to climb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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exceptional

incredibly detailed and full of Manchester's personal viewpoints and perceptions that makes the story very entertaining.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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review

the major problem with this book is that the English is intermittently translated to German and it becomes extremely annoying and totally unnecessary for an English-speaking reader / listener. It was so irritating that I decided to do something that I rarely do which is never finished the book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-18-17

An honest, intense, no holes bared biography

This work of reference and I say that not book, is a superb example of investigative work that told it like history should record it and it should be known. Beautifully written, very skilfully narrated it held my interest from beginning to end. The use of German language with an accompanying translation to English was unusual and added greatly to the gusto of the time, another clever element in a brilliant expose of important family tidings interwoven with sometimes catastrophic events. - thank you