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The Coming of the Third Reich Audiobook

The Coming of the Third Reich

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Publisher's Summary

There is no story in 20th-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.

©2005 Richard J. Evans (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[A]n impressive achievement.... [Evans'] opus will be one of the major historical works of our time." (The Atlantic)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Declan FitzPatrick St. Louis, MO United States 05-17-13
    Declan FitzPatrick St. Louis, MO United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2014

    High School Reading and English Teacher

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    "Details the complex web of circumstances"

    Details the complex web of circumstances that allowed Hitler to rise to power. Clearly his personality was unique in the combinations of his passions, his ruthlessness, and his political savvy, but the circumstances he took advantage of had to foster certain fears and desires among wide segments of society. This makes sense of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    João 05-01-13
    João 05-01-13
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    "Tour de force!"

    This is a great book, the first in a trilogy about the Third Reich. A lot has been written about Nazi Germany over the years, but this trilogy is unique in its extensive examination of life under the Third Reich through the use of letters, diaries, and eyewitnesses' accounts. Rather than focusing on just the political aspects of the era, Richard Evans also covers the culture and daily of life of regular people under the Nazi regime.
    The first book begins decades before the Third Reich, and in it we learn that the beliefs expressed by the Nazis in their most extreme form were present in Germany since the days of Bismarck. It follows German history through the Great War and the shock of defeat. It examines the "stab in the back" myth and the German public's reaction to the Treaty of Versailles. It looks at fringe movements in German politics during the inter-war years, including the Nazi party. One of the most fascinating chapters in the book is about the seizure of power itself, when conservative politicians grossly miscalculated Hitler's influence by agreeing to a coalition government with the Nazi leader as premier. After taking power by "legal" means, Hitler proceeded to systematically eliminate all opposition, including his conservative allies, in building his totalitarian regime.
    The performance is adequate but somewhat monotonous. It actually improves in the second and third books, as you can notice the narrator's subtle emotional response when describing the atrocities against european minorities perpetrated by the Nazis.
    This is an essential trilogy for anyone with even a passing interest in 20th century history. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Buena Vista, CO, United States 02-16-13
    Christine Buena Vista, CO, United States 02-16-13
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    "Wow, to realize how little I knew about Germany."
    What did you like best about this story?

    A great deal of history with explanations about traditions and beliefs were conveyed in a flowing account that was captivating. I came away realizing how little I knew about German beliefs and history impeded in the culture.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 01-27-13
    George 01-27-13
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    "Why did World War 2 Occur?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this book, and the other two in the trilogy. This first book provides details, in a definitive and entertaining way, illustrating how economic, social, military, political and cultural issues created the environment which allowed the Third Reich to come into existence and metastasize. I probably shouldn't use the medical term which conveys an emotional tone since the author's position is that the information should be presented objectively. He does present the information objectively and I agree that is the correct way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It shows how arguably the most civilized society on the planet was transformed into one of the most uncivilized. It is hard to overstate the need for understanding this period in history and I believe this book goes a long way in providing that understanding. The extreme hardships and social turmoil in Germany which provided the incubator for the Nazi philosophy may not be unique. We should always remember that Hitler came to power in a democracy.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

    I liked them all.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    One Size Fits None Jersey Shore 01-26-13
    One Size Fits None Jersey Shore 01-26-13 Member Since 2010

    One Size Fits None

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    "Sets the Stage"

    The three part series by Richard J. Evans is an excellent history of the Third Reich split into three phases: the early years (until 1933), pre-war (1933-1939) and war years. This book is well researched, well thought out, well planned. It's really the foundation for the other two books, if you are going to listen to them.

    On one level, reading this book is like sitting in the theater watching the stagehands set up the stage. You know who's going to be coming out and which chairs they'll sit in. You have a general idea where the chairs will probably be, and when the characters will be coming onstage (and sometimes leaving in unfortunate circumstancs). But in this book, the characters aren't entirely the individuals we all know. Some of them are the ideologies that drive the individuals (and the ordinary people whose names we'll never know). After you've heard this book you will come away knowing how the Nazis scrabbled and bullied their way into power. Themes set up in this book persist through the series. If you skipped this one, you would be fine with the others - but if you do listen to it, you'll get much more out of the rest. It could easily stand on its own. But as you get near the end, you're glad there are two more volumes. There's still so much to say.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celina Nichols Louisville, Kentucky United States 01-09-13
    Celina Nichols Louisville, Kentucky United States 01-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb"

    This book (and the other two books in the trilogy) are must reads for anyone who wants to learn about Nazi Germany. The first book was especially compelling because it gave me the background that I often find lacking in examinations of World War II and the Nazis. I appreciated. At times, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of detail and because I did not know the names and their spellings. I simply listened to the book again to pick up those details. The book is depressing, heartbreaking, and even on occasion uplifting. It was nice to see a well rounded, objective approach to the subject. The narrator did an excellent job. I wish that he was the narrator of another book I am about to finish. It would have made the other work much easier to wade through. I cannot recommend this work highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste Baldwinsville, NY, United States 11-22-12
    Celeste Baldwinsville, NY, United States 11-22-12

    The White Queen

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    "New insight forall despite grocery list narration"
    Would you listen to The Coming of the Third Reich again? Why?

    Yes, but only if reading the actual text was impractical. Despite how distracting the poor narration can be at times, the material is compelling enough that even some truly egregious errors and disorienting stops and "stutters" are able to be ignored.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book is the answer to questions that linger after reading all the rest. Not that it provides the reader with a clear, black and white answer to the question "How could anyone murder millions of people?"; not at all. That is left to the reader to formulate from the evidence provided.

    As such, it is a mistake to condemn the author for distancing himself from making moral judgments about the events he describes. Evans has no need to spend valuable time and space on such exposition; that is the reader's job. It's his job to narrate events and provide guidance in the realm of interpretation, cause, and effect. He doesn't ignore the moral consequences.

    Rather, he highlights the landmarks on what was essentially a moral "journey" for the Germans. The rantings of polemicists about the "Jewish Question" eventually turned that phrase into the modern day equivalent of "The War on Terror" or "Wall Street vs. Main Street Economics"; that is, it went from being something only a few extremists yapped on about to something that was on the table in any discussion and was accepted the same way many Americans right now accept that Al Qaeda and Muslims started the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or that rich financiers destroyed our economy.

    Note; I'm not saying they are wrong! I'm saying it's a valid topic for discussion with a clear, anonymous, conspiratorial villain of vast powers, and a way of framing a "question' as to guarantee its "answer".

    What this book does is explain how what we think of as a single nation of "Germans" was really a conglomeration of various minority populations that had been consolidated only in the latter half of the 19th Century. This union was held together by leaders with strong personalities and iron fists.

    The failures of the "kinder, gentler" post-World War I Weimar Republic to stabilize the economy, feed the people, and make any kind of meaningful decisions did not instill respect for democratic rule. It only promoted nostalgia for when the trains ran on time, reinforcing the romantic myth of the "Leader".

    Disturbing parallels abound throughout history, not the least of which was the one in Italy at the same time. "Il Duce" means the same thing as "Der Fuhrer", and this fact only stresses that although Germany was devastated after World War I, it was not the only European nation threatened with disintegration from the foundations up at that time.

    In short, this is a great buy. I don't really regret ignoring warnings about the narrator, because being able to listen to the book being read aloud is a major convenience and a prime reason for buying it for that purpose alone. I just don't have my hands and eyes free to read when I am working, and being able to switch between music and a book for variety is wonderful. The narrator is poor, there is no doubt about that. But I was able to get past that and concentrate on the material. It is that compelling, and definitely worth your Audible credit despite the flaws.


    What didn’t you like about Sean Pratt’s performance?

    The narrator is clearly inexperienced and inconsistent in his pronunciation of relatively well-known and simple German, French, Russian, and English words. I can only deduce that a very incomplete knowledge of the subject matter itself is at the root of the narrator's strange pauses, emphasis on the wrong words, and the overall tendency to read this the same way one reads a grocery list or a Chinese take-away menu out loud.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann OH, United States 09-19-12
    Ann OH, United States 09-19-12 Member Since 2012

    Anniam6

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    "Terrible narration"
    What disappointed you about The Coming of the Third Reich?

    The narrator. I got this for my son who loves history and he just couldn't get past the narrator.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arjay 04-09-12
    Arjay 04-09-12
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    "Good Overview of Germany in the 20s and 30s"
    What made the experience of listening to The Coming of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    I like the way the author strings events together. He is especially good when explaining the historical contect of some of the Nazis' legislative actions and showing how they weren't necessarily as radically thought of as we do now after 80 years. He showed how many of the political parties and actors agreed with the actions taken by the Nazis after they got into power. He did well in explaining how their message before coming to power was pretty generic, so that most segments of the population could agree on the broad principles that they espoused. Not until after they got into power did they show their total disregard for anyone who disagreed with them and their ruthlessness in eliminating dissent, segment by segment. It gives meaning to the old saying,


    Any additional comments?

    The author's stated intent was to introduce this topic to those who knew nothing. I know some of the topic but have never had it tied together like this book does. The author also dumbed down some of the German phrases like

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-31-12
    Ron Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-31-12

    A great fan of stories and audiobooks. Good ones.

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    "Like History class, fascinating"

    Interesting and engrossing. Like looking through an in-depth book without the eye strain, and seeing how an evil empire evolved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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