We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Audiobook

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

Regular Price:$41.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

4.7 (7751 )
5 star
 (5908)
4 star
 (1348)
3 star
 (326)
2 star
 (93)
1 star
 (76)
Overall
4.7 (6444 )
5 star
 (5071)
4 star
 (1012)
3 star
 (260)
2 star
 (65)
1 star
 (36)
Story
4.7 (6453 )
5 star
 (4979)
4 star
 (1107)
3 star
 (268)
2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (27)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Anonymous 05-24-17
    05-24-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"

    Amazingly detailed and worth every second of time spent listening. Well put together and full of knowledge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Expat_Forever_USA 05-24-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "classic and thorough"

    listening to dan carlin has Made me hungry for more good history. this fit the bill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel L Carmony 05-23-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book of history"

    Very well written and very well read. The author did a fantastic job of providing the information much of which I had not known. The reader was entertaining and kept me very interested. Job well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan 05-20-17
    alan 05-20-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "best historical account I've read"

    I love this period, and have never read anything that quenched my needs for detail and background like this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Zachary 05-17-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great"
    What made the experience of listening to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich the most enjoyable?

    learning about the real events as they happened


    What did you like best about this story?

    being able to part of the moment as it was told


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    hitler


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    the rise and fall of the third reich


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    No Google-able Name :p 05-14-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Past Classic That Shows Its Age"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, because it quickly became apparent that the author was such a product of his time that, his time having past, I couldn't ignore the biases even if I didn't always know what would be more accurate.


    Would you ever listen to anything by William L. Shirer again?

    Probably not, unless the recommendation for it specifically addressed this issue.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Um, it's about the rise of the Nazis so, no offense, but none.


    Did The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich inspire you to do anything?

    O.o I know it's a generic question, but still.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance by Grover Gardner is, as always, first rate. Shame really.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael T. Moriarty Woodbridge, VA USA 05-13-17
    Michael T. Moriarty Woodbridge, VA USA 05-13-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rise and Fall"

    Extraordinary book. Performance outstanding. A reminder of what can happen if you take freedom and democracy for granted.

    Don't be put off by its length. It's well organized; well told; and is a great lesson in history ( even if told by a journalist)

    Highly recommended especially in today's world

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wasabiemily 05-09-17
    Wasabiemily 05-09-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A MUST FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN WW2"

    Great book. Long but worth it. Good narration voice. Hitler and the Nazis, their rose and fall, is a subject of immense fascination and this is the most complete work I have seen in the subject. Told from all the papers and recordings and notes of the German government it details Hitler's and the Third Reich's rise and fall in history. The roots, beginnings, all the way to hitlers suicide and subsequent Nuremberg trials. a complete history of this period as seen and heard from the inside. Great notations and sourcing. Very little speculation and guessing. It's a book that presents the thoughts words and actions of the man and men who brought about the darkest hours of the 20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Pack Michigan 05-08-17
    J. Pack Michigan 05-08-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible detail"

    Hard to hear but very well written. Great detail and facts to back up writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard A. Weber 05-08-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Shirer's ability to cover so much history with a brilliant story telling method of writing keeps you spellbound throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Richard
    rochester, United Kingdom
    12/7/10
    Overall
    "A unique account"

    This was the standard book at school 30 years ago for the study of the Third Reich. Reading it all these years later it has lost none of its impact. The writing style remains modern and clear and in my opinion is unmatched on the subject. Many good books have been written on this subject but Shirer witnessed events with his own eyes meeting many of the historical figures and seeing the bodies before nearly becoming a victim himself. Written in a time when reporting was still a noble art it was criticised as being anti German. For me it lays the facts out and leaves the reader to make his mind up. Despite its length superb narration makes this a stunning a thought provoking listen. Find the time.

    41 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    2/18/11
    Overall
    "Finished - what do I do now?"

    I listened to all 57 hours in one month during many long drives and not a few late nights. Rarely have I enjoyed history so much. The quality of Shirer's writing has long since been recognised, but this is enhanced even further by the brilliant narration. Yes, there were occasions when my concentration lapsed, but ony because one is inevitably drawn to one aspect of the story rather than another. Most often I was riveted, and now it feels like an old friend has said farewell.

    33 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Carnforth, United Kingdom
    1/17/11
    Overall
    "brilliant, scholarly, riveting and chilling"

    This is a monumental listen which despite its length flies along as the events unfold. The reader is very easy to listen to and never becomes a trial or gets in the way.
    Awesome, epic and illuminating. The examples of demagogues and schemers portrayed remain as relevant in our times. An absolute masterpiece. Strongly recommend it.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    London, United Kingdom
    5/2/11
    Overall
    "A Masterful Work"

    This is a truly masterful and objective history of the third Reich based on the mountains of captured Nazi documents after the war and therefore is not subject to a particular historians interpretation of events.

    Although long and sometimes a little difficult to digest due to - for example - the large number of individuals dealt with, this book is nevertheless an incredibly thorough coverage of Hitler's rise to power that will reward the reader with a wealth of knowledge throughout its scope.

    This has to be one of (if not, the most) complete treatment of the subject matter. I was amazed to read actual extracts of conversations that had been carefully documented with typical German efficiency. There is just so much here that I find it amazing that one man could write such a mammoth volume.

    A word on the narration; This could be a most difficult book for a narrator due to the frequent use of German names, places and other foreign language references. However, this is handled with superb skill by Grover Gardener who's delivery is both confident and precise. It is not surprising then perhaps that he has narrated some of the largest and complex volumes on other matters such as the American civil war.

    In summary, this is a long, but worthwhile masterpiece of work into some of history's darkest days which offers incredible insight into the mind of one of history's most infamous men.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom
    2/25/11
    Overall
    "Flawed but fascinating"

    Germany under the Nazis is probably one of the most written about periods of history and the seeker after information is spoiled for choice. Plenty of more recent studies have been done on the Nazi era but Shirer's work, now half a century old, still stands for me as the definitive history of the period.

    Of course, it has many flaws, not least Shirer's own very subjective take on the personalities and the events he documents. Shirer was a journalist, and he wrote as a journalist, not as an historian. But what the book might lack in terms of perspective, it gains tremendously in recounting Shirer's own first hand experiences of Nazi Germany. He lived and worked in Germany during the early days of Hitler and personally attended many of the events he described. he was also fortunate, as he describes in his introduction, to have been present when German government documents were seized by the advancing allied armies and to have been one of the journalists allowed to comb through this rich source of information.

    He describes, with frightening clarity, the failure of Britain, France and America to understand the danger posed by Adolf Hitler and the terrible results of the pre-war policy of appeasement, not least for the many millions who died in appalling conditions in Nazi extermination camps. The reader shares his frustration at the willingness of the western powers to sacrifice Austria and Czechoslovakia in order to buy a few more months of peace.

    This is a very long book which I read first when I was in my teens. The audio version is unabridged, and runs to an incredible 57 hours but the narrative will sweep you along. The reader perfectly captures the tone of the written volume. For those who want to find out how a madman can come to power in what should be a civilised country, there is no better source than this book.

    40 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Conder
    Auckland New Zealand
    2/15/11
    Overall
    "Fabulous history on the ipod"

    Don't be put off by the length the reader of this fabulous audio book captures you and continues to hold you as the history of Nazi Germany unfolds.

    The book itself remains a classic of World War II covering the broad history of the Third Reich from first tentative developments to the downfall and collapse in the Fuhrer Bunker.

    You will find it difficult to do anything else until you finish listening.

    The producers and reader have remained faithful to the work and the horror of a world war without getting dramatic.

    You will only find a few works that achieve the quality you find here.

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    3/28/11
    Overall
    "History brought to life"

    Don't be put off by the immense length of this audio book: it's a riveting story that keeps you listening. I first read this book over 30 years ago and, though I had forgotten much of the detail, the power of its narrative had left an indelible memory. Listening again, rekindled the shock and amazement at this dark period of history. At times harrowing, it's like a fast-moving crime thriller. And, oh what crimes! What's so shocking is that it wasn't just a small band of psychopaths who had taken over Germany, but that so many people were willing to perpetrate unbelievably cruel treatment on other human beings. With the benefit of hind-sight one can see turning-points that changed history and the many missed opportunities by both sides to triumph or be defeated; or for peace or continued conflict. It's fascinating, if chilling, to see how Hitler started out as a consummate tactician, but latterly sunk into a megalomania that ruined his country.

    The book had involved an immense amount of research into captured secret papers of the Reich and greatly benefits from the author being an eye-witness working as a journalist for a US broadcasting company at this tumultuous period in history.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Mair
    Co LeitrimIreland
    10/11/10
    Overall
    "a gripping riveting listen"

    I've only listened to half so far, and its gripping stuff. Not dry dull writing, but its alive, full of personalities and happenings, one steamrolling onto the next. And the reader is excellent. While its v.long, and I'm not sure I'll take it to the end, I dont think this matters, because its fantastic value, even if I only listen to the first half, as my main interest is in the rise of nazism.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    WATFORD, United Kingdom
    6/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A simply astounding work..."

    This book is nothing short of astounding, and has kept me gripped for over 2 months on my daily commute between London and Coventry. Having an interest in WW2 I have read many books on the various aspects of the war, but none even come close to this title.

    It is meticulously thorough, and sets out the background to not only when and how Hitler came to power, but also the circumstances and national psyche that enabled him to do so. I've also been surprised on many ocassions by how people we thought we knew have so many other sides to them. Mussolini the Peacemaker? Who knew?

    Grover Gardner is outstanding in his part as narrator of this dark and yet fascinating story.I cannot imagine anyone doing a finer job.

    An absolute must-have title for your collection..

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • John
    County Cork, Ireland
    9/17/11
    Overall
    "A Superb Book"

    This is easily the best audiobook I've listened to. It is a fascinating story, brilliantly written and expertly narrated. I had some misgivings about downloading it at first as I felt the 57 hours duration would be too daunting but I quickly became drawn into the amazing story and I finished it in 6 weeks. I frequently gasped in astonishment at some of the details recounted and once, while I was on an early morning walk on holiday in Spain, I had to stop for a few moments so shaken I was at a German officer's eyewitness account of the killing of Jewish men, women and children at a location in the Ukraine. It seems scarcely credible that horrors such as that should have occurred only 70 odd years ago and perpetrated by a nation that prided itself on its civilization and culture. Shirer shows how the German people fell under the spell of the demonic genius Hitler and it was not broken until his death. This great book is a salutary reminder of the utter evil of Nazism.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.