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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Audiobook

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

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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

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  •  
    Christine Newton 01-26-17
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    "Very detailed, be patient with the length"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the narration - Grover Gardner made me feel like I was listening to news reporters from the past. Given the length of the audiobook, it should come as no surprise that the author provides an excruciating level of detail. So unless you're a hard core fan of this period of history, my suggestion is to not focus too much on absorbing all of these details and instead let the general picture form and flow. Shelby Foote's volumes on the Civil War are similar that way, in my opinion - don't drown in the details, absorb the bigger picture instead and focus your concentration when something grabs your attention and interest. As other reviewers have mentioned, what I find fascinating about this book is the language and tone the author uses to reveal his personal opinions. Some of the adjectives he uses are jarring, but then again I'm a 21st century listener to a story that was written decades ago by someone who was a living witness to that period of time. Given that so much information about this period of time has been uncovered after the author wrote the book, it's worthwhile to also listen to other historians (such as Kershaw etc.) who have had access to more current resources. If this period of history is of interest to you, then sooner or later you'll hear about this book. It definitely shouldn't be the only book you read on the subject, but if you plan to read/acquire a collection of literature on this subject for your bookshelf (audio bookshelf?), then I think this should be part of that collection. Just be patient and listen in small doses, because otherwise you might get dizzy with all of the details!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 01-21-17
    Patrick 01-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Masterful History"

    Outstanding recounting of the Nazi Germany based on captured Nazi archival documents and first hand account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CC 01-20-17
    CC 01-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great info and worthwhile information."

    If you are looking for a behind the scenes, personal look into the world of nazi Germany, this is the book for you. The author did more then his homework and gives references throughout the series. Very good book, I recommended for the strong willed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Kreider Lafayette, CO 01-18-17
    Erik Kreider Lafayette, CO 01-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    "fantastic and comprehensive historical review"

    Riveting! I hope more of our leaders read this excellent account of the dark period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Eugene, OR, United States 01-13-17
    Bob Eugene, OR, United States 01-13-17 Member Since 2007
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    "This book contains many valuable lessons."

    This audiobook is 57 hours of history. All of it informative.

    One thing that caught my eye was the treatment of the universities in Nazi Germany. the first thing Hitler did after taking power was to clean the University of anyone opposed to Nazism. then to systematically indoctrinate students to the Nazi Doctrine. we've all heard of how the Nazis burn books. But have many of us heard that it wasn't Nazi Stormtroopers doing the burning. it was the indoctrinated student themselves who decided there was nothing to be learned from any book that did not follow Nazi Doctrine. indoctrination works with little skulls full of mush.

    I am not so shallow as to compare liberals to Nazis. I'll leave that to liberals. But indoctrination of college students by liberals in the United States is just as effective as Nazi indoctrination in Germany. It's one-sided and it's False.

    Another lesson that stands out clearly is appeasement and leading from behind is a fool's errand. Thank God our fool only has another week in office.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clayton Thompson 01-10-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Most comprehensive take on WWII Germany"

    Loved the writing, and perhaps even more so the narration. The best book on Hitler's Germany that I've ever experienced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Miller 01-09-17
    P. Miller 01-09-17
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    "Lengthy, but exhaustive look at Nazi Germany"

    This book is a slog, but extremely informative. it focuses mostly on the more technical side of the Third Reich -- diplomatic relations, etc than on actual battle details, which can we tedious at times. But overall, it's worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malcolm Shilong, India 01-07-17
    Malcolm Shilong, India 01-07-17
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    "A priceless work of unequal quality."

    A genuine work of historical devotion and classical values that transcends time. And should be a gem for personal research and also true entertainment for any enthusiasts of historical events that involves human social movement. A momentous event like the facts behind the tragedy of the second world war. And which should be a lesson for mankind in order to avoid a repeat of such a mistake ever repeating itself in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Lombardo 01-05-17
    F. Lombardo 01-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Outstanding"

    One of the best account of history I have read and I have read a great deal of World War II history. A must for any historian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 01-02-17
    Eric 01-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Really enjoyed the long well told story."

    A surprisingly enjoyable telling of such a horrible period in human history. Don't be intimidated by the length of the book, it's told in a fast enough pace to keep you consistently interested and riveted on the dark and sorted tale of the Nazi rise and fall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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