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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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Story

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  • Story

A story that must be told.

Understanding such history is essential to understanding the present, and considering the future.

Hatred, and fury is flaring up around the world once more, and unfit men finding their way to the heads of some of the world's most powerful countries (if the weren't already there).

At this moment in history, as we move towards either extinction or a new era, we must reflect on what's happened on Earth in the past 100 years and make a clear and intentional decision about what comes next.

Hopefully we choose to make peace for All.

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An Unbelievable and Excellent Work...

History speaks for itself! What else can be said or added? A very frightening documentary.

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  • AGS
  • Washington D.C.
  • 04-13-17

Amazing book, well read

Not only is William Shirer an amazing author and great story teller, Grover Gardner proves the author's equal in his narration. Strongly recommend for anyone interested in 20th century history.

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wonderful presentation and through research.

learned more than I have known prior to hearing this great source of world history.

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A masterful treatment of a terrible era.

I was born in 1949, in the shadow of the second world war. Several family members, including my father, faught against the Germans, Italians and Japanese. So I grew up hearing about their tragedies and exploits against these common enemies. Now I know (thanks largely to this book and William Shirer) how little I knew and perhaps, how little they knew as well. Perhaps Shirer is correct in believing in a typical Teutonic personality but I would submit otherwise. Instead, again from this book, Germans in the third Reich appear to be a superb example of how easily homo sapiens can be trained to perform at the bottom of the barrel of morality. Shirer shows beyond doubt, that Hitler was a brilliant but terribly cruel and warped trainer.

Thanks to William Shirer, we have a historical masterpiece. To Grover Gardner for reading this book so well, we owe a debt of gratitude. Few people would make it through such a tome without his performance.

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Excellent History of the Third Reich

This is an excellent history of the third Reich. It is wonderfully written, and expertly narrated. Choose this audiobook.

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great historical piece

Long but worth it. i enjoyed it. my father had left me a copy of the book, but i never had a chance to read it.

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Fantastic!

What an excellent book.

It is heavy on the political aspects of the war, FYI.

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Loved it

The most thorough and comprehensive look at the Third Reich. It is long, but there in lie the details Ive never heard before. I thought it would take me a while to get through it, and kept finding it at every opportunity. If you are interested in the subject matter, its a must get.

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A brilliant horrifying account of Nazi Germany

I read this book over 50 years ago.It was a horrifying then as it is now.Grover Gardners narrative is outstanding in its delivery and succinctly conveys William L Shirers writing.This book should be compulsory reading for all students the world over for least we forget who knows how many maniacs are copying Hitler's tactics today and will do so in the future.