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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

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  •  
    Garrett Smith 06-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A comprehensive history"

    This was long and interesting. A comprehensive history of the strategic decisions made by Hitler and their consequences. The author also kept me interested with his subtle humor. What an amazing account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris M. Brown 05-31-16
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    "I didn't know what I didn't know"

    I've always found history interesting, but didn't know very much about Nazi Germany, even though I thought I did. I certainly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Hans Phoenix, AZ USA 05-31-16
    Hans Phoenix, AZ USA 05-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Learn from our History"

    I think every school kid should read this book because we, as a nation and a society should remember the horrors and depravity that human beings are capable of, and to ensure that such evil never rears its head again.

    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer recounts the history of Nazi Germany in exquisite, and at times excruciating, detail. Make no mistake, this is not light reading. The author, William L. Shirer was a correspondent in Vienna and Berlin during the reign of the Nazis and recalls his own personal experiences along with citing an extensive list of scholarly works and of course myriad documents captured from the Nazis themselves. There were times that I, a college educated man, found myself looking up words that are no longer part of our vernacular, at least in my social circle. At other times I felt physically ill as Shirer masterfully told the history of the many horrors of World War II's European theater. I would say this book is one of the definitive histories on Nazi Europe and a must read for everyone.

    With regards to Grover Gardner's performance as narrator I'll just say he was phenomenal. Perfect pronunciation of tricky French and German words and names was a given in this narration.

    I recommend this book to just about anyone. Just please understand that its subject is heavy and often horrifying but all the more important for it. These events happened less than 80 years ago and I feel it's important for people to remember what precipitated a war that cost 60 million people their lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William E. Bemis 05-17-16
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    "One of the most important books about the events leading up to WWII"

    I first read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich 40 years ago. The book's importance has not diminished in the intervening decades, and this wonderful audiobook captures Shirer's account from beginning to end. Given the political extremism of the 2016 Republican Party primaries and the rise of right-wing factions in other western democracies, everyone should listen to this remarkable first hand account of Hitler's rise in 1930s Germany. Chilling but fascinating, Shirer based his account on his own experiences in 1939s Germany as well as the troves of Nazi documents captured at the end of WWII in 1945. A must listen book for anyone who does not want demagogues and tyrants ruining our world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Mikesell 05-09-16
    R. Mikesell 05-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Most interesting"

    Rather long and a bit graphic at times but told it as it was from first hand observation. Amazing documentation, must have taken a LOT of time to write.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    ashizz 05-09-16
    ashizz 05-09-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Amazing"

    I thought this book would be full of facts but the story that was brought forth was simply unexpected. To all those that love history I say this is a must listen. The reader did an outstanding job to emphasize points throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Paul 05-09-16
    Paul 05-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "great work"

    for anyone interested in this era it is a must read. the end is excellent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Shore Bakersfield, CA USA 05-07-16
    Jason Shore Bakersfield, CA USA 05-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Essential reading"

    This book should be given away so all can read it. Epic story of WWII

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 04-30-16
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 04-30-16 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.

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    "50+ hours and enthralled the entire time!"

    This historical analysis about how Germany and Hitler rose to power, began the conquest of Europe, and ultimate demise is easily one of the most (if not the most) spell-binding listens I have come across. When I first got the book, I felt daunted by how long it is (57hrs), but once I started, I could not stop. The author provides incredible insight into the events that led up to Hitler's rise to power, and the responses to Germany's growing strength by the many countries of Europe.

    This is a must-listen for any history buff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-29-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Required Reading"

    I fully expected this book to be boring and difficult to get through. I was wrong. It is true that it was painful to review the atrocities exacted by the inhumane treatment of fellow human being who became more beastly than human. It helped answer some questions I always had regarding the German people and continues to haunt me every time I read of anti-Semitic attacks that still exist in today's world. Let us not repeat history or allow it to be repeated. Let us learn from this account of one of the darkest periods in world history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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