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

By William L. Shirer
Read by Grover Gardner

57.18 Hours 07/08/2010 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (71Tracks)
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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 twentieth 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, 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.  Although 1600 pages long, this is such 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.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award, February 2011

Winner of the 1961 National Book Award for Nonfiction

Winner of the 1960 Cornelius Ryan Award

Winner of the Carey-Thomas Award for Nonfiction

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 twentieth 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, 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. 

Although 1600 pages long, this is such 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A monumental work, a grisly and thrilling story.” Theodore H. White, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“One of the most spectacular stories ever told.” John Gunther, American journalist
“A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions.” New York Times Book Review
“One of the most important works of history of our time.” New York Times
“Expertly performed by narrator Grover Gardner. Gardner makes Shirer’s thoroughly detailed text approachable through his seamless performance and fluid pacing…The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is an epic historical text that now achieves a place of importance in the annals of the audiobook world. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by Charley Robertson 9/13/2017
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A very interesting and educational book. Very well written.

What I liked the most about this book is that it was written by someone that was there. Many of the events described were from first hand observations from his notes as a journalist. Don't let the size of this book intimidate you. It is easy to follow and understand. If you know nothing about German history you will not be at a loss. this is the perfect book to read if you want to learn how a society of good people can be lead down a road that can only end in tragedy of epic proportion.
by Gewehr43 9/13/2017
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Fantastic, comprehensive story of German in the first half of the 20th century.

While there is some criticism leveled against the content of this book, it really is a fantastic look at how Hitler and his cronies came to rule - and ultimately lay waste to - Germany. The narrator, Grover Gardner, reads in a lively, engaging way. Having just finished listening to this book today, I will miss his dulcet tones guiding me through what is a monumental work of literature.
by Elliotts12 9/13/2017
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The future we are condemned to repeat, and repeat, and repeat

After listening to Scott Anderson's "Lawrence in Arabia", the first thing that came to mind was 'ok, what happened next'. Shirer's book explains what happened next. The work reveals how human intelligence decreases according to the inverse square law as more people are added to the count. By the time one gets up to country size, the best that can exist is an idiot. So when one insane psychopathic genius, Hitler (believe it or not, he was a pretty decent painter), decides to exploit the extraordinarily silly Versaille Treaty, the world lines up like dominoes. Yeah, this audiobook is long-- really long-- but,well worth listening to. Despite being hugely opinionated, it remains hugely savvy. Shirer was in Austria and Germany and saw much of what he relates happen. He saw Neville Chamberlain drool, continuing the British talent for dropping the ball at the most inopportune moment-- one would have thought this country's efforts during WW1 couldn't have been surpassed. Wrong. There's a lot of plain speaking in this book. Shirer has no politically correct qualms about calling idiots idiots. Brilliant writing, brilliant reading, depressing assessment of what happens when too many, or too few people make decisions.
by Nannette 9/13/2017
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Concise, factual and easy to follow

William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is considered a classic for valid reasons. It helps the reader make their way through the torturous path Germany took to fascism. The information is presented in a clear chronological format. Having lived in Europe through most of the events discussed, Mr. Shirer has a unique perspective on history. The narration by Mr. Gardner is first rate.

Author

Author Bio: William L. Shirer

William L. Shirer (1904–1993) had a distinguished career as foreign correspondent, news commentator, and historian of the contemporary world. He reported from Berlin for the Universal News Service and for CBS on the rise of the Nazis, and he covered their fall as a war correspondent. Out of these reports grew his bestsellers, Berlin Diary and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which has sold more copies for the Book-of-the-Month Club than any other book in the club’s history.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 57.18
Audience: Adult
Language: English