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Download Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934–1941 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934–1941 Audiobook, by William L. Shirer Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,167 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William L. Shirer Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9781455197255
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By the acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this day-by-day, eyewitness account of the momentous events leading up to World War II in Europe is the private, personal, utterly revealing journal of a great foreign correspondent.

CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in 1940 when he decided there might be a book in the diary he had kept in Europe during the 1930s—specifically those sections dealing with the collapse of the European democracies and the rise of Nazi Germany.

Shirer was the only Western correspondent in Vienna on March 11, 1938, when the German troops marched in and took over Austria, and he alone reported the surrender by France to Germany on June 22, 1940, even before the Germans reported it. The whole time, Shirer kept a record of events, many of which could not be publicly reported because of censorship by the Germans. In December 1940, Shirer learned that the Germans were building a case against him for espionage, an offense punishable by death. Fortunately, Shirer escaped and was able to take most of his diary with him.

Berlin Diary first appeared in 1941, and the timing was perfect. The energy, the passion, and the electricity in it were palpable. The book was an instant success, and it became the frame of reference against which thoughtful Americans judged the rush of events in Europe. It exactly matched journalist to event: the right reporter at the right place at the right time. It stood, and still stands, as so few books have ever done—a pure act of journalistic witness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most complete news report yet to come out of wartime Germany.”

    Time

  • “Tom Weiner’s deep and thoughtful voice lends Shirer’s journal an authoritative style, almost as if he were intoning a prophetic radio broadcast of the period…This eyewitness account shines with crisp clarity and description, feeling, and immediacy. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “There is absolutely no better book by an American about the rise of the Third Reich. A gripping—and harrowing—view from inside Hitler's Germany.”

    Lamar Graham

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/12/2014

    " Fascinating as a glimpse into day-to-day life of an American correspondent in Berlin during the 1930s, but the book is highly anecdotal and rather condescending toward the country Shirer struggles to explain "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 2/1/2014

    " An excellent, insider view of exactly how it happened... How an entire country and people went insane. A lesson for our times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 1/29/2014

    " This is particularly interesting because Shirer was an eye witness to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi takeover. As indicated in the title, this diary takes place during that time period. Along with being a valuable historical account, this book is valuable for its insights into the causes of the Nazi phenomena and refreshing because of Shirer's decidedly "unpolitically correct" approach. He freely expresses his feelings and opinions. I read this after reading his Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and I was not disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig | 1/20/2014

    " i found this book in a used bookstore and picked up for $5. It maybe the best $5 i ever spent. this book is great and essential if you want to try and learn from the greatest lesson of the last 100 years, that is trying to understand nazi germany. I loved this book and will read it numerous more times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dpwarzyn | 1/15/2014

    " Readable, interesting, scary at times. This is the diary Shirer kept while working as a radio correspondent in Berlin, up until he got thrown out. (When the war started for us.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Analee | 1/5/2014

    " I read this book in the 1980s and was fascinated by it. It interested me in many others about life in Europe during the second World War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles Bell | 12/29/2013

    " This is an eyewitness account of a reporter who covered Hitler's takeover of Europe during the WWII. Excellent writing in the form of a diary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kburgin | 11/3/2013

    " Diary format is very compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Scott | 11/1/2013

    " Written "on the ground" by the author who escaped - with his manuscript hidden in his luggage, this is as vivid a vision of what the Nazi regime was like is I can imagine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry Jordan | 9/11/2013

    " Still my favorite Shirer book for it's intimacy and personal revelations as the world succumbed to Hitler's madness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Moonitz | 9/3/2013

    " Incredible and riveting diary of Shirer, a journalist living in Berlin during the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany . . . It is fantastic reading these first hand impressions of events that have become so well known to me over the years! Another must-read for all history buffs!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 8/28/2013

    " Riveting eyewitness account of those jack-booted 3rd Reichers. Shirer was spot on with his early assessments of what the Nazis were capable of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lawrence Kelley | 8/24/2013

    " Read this book in 1987, from the bookshelf of the Mulligan family of Colonial Avenue in Albany, New York. Had visited West & East Berlin in 1985, and wanted more background. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith Slade | 7/20/2013

    " Interesting account of an American reporter in Berlin just before and at the start of Hitler's war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrée | 7/2/2013

    " Very compelling, wonderful sense of immediacy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa Maas | 4/15/2013

    " Great, well-written, fast-paced trio of detective stories set in Berlin. wonderful portrait of the city before, during, and after WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/16/2013

    " Shirer captures the both the day-to-day dangers and absurdities of life as a wartime correspondent. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sockswebb | 2/16/2013

    " Hard going, not my usual type of book but I did it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Levi Dayley | 1/20/2013

    " This was mentioned in Nassir Taleb's "Black Swan". I am fascinated by how a journalist living at 'ground zero' of WWII as it's happening fails to see the enevitable war about to take place! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 8/23/2012

    " Excellent first person account that captures the brutality of both the Nazi state and total war. Somewhat marred by the author's personal theories on the shortcomings of Germans - gets a bit "holier than thou" at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 6/20/2012

    " I don't remember when I read this -- probably in the 50's or 60's, but I remember being fascinated with the events Shirer witnessed and wrote about in the years building up to World War II. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik Graff | 5/31/2012

    " I don't know how much Shirer worked over his notes for this instant history of the Nazi rise to power during his years as a correspondent in Germany, but it was not enough to make this book at all comparable to his excellent The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich or his three-volume autobiography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George Mangov | 4/21/2012

    " Excellent - It is a first hand account of what life in Germany was like. I liked his analysis of the German character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/30/2011

    " What a great insight into the early Hitler years. My father recommended this book to me. He read it when it was first published (1941) and again this year (2012). He found it as powerful now as during World War II. I am very glad I read it, and highly recommend it. "

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About the Author
Author William L. Shirer

William L. Shirer (1904–1993) was a foreign correspondent, news commentator, and historian. He reported from Berlin on the rise of the Nazis and 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.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.