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Extended Audio Sample The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, 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 (23,113 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William L. Shirer Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • Winner of the 1961 National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award, February 2011
  • Winner of the Carey-Thomas Award for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 1960 Cornelius Ryan Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 06saiger | 2/16/2014

    " It was very interesting but one of the thickest books I've read, so I have no idea how I finished this "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ebookwormy | 2/15/2014

    " An intriguing historical account, packed with details. Learned a lot about German history and governance structure. Includes many political fine points, illustrating how Hitler was able to manipulate others and eliminate threats (including previous supporters). Ends with Hitler's despirate attempts to continue pursuing the mirage he created, even as it was evaporating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Robert Snow | 2/11/2014

    " I read this in my 20's, Shirer's work is must read for every young person so they can recognize and stop the next madman. If you have ever asked the question; "Can history teach lessons?" Then this is the book to read. Millions died because of one man's sick dream that infected the minds of people who were looking for a savior and found a malevolent figure who destroyed everything he touched. This is not an easy read... but a necessary one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Valerie | 2/11/2014

    " I really need to read this again. I was awfully young. "

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