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Berlin Diary: Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 Hardcover – 1 Oct 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 626 pages
  • Publisher: Galahad Books,U.S.; New edition edition (Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883659220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883659229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,161,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

The most complete news report yet to come out of war time Germany.

(Time) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

William Lawrence Shirer (February 23, 1904 – December 28, 1993) was an American journalist, war correspondent, and historian, who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a history of Nazi Germany which has been widely read and cited in scholarly works for over fifty years. Originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, Shirer was the first reporter hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a team of journalists for CBS radio. Shirer became famous for his broadcasts from Berlin, from the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II. With Murrow, Shirer organized the first broadcast world news roundup, a format still followed by major news broadcasts. Shirer's other books include his three volume autobiography, “Twentieth Century Journey.” He was European correspondent for the Chicago Tribune from 1925 to 1932, covering assignments in Europe, the Near East and India. Shirer lived and worked in France for several years beginning in 1925. He left in the early 1930s but returned frequently to Paris throughout the decade. He lived and worked in the Third Reich from 1934 to 1940. As a print journalist first and later as a radio reporter for CBS, Shirer covered the strengthening of one-party rule in Nazi Germany beginning in 1934. Shirer reported on Adolf Hitler's peacetime triumphs like the return of the Saarland to Germany and the re-militarization of the Rhineland. Shirer was the first of the group that would be called "Murrow's Boys" — the broadcast journalists who provided outstanding news coverage during World War II and afterward. CBS's prohibition on its correspondents talking on the radio ended in March 1938. Shirer was in Vienna on March 11, 1938 when the German annexation of Austria (Anschluss), took place after weeks of mounting pressure by Nazi Germany on the Austrian government. As the only American broadcaster in the Austrian capital at the time, Shirer had a major scoop, but lacked the facilities to report the momentous events of the Anschluss to his CBS radio audience. He was not permitted to broadcast by occupying German troops controlling the Austrian state radio studio. At Murrow's suggestion, Shirer flew to London via Berlin — he recalled in Berlin Diary that the direct flight to London was filled with Jews frantically trying to escape German-occupied Austria. Once in London, Shirer broadcast the first uncensored eyewitness account of the annexation. Meanwhile, Murrow flew from London to Vienna to cover for Shirer. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 19 May 1998
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book. The conflicting reviews caused me to read it. I wanted to judge the work for myself. I am sure that Mr. Shirer has embellished his deeds in the reworking, and some of it comes off like allied propaganda of the day. I think you can learn a great deal from actual accounts of what people thought and felt at the time. He makes some unflattering generalizations about the German people as a whole but he lived the frustration the time. I think that holding this book up as a book to be taught in history class is a mistake. Everyone has a window on the World and Mr. Shirer is letting us know what he saw from his. He does point out some British newscast that did not jive with what he saw. I enjoyed the book and would recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really pleased to get a second hand copy of this book. It was described as good condition - I would have said no more than fair but not bad considering the age of the book. The author was an American radio journalist who spent the late 1930s and the early part of the war in Germany and other parts of Europe. It is very much an American view of Europe generally and Germany in particular. I suspect it also reflects the author's personal prejudices. For example, he frequently refers to the Germans as "hysterical" as though this was an inherent national characteristic. I also wonder how much editorialising there was in preparing the diaries for publication as the author seems remarkably prescient at various points. However, the book does not pretend to be a measured, authoritative history - it is a diary and benefits greatly from its immediacy and the fact that the author was an eye-witness to many of the most remarkable events of the period. The accounts of some of the Nuremberg rallies are particularly interesting.
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By A Customer on 10 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
As an example of you-are-there journalism, Shirer's work is as good as it gets, and that's why Columbia University ranked it as one of the century's top 100 works of reportage recently. But Shirer, writing before the U.S. even entered the war, shows himself to be an incredibly prescient analyst of why Hitler decided against invading Britain, for example, as well as how the German-Russian alliance would end and how the U.S. would get involved in the war. All around, this is an excellent book. After finishing it this past weekend, I wanted to drop Shirer a note to say how much I enjoyed it; unfortunately, he died in 1993. All journalists should read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learnt so much about the stages leading to the outbreak of war and the progress of it. I understood for the first time how each step lead inexorably to the next and how the relationships between all involved had so much influence on the allies decisions. Very absorbing and easy to read.
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An interesting if flawed book, with some gems of information casually dropped but rarely followed up. The revelation that nearly half of Germany's Jewish population had applied to US officials emigrate to the USA, and only about 10 per cent approved is a case in point. Schirer seems to lack imagination and perhaps intelligence, and his diaries only come to life in his descriptions of Gemany's 1940 offensives on western Europe. He does lack an interest or an ability to express more than a stereotype of the Germans he meets, even if he, in my view, rightly describes nazism as barbaric and needing condemnation. Prior to the outbreak of war his diary is very flimsy and feels highly selective to provide the apparence of prescience.
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If, like me, you find the rise and fall of Nazism fascinating then this free Kindle book by one of the foremost journalists of the early 20th Century is a must.

Shirer lived through and recorded the most tumultuous times in a most readable way.

The diary covers the years from Hitlers ascension to absolute power until the end of 1940.

The most amazing thing about these daily thoughts show how perceptive Shirer was, almost as if he had written in hindsight.

I cannot praise this book enough, an absolute must for students of WWII history and Germany
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This book contains a lot of detail of the interior situation of Germany in the late pre-war and early war period. I have read a lot about this period in many ways, but I learnt an enormous amount that I didnt know and showed how the population felt about and reacted to the actions of the Nazi government. Lots of little details. Pity that it ends at the end of 1942, would have been very interesting for it to continue until the US declaration of war.
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Anyone with an interest in the history of the second world war should read this. It is an interesting look at the American view of Hitlers' Germany from the American point of view and is as such shows pretty much why the Americans behaved as they did.
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