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Berlin Diary: the Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 Unknown Binding – 1941

4.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (1941)
  • ASIN: B001P0ZDNS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,038,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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