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Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich Paperback – 2 May 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1264 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (2 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099421763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099421764
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 5.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions" (The New York Times Book Review)

"A work which everyone should read" (Hugh Trevor-Roper, historian and author of The Last Days of Hitler)

Book Description

The definitive biography of one of the darkest times in modern history; the twelve years when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi army ruled over Germany. This is an eyewitness account of the meteoric rise and fall of the Nazi empire, including the earth-shattering tragic events of World War Two and the Holocaust.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 16 May 2001
Format: Paperback
William Shirer was an American journalist in Germany from 1934 until presumably 1941 (when Germany declared war on the USA after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour). Shirer occasionally mentions his participation in reporting history from Berlin or the front lines and admits to having been influenced by the endless barrage of Nazi propaganda. Occasionally his sharp post-war opinions on the characters of the various leaders depicted breaks through. The book is based on the huge amounts of documentary and verbal evidence that became available after the war and the Nuremberg trials. The book represents a huge work of research - one wonders, however, whether the author's motivation is an atonement to his blindness (along with many millions of others) to the monstrosity of the Third Reich as it actually happened.
On reading the book (a rich 1200 pages!) one wonders whether it should not have been called "The Rise and the Fall of Adolf Hitler" for it centers around Hitler and his generals and seems to almost forget Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and other Nazi leaders after their initial appearances. A central conclusion from the book is, no doubt, that the Third Reich and World War2 would not have come about were it not for this one man - Adolf Hitler. All the other players in Shirer's story pale into insignificance beside the genius, charisma, madness, vision, evil, manipulativeness, leadership and single-mindedness of the one man. The only other "heros" of the book, although not covered in great detail, are Stalin and, rather more so, Churchill whose vision, inspiration and leadership changed the course of history.
[Reviewer's personal note: WW2 and the Holocaust are themes of enormous importance to me personally.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my favourite books. William Shirer presents his material accurately and in a very approachable writing style, which even contains some fine writing. Don't let the vast size of it put you off! It is slightly marred by some references we might now class as homophobic, but we must remember they were quite unexceptionable at the time the book was written. It certainly helped me to understand what was going on, and is a forerunner in style of the BBC series "The Nazis, a warning from history". No one gets off any hooks. Interesting and little discussed elsewhere are Hitler's strange ideas about the nature of British and US society, and what the people of those countries were likely to do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the definitive history of the Third Reich from an American reporter who lived in Berlin until America entered the war.
It is wonderfully written and well researched. I have read it so often that the original book has disintegrated. This Kindle Edition is well put together.
I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
William Shirer's book recounting in extremely fine detail one of the most covered subjects in world history has a unique, magical quality. I will not dwell on its accuracy and breadth of documentation, other reviewers have already noted it. The sheer quantity of original and secret material from the Nazi administration archives Shirer was able to use as a background to write this book boggles the mind - and he himself admits it would've taken many men many lifetimes to go through it all; but this is not my point. My point is that in anyone else's hands, this material would probably have resulted in a jaw-droppingly boring listing of names and minutes from cabinet meetings. What truly astonished me about this book were its overpowering demand for attention, its totally consistent clarity, its lightness of style and exposition that never, ever forgot precision and in-depth observation. I read this 1,100+-page book in two weeks, and not once through it I felt I wasn't understanding what it talked about. I'm not a faster or smarter-than-average reader: it was simply impossible to let the volume stand there, so much so that for two weeks I brought it with me everywhere I went, using every minute of free time (and also a few hours of work time) to read a few more lines, a few more paragraphs, please, just two more pages, I promise. For all the countless historical characters and extremely complex situations presented here (how could there not be, given the subject?), Shirer leads the reader through them with such powerful grace and insight that you have to strain to remind yourself this is not a Dashiell Hammett mystery, and that Adolf Hitler wasn't simply any Little Caesar.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Don't be intimidated by the 1100+ pages of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." It reads more like a novel than a dry historical narrative and -- trust me on this -- this book is awesome.
As a reporter for CBS, William Shirer lived and worked in Germany during much of the Nazi movement. Until he left in 1940, he saw firsthand Hitler's rise to power, the consolidation of that power, and the use of that power. As a fallible human being, his prejudices may show through at times, but this is not necessarily a weakness. In today's climate of political correctness, works by historical revisionists -- that purport to show that Hitler and the Nazis weren't so bad -- are not only published, but they're even taken seriously. Perhaps our modern view of Hitler has been distorted by allied propaganda and Hitler and Goerring were fun loving and lovable guys, they say. At the extreme, some revisionists even claim that the Auschwitz death camp didn't even have gas chambers - they were added later as a tourist attraction! Yeah right.
In that sense, Shirer's book, published in 1959 is refreshing. He doesn't hold back one bit with his opinions.
Hence, Quisling is "pig-eyed", Rohm is a "pervert", Goebles is "dwarfish", Goering is "corpulent", Ribbentrop is "vain as a peacock", Brauchitsch is "unintelligent", Eva Braun has the "brain of a bird", and so forth. Such epithets may offend the sensibilities of some modern day readers, but they certainly spice up the telling of what could otherwise be a boring tale. (If you don't know who these people are, buy the book. Believe me, if you read it all the way through, you will become a formidable expert in Nazi trivia).
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