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  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

  • A History of Nazi Germany
  • By: William L. Shirer
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 57 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (811 ratings)

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

By: William L. Shirer
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

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. 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a vast, 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.

©1990 William L. Shirer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“One of the most important works of history of our time.” ( The New York Times)
”A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions.” ( The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

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Thoroughly engaging account of the Third Reich

I thoroughly enjoyed this Audiobook. The story is compelling and the narration first class. This was the first audiobook I purchased upon gaining my audible subscription and I couldn't be more pleased. I own a copy of the hardback book, but could never find the time to read so many pages. The audiobook, splendidly narrated by Grover Gardner solved that problem and I'm glad it did.

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8 people found this helpful

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Never could have done it without Audible

I'm a huge WWII buff and have been wanting to read this book for a long time, but having ADHD, reading a book is kinda difficult. Especially the thick ones with small type. Audible came to my rescue and with a narrator called Grover who sounds like an American Dumbledore. I re listen to sections constantly.
The book itself is an amazing look at something that truly changed the world but started with so much longer before the event even occurred. Plus knowing it was written by someone who was there, that just makes it extraordinary.

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7 people found this helpful

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Very informative read

It's a long book that can at time feel overwhelming. It is so informative and well written that I now feel after reading it that I finally have a good understanding of Hitler and the history that goes with his rule. Thank you for the eye opener.

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Grover Gardner leaves you spellbound

Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right at the very top. It is a mesmerising story told wit the level of drama that this story deserves.

What other book might you compare The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to, and why?

I have not listened to any audiobook that is comparable.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

Perfect pronunciation of many challenging European names and a level of pace and delivery that makes you listen to every word. I was never distracted while listening.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

That is hard to put into words. A level of awe, horror and fascination.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book to any person with even the slightest interest in history. You will be spellbound.

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Great comprehensive

Great listen and comprehensive history, bit slow at the start but when it gets going and the war kicks off its all you want to do is listen.

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An important history lesson

it took me about 12 months to finish this book and I feel like I should start it again to try and absorb it more completely. Its comprehensive (in terms of 3rd Reich history), well written, and based largely on primary source material. Required reading for all.

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The definitive book on Nazi Germany

With trepidation I started this huge book but within minutes I was hooked. This comprehensive book is so accessible, honest and without bias. A true history. Loved it from beginning to end, even though the content was so disturbing. The narrative was great and narrator was excellent. Recommended for anyone looking for a “behind the scenes “ perspective on WWII.

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Nescasary Reading

Such a powerful book and audio recording. Meticulously researched, crafted and detailed. The marathon that it is, leaves the reader astonished and amazed by the writers dedication to retell one of the most astonishing and dark episodes in recent history.

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tremendous volume

unparalleled in it's exhaustive detail. The great effort put into explaining the historical background of Germany from the HRE to The Great War was a highlight for me

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Classic Account of the Third Reich

Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

William Shirer's classic book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about the history of the Third Reich and the Second World War. The book brilliantly covers how Hitler rose to power, the World War that resulted and fall of the Nazi regime.

What did you like best about this story?

Excellent account - detailed and clear narrative of this important period in history

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

Clear and faultless narration.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The account of the Rise and Fall of Hitler unveils the staggering scale of Nazi ruthlessness and cruelty.

Any additional comments?

With Membership excellent value.

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2 people found this helpful

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