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Winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1961, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which has sold more copies for the Book-of-the-Month Club than any other book in the club's history, is the worldwide best-selling classic about the most infamous era of our times.
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 this 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.
Shirer's unforgettable account of the pivotal characters and events of that critical era benefit from his many years as a reporter and his own personal recollections, as well as from the mass of historical documents retrieved from the German Foreign Office. The result is a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany and managed to take the country with him on his mad six-year quest for world domination, only to see it go down in flames in the end.
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William L. Shirer's THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH is a monumental study of the 20th Century's most frightening moments. Now, 53 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, captured by the First Army, 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 6 year quest to dominate the world, only at the end, to see Germany go down in flames.
The combination of personal recollection and amassing of historical evidence distinguishes this book as one of the great historical works of any time. For instance, he recounts that, from his apartment in Plosslgasse, in Vienna, he personally witnessed how perhaps half of Vienna's 180,000 Jews bargained their way to freedom in 1938.
Shirer explains that Hitler believed that France and England were too weak to pose much of a threat to his ambitions to subjugate Czechoslovakia, and later Poland. The momentary relief of Russia as a threat to his domination of Europe as a result of the flurry of diplomatic activity that proceeded his invasion of Poland is fascinating. There is no relief, throughout his narrative, of the brutality of Hitler and such a large contingent of Germans who populate this narrative.
Although 1600 pages long, this is such a richly rewarding experience for anyone who wants to come to grips with the mysterious question as to 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.
For another book that deals with this problem, why so much of Germany lent its support to Hitler, I heartily recommend HITLER'S WILLING EXECUTIONER'S, by Daniel Goldhagen, published by Vintage Books. Although filled with perhaps more statistical details then the non-professional historian would need, this book helps to adumbrate the themes in Shirer's great book.
George Davidson, Director of Production, The Ballantine Publishing Group
WILLIAM L. SHIRER (1904-1993) had a distinguished career as foreign correspondent, news commentator, and historian of the contemporary world. He was a war correspondent reporting from Berlin on the rise of the Nazis for the Universal News Service and for CBS. Out of these reports grew his best-sellers, Berlin Diary and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which has sold more copies for the Book-of-the-Month Club than any other book in the club's history.
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Book Description Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M144173421X
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