- Paperback: 1280 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (October 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451651686
- ISBN-13: 978-1451651683
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,694 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany Reissue Edition
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Orville Prescott "The New York Times" One of the most important works of history of our time.
Theodore H. White A monumental work, a grisly and thrilling story.
John Gunther One of the most spectacular stories ever told.
Hugh Trevor-Roper "The New York Times Book Review" A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions.
"One of the most important works of history of our time." -Orville Prescott "The New York Times"
"A monumental work, a grisly and thrilling story." --Theodore H. White
""The New York Times Book Review" A splendid work of scholarship, objective in method, sound in judgment, inescapable in its conclusions." --Hugh Trevor-Roper
"One of the most spectacular stories ever told." -John Gunther
From the Publisher
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The book was an instant bestseller in 1960, and now, 56 years later, it's still a big seller. Don't be put off by the book's length, it's well worth reading.
This classic is remarkable for its depth and scope as Shirer begins with a biography of Adolf HItler the mad genius of Nazi Germany who arose from Austrian obscurity to a Vienna bum and a decorated soldier in World War I to achieve total mastery of Germany in 1933. Hitler hoodwinked many of the leading politicians of his day such as the senile President Paul Hindeberg. He also won diplomatic victories over such democratic politicals as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain who was fooled at the Munich Conference by the evil Fuehrer.
Hitler's barbaric conquest of Austria, Czecholslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, France was swift and brutal. His demonic regime killed millions of innocent men, women and children including six million Jews in the holocaust.
Hitler made terrible mistakes such as his invasion of the Soviet Union in June, 1941. Operation Sea Lion the campaign to conquer England failed and Winston Churchill the doughty British Prime Minister bearded the odious lion in Berlin named Hitler.
Shirer is best at explaining the estoric and complicated diplomatic and poltical trickery and murder used by Hitler and his henchmen to further their repulsive dream of world conquest. It took the might of the Allies led by the United States, England and most significantly the Soviet Union under Stalin the cruel dicator to defeat the Germans. Nearly 40 million people in Europe were dead from the war in 1945; the scourge of the Nazi menance was at least exorcized from the world!
This exellent work is replete with quotable quotations which I share with you in order to gain a flavor for Shirer's style and masterly command of the gruesome story he weaves:
"The Third Reich which was born on January 30, 1933...lasted twelve years and four months, but in that flicker of time as history goes, it caused an eruption on this earth more violent and shattering than any previously experienced...in its calculated butchery of human life and the human spirit, outdid all the savage oppressions of the previous ages."-p. 5
"From his earliest days Hitler worshipped Wagner (the composer of the Ring Cycle."-p. 101
"...from his final drive for power Hitler had considerable financial backing from a fairly large chunk of the German business world."-p. 145
"No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler."-p. 185
Shirer in commenting on the subservience of the old Prussian officer class to Hitler: "...they dishonored themselves as human beings and trod in the mud the moral code of their corps."-p.227
"It was if the President of the United States, the Pope, and the rulers of the small Northern European democracies lived on a different planet from that of the Third Reich and had no more understanding of what was going on in Berlin than of what might be transpiring on Mars."-p. 561
"Hitler's understanding of the United States...was abysmal."-p. 683
Shirer quoting Winston Churchill's great and inspiring speech of June 4, 1940 to the House of Commons in London: "...We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island...we shall never surrender."-p. 738
Shirer speaking of the Nazis campaign against Yuogslavia and Greece which delayed the million strong Nazi army from attacking Russia in a surprise invasion in June 1941 "This postponement of the attack on Russia...was probably the most castrophic single decision in Hitler's career."-p. 824
Shirer speaks of Hitler's understanding of his Axis partner Japan: "...he grossly overestimated Japan's military power."-p. 895
Shirer covers in detail the Stauffenberg and other military plots against Hilter. Also revealing is his relationship with Mussolin and other leaders of Fascism.
The book is so long and is a challenge to plow through but it is one of the great works on the horrible era it chronicles. Essential. A sine qua non on Nazi Germany!