World War II Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Posted 18 September, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

World War II Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of the Third ReichThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Published by RosettaBooks Genres: Europe, Germany, History, Holocaust
Pages: 1280

When the Third Reich fell, it fell swiftly. The Nazis had little time to cover up their memos, their letters, or their diaries. William L. Shirer’s definitive book on the Third Reich uses these unique sources. Combined with his personal experience with the Nazis, living through the war as an international correspondent, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich not only earned Shirer a National Book Award but is recognized as one of the most important and authoritative books about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany ever written. The diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels as well as evidence and other testimony gained at the Nuremberg Trials could not have found more artful hands. Shirer gives a clear, detailed and well-documented account of how it was that Adolf Hitler almost succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has become one of the most authoritative books on one of mankind’s darkest hours. Shirer focuses on 1933 to 1945 in clear detail. Here is a worldwide bestseller that also tells the true story of the Holocaust, often in the words of the men who helped plan and conduct it. It is a classic by any measure. The book has been translated into twelve languages and was adapted as a television miniseries, broadcast by ABC in 1968.

This is an amazing read. Epic. It’s probably the most comprehensive history of Nazi Germany ever published. The author uses his own first hand experience along with actual captured Nazi documents to tell the story. The first 700-800 pages flew by for me, then I got bogged down in the remaining 400. I think because up until that point the narrative focuses mainly on Hitler’s childhood and rise to power along with what every aspect of life was like in Nazi Germany. The reading became a little more difficult for me when it started to focus more on the military actions and maneuvers, which I have little to no interest in. It’s fantastic and timely even today. An important moment in history that everyone should consider.

Historically, it seems that everything, from the obscure Prussian militaristic state, to Hitler’s bastard grandfather being recognized by his father at the zero hour (when he was 84), to Hitler’s rejection from art school, to the Treaty of Versailles – all the stars aligned for the coming of Hitler… it’s spooky really. 
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is absolutely a must read for anyone with an interest in history or politics. 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

1 Comment/ : , , ,

  • The military aspects of history really do me in when I try to read books like this. I’m just not interesting in those details, and it’s sooo hard for me to suffer through (because I have guilt issues if I skim haha).