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The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler (Landmark Books)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  652 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
American journalist and author William L. Shirer was a correspondent for six years in Nazi Germany-and had a front-row seat for Hitler's rise to power. His most definitive work on the subject, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, is a riveting account defined by first-person experience interviewing Hitler, watching his impassioned speeches, and living in a country transfo ...more
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published February 12th 1984 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published June 1961)
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Mar 05, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler by William L. Shirer is an excellent biography about Hitler. It begins when Hitler has an argument with his father. Hitler wanted to be an artist. His father wanted him to become a government official. The plot takes off from here. The author creates a well-construceted plot. The plot follows Hitler and tells us what he thinks. The setting is easy to identify because of the attitude Hitler shows there. Hitler is happy in Germany. He is frustrated on the Russian ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, non-fiction
I do believe the author could have chosen a better use for words, but the life of Adolf Hitler was a sad one. The author focuses on Hitler's mental state throughout the book, which is a bit annoying based on the repetition.
There are a few things about Adolf Hitler I learned from this book that I didn't know before.
This is a quick read full of factual events based on Adolf Hitler's life.
It seems World War 11 was unnecessary. Hopefully, we will learn from history.
Jul 26, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
(nb: I received a review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss)

In 1960, William L. Shirer published “The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich.” The tome was over 1200-pages long, and based on numerous sources, including Nazi officials’ journals, Nuremberg Trial records, various intelligence reports, and—perhaps most importantly—on the author’s firsthand observations as a CBS journalist covering these events. The book sold millions of copies in the U.S., and even more worldwide.

Owing t
Lynn  Davidson
Aug 29, 2016 Lynn Davidson rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I read this book just to know what I may not have otherwise learned along the way. I’m glad I did. It was an easy book to read, but was difficult to read because of the horror of war, the driven insanity of Adolf Hitler, the unspeakable cruelty he promoted and insisted upon toward anyone in his way. It was revolting to me to learn more of the seeming stupidity of those around him to allow him to carry on the way he did. He was terrifying. He was insane.

My father is a WWII veteran, and I deeply r
Oct 04, 2009 Awallens rated it liked it
At daybreak on September 1, 1939, the German army poured across the Polish border while German bombers rained destruction from the skies, WW II had begun--"Hitler's
war," as the British say.

As an American correspondent in Berlin, William Shirer had met Hitler, listened to his fiery speeches, and observed him firsthand. THE RISE AND FALL OF
ADOLF HITLER is based on what Shirer saw and on his later research of the massive files captured by the Allies.

"Hitler's conquest was classic. He double-crossed
Stanton Moore
Sep 02, 2015 Stanton Moore rated it really liked it
While this book is extremely informative, it explains everything in a clear manner that is easy and fun to read. This book has me wanting for more! While Adolf Hitler was a horrible man, his life and his trail to leadership was fascinating. Hitler was not an extremely good leader; he lied and gave extremely long speeches that made people believe!
Jan 16, 2013 Fred rated it it was amazing
I read this one in Junior High or High School. Taught me alot about Hitler, The Treaty of Versailles and WWII. Shirer is a master historian.
M. Newman
Feb 01, 2011 M. Newman rated it it was amazing
The best history that I've read of Hitler and his brutal reign of tyranny.
Greg Freed
I hazard a guess that this is a fascinating reduction of Shirer's body of experience and research. I used it as a primer (hopefully) to get up to speed on some of the topics discussed in Berlin Diary (now started; some overlap already seen and whetting my appetite), which I intend to read before attempting to tackle The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I learned a lot about the Fuhrer and Nazi Germany, and I shared the information with interested friends and family.

The information was (assumedl
Ethan Weesnaw
Apr 16, 2013 Ethan Weesnaw rated it it was amazing
“The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler” by William L. Shirer was, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing books that I have read about the life of Adolf Hitler. This biography gave me a close up look of the terrors committed by Hitler. This book also gave me a full insight of what was going through the mind of the Führer during WWII. The fact that the author was an American correspondent in Berlin and had the chance to observe Hitler firsthand made this book even more veritable and interesting. I ...more
Jason Goodman
It may strike people as a misnomer, but I study a considerable amount of war history, especially that which pertains to Hitler. I say this because I am a disabled combat veteran of the Vietnam War.
Mr Shirer was a correspondent stationed in Berlin for the entire rise of Hitler and most of his decline, he must have been asked to leave in 1944 or early 1945 because he covers most of the action until then as an insider. This man writes as his profession dictates, precisely! He stays focused on the f
Cole Palmer
Feb 24, 2012 Cole Palmer rated it really liked it
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler is a great book that shows the point of view of Hitler during WWII. He grew up in Austria mostly poor his whole life until his early twenties. He started to get into politics and eventually made the famous political party known as the Nazis. Once he started to gain some power in Germany he became very famous and the German population loved him. While in power the book showed some of the desicions he made and the though process that lead to them being made. This ...more
Sam Parry
Feb 24, 2012 Sam Parry rated it really liked it
This is a biography about Hitler and his evil reign when he conquered most of Europe. I found this book to be very intriguing. The facts where interesting to read about and it really made you wonder what Hitler was really like. This book starts in Austria when Hitler was a young boy and ends in the depths of a bomb shelter in central Europe where Hitler decides to put an end to his own life. The content stated in this book is accurate and interesting. It makes me want to read more about this ...more
Affan Mahmood
Feb 26, 2012 Affan Mahmood rated it really liked it
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler is biography about him. It tells of his rise from poverty and homelessness to become dictator of Germany. It also tells of his mistakes that led to his demise. The content in this book is accurate. It offers multiple first hand accounts and well researched information. The coverage of this topic is highly adequete, making this book the length of a fairly small chapter book. The author is however, highly objective. His perspective is against Hitler and and is ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Vikram rated it really liked it
This book is a very clear and concise baby cousin to Shirer's excellent opus "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" focusing primarily as a short biography of Adolf Hitler. In fact, it's so clear and concise that the number of pages that pass between Hitler's homelessness in Vienna to the utter destruction of all his political opponents during "The Night of Long Knives" in the summer of 1934 is about 50 pages. While this book caters to a younger audience, there are always lessons to be learned ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Trevor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book many years ago when I was in elementary school. It was a discard at the public library. I don't think I ever actually read it---just looked at the pictures---but I've been dragging it around with me all this time. The tone is insufferably condescending (it is a book for young readers). There is the occassional historical inaccuracy (it is now well known that Hitler was not the seventh member of the DAP). But what mars this book beyond redemption is that it offers no insight ...more
Oct 21, 2013 Feneel rated it really liked it
I picked up this book at lunchtime in the library and after reading a couple of pages, I didn't feel like eating anymore. The topic of this book is so depressing and it makes me feel like my life is the best in the world. This is very factual and informative but I couldn't concentrate on that because I got so depressed. This is the first book where I had to put down without reading the whole thing because the facts were too much to take. If the idea of gassing millions to death and burning them ...more
Bridger Lytle
Mar 09, 2012 Bridger Lytle rated it really liked it
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler, by William L. Shirer, is about the life and tyrannical reign of Adolf Hitler. It is set in WWII Europe, has a clear plot, is interesting, highly informational, and is well-constructed. It's real characters are consistent. It follows Hitler's life from being a bum in Vienna to the supreme tyrant of most of Europe. This book's point of view is perfect, as its from a man who was a U.S. correspondent to Berlin, and knew Hitler. I recommend this book to anyone inter ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shirer tends to editorialize in his analysis, not only in this book, but also in other books he has written about Hitler. Although I believe Hitler was probably crazy, Shirer writes as though it is a fact. He also makes assumptions about Hitler's relationship with his family and friends. Having said that I believe the author is qualified, perhaps more than other writer to provide a historical depiction of what actually happened in Germany between 1920 and 1945. A very good book and a quick read ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Arielle rated it it was amazing
I have a strange obsession with dictators and communism. I find them intriguing and it to be an interesting topic to study. I thought this was a great book, very well written and seemed to be accurate, considering it was written in the 60's (i think?).It was a real page turner and the writer did a good job at keeping it interesting which is rare sometimes when it comes to history. Definitely recommended if you are interested in the topic, for school or just to read a good history book. 5 stars.
Deb Novack
Oct 26, 2013 Deb Novack rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, historical
Adolf Hitler was a dangerous megalomaniac, from the time of his youth he was violent and argumentative with his father.His book Mein Kampf was a blue print of what was to happen but no one took notice. As the years past he took massive amounts of medication for his nervous tensions that eventually led to his downfall and death.

This author has heard speeches made by Hitler's and more info from secret documents that were found. I enjoyed reading about more of Hitler's life.
Feb 25, 2013 David rated it liked it
It was definately an informative book about Hitler and the Second World War. Shirer goes into great deal about Hitler's upbringing, triumphs and defeats during the course of his life and shows how a relatively ordinary person could become such a monster. Ultimately Shirer's portrayal of hitler is that of a coward who used the ideology of the Nazi movement to explain the failings in his own life.
Mar 19, 2016 Schreck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young readers
Recommended to Schreck by: Dad
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't recall how I got a hold of this one, but I remember my father telling me about having read it when he was younger, so in my elementary/middle school days I had a copy and read it.
For a history buff this isn't a book for you, but it is good for young readers and people who know little more than Hitler killed a lot of Jews.
Apr 22, 2014 Shreekant rated it really liked it
Read the Marathi version of it when i was a kid. had a weird effect on me... felt the world was evil. And after few months I got my hand on Gandhi's Experiment with Truth, and the world was beautiful again! :P

Nicely written book. Obviously, you cannot fit WWII in one book, but this gives a gist of it.
Cameron Godfrey
Jan 09, 2016 Cameron Godfrey rated it really liked it
I had to read this for an upper-level history course, and it was surprisingly an easy read. It's a brief overview of the most evil human ever to walk the earth, and perfect for anyone wanting to get a "bite-sized" history of Hitler rather than reading Shirer's more in depth book, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. "
Michael Gerald
Aug 16, 2012 Michael Gerald rated it it was ok
Such an ambitious title for a concise book. I read this book from my high school library. It's a good book for beginners, but since it was written in the 1960s, new research has now shown some inaccuracies in it.

Another weakness is that for such a sweeping title, the book did not go into other necessary details about Hitler's life.
Jun 28, 2016 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Approachable history

Written by an American war correspondent who spent many years observing Adolph Hitler in person, this book is a good introduction to the events of and leading up to World War II.
Lama Alfozan
Oct 20, 2012 Lama Alfozan rated it really liked it
This book is a good biography it gives u a general idea about hitler's life and it goes more into detail into the physiological aspect which i liked and how this tyrant's mind worked .. from nothing to everything to nothing again ..
Jabin Newhouse
Jul 31, 2015 Jabin Newhouse rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. Good biography of Hitler for anyone wanting a fairly thorough summary based on very factual data and firsthand account. Detailed but not too deep to achieve the entire life story of Hitler.
Apr 20, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it
The subject of this book is simply and aptly contained in its title. This a fast read and a very good summary of what happened and how, written by someone who personally witnessed it.
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William Lawrence Shirer was an American journalist and historian. He became known for his broadcasts on CBS from the German capital of Berlin through the first year of World War II.

Shirer first became famous through his account of those years in his Berlin Diary (published in 1941), but his greatest achievement was his 1960 book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, originally published by Simon
More about William L. Shirer...

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