Erik's Reviews > The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
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's review
Jan 02, 09

This book is the first real attempt at a history of Nazi Germany. As such, it is a product of its times. The book offers an incredibly detailed look at the Third Reich impossible to find in any other work, and thus rightly stands as the definitive work on the subject. On the other hand, the author is so heavily invested in making sure that no one ever develops any sort of respect for his subjects that he paints them in an almost comically unfavorable light.

While trying to put down the Nazis is a laudable goal, the book is so uncharitable that it becomes difficult at parts to figure out how such people were ever able to successfully run a hot dog stand, much less take over a large nation. While the circumstances Germany was under made it perhaps easier than usual to develop a following, there is an undeniable, if breathtakingly inhuman, genius to the Nazis' administration of their short-lived empire. This is a subject almost entirely ignored by this book, although such an omission is understandable given the fact that the horror of the Nazi regime was still so fresh in the mind of the author, as well as the minds of the world as a whole.

If you have any interest at all in the inner workings of Nazi Germany, read this book.

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Zachariah I'm only halfway through now. But I feel like he does express their skill and genuine and the factors that allowed them to take over.

Could you explain a bit more what you think should be shaded differently?

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