The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
No other powerful empire ever bequeathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich. When the bitter war was over, and before the Nazis could destroy thei...more
…moreFor a starter, I'd recommend this one - I read it when I was 16 years old, and it got me interested in the subject for the next forty years, so far!
Richard Evans' series are excellent, and very detailed, but this may be better read first, and is written by someone who was close to the events at the time.(less)
We all know the story- a misanthropic, racist, vegetarian, megalomaniac failed artist writes a book that taps into age-old German prejudices, seizes power, and embarks on a quest for European domination. In the process he starts the biggest war in history leading to the deaths of tens of millions of people, subjugates about a dozen other countries, and systema ...more
You boil this book down, strip it to the foundations, and what the reader finds is darkness of the human soul. Bred in the alleyways and gutters of Vienna before the first World War, this was the angry and hateful opposite of God’s shining light, the ancient shadows that live in the basement of our souls, given life and expression on the palette of a failed artist.
Shirer’s scholarly, exhaustive masterpiece paints the portrait of the Third Reich from its beginnings in the back rooms an ...more
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany is a book by William L. Shirer chronicling the rise and fall of Nazi Germany from the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1889 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was first published in 1960, by Simon & Schuster in the United States, where it won a National Book Award. It was a bestseller in both the United States and Europe, and a critical success outsid ...more
My sole brother being almost eight years younger and no cousins being in the States, I was virtually an only child, condemned to the weekly dinner parties of my parents and paternal grandparents and their friends, most of them held elsewhere than our own home. At one particularly excruciatingly boring party held at Great Aunt Synnove's I was scanning the magazines and bookshelves for something to occupy the time. Being ten, the great sw ...more
I feel way over my head. There are so many layers to peel like some history-containing onion. Shirer wrote an entire college course worth of information. I regret that I will not retain it all. An impressive collection of memories and experience, we should feel so privileged to have this thorough documentation of one of the most horrific e ...more
This would’ve been my first deep dive into Nazi history, but after half a dozen counts of listing homosexuality in the same breath as murder, and even going as far as attributing Naziism in part to many early Nazis being prone to “sexual perversion”, I started to wonder if this was going to be a reliable history at all.
It’s my fault for not properly researching the book beforehand. It appears the consensus is that it was outdated even upon its release, and in some cases espouses opin ...more
A very detailed history of the entity of the Third Reich. It is not a biography of Hitler or a war history, but a comprehensive study of the entire organization. Shirer was witness to many events as a reporter and uses original source material. The resistance to the Third Reich is also covered in great detail along with the many deeply disturbing aspects of the concentration camps. A definitive history of on of mankind's greatest evils.
Like I said, the detail is mind-blowing - the story of this ...more
As is o ...more
So I thought that Shirer’s book would be a simple re-hash – it wasn’t.
If I were to be asked to recommend only one book on Nazi Germany this would be it. I was also very moved by the elegance of Shirer’s writing. His prose is stirring and makes these cataclysmic events of the twentie ...more
When I come back and look at it objectively, however, I have to admit that it’s not rea ...more
This is a strange and un ...more
The book is an important reference to whoever is interested in the period; however there are a few issues with it:
- you can see that the author was a journalist writing as though he were a historian. On the positive side, this makes for a fresh, vivid and compelling narrative, ...more
The book is really long and goes into a lot of details, but that shouldn't be held against it. It seems like general knowledge about this subject is kept to the antisemitic atrocities, and stories tend to focus on concentration camps, military conflict, or underground movements and hiding. This leaves the Nazis as just some mystical thing that happened once upon a time. If there is any contextual knowledge known it is probably just remembered from highschool that the German people were ...more
I finally finished my grail: the 1500+ page The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. I labored for two months, reading mostly at home to avoid the embarrassment of busting out ...more
This is clearly very well researched and if you want a definitive book on Nazi Germany this is it. I would definitely recommend it as a college textbook. It doesn't work for me, I think mainly because through high school and college we learned so much about WWII and in particular Hitler, the Nazis, the Holocaust, and the European side of the war. So I feel like I already know everything this book is talking about and I find myself wondering what's the point of carrying on with something ...more
Лично за мен най-интересен беше периодът след 1933 г., когато партията на Хитлер буквално превзема Германия на всички нива и започва методично да изпробва какво може да направи на външнополитическия фронт. Подробно са проследени аншлусът на Австрия, Мюнхенското споразуменение, ударът по Чехословакия, подготовката за нападение над Полша, пактът Рибентроп-Молотов… особено важен акцент е сложен върху последните дни и седмиц ...more
My soundtrack for the book stands at Slayer's Behind the Crooked Cross. This was tragic on so many levels but it kept coming back to the Germans who were forced to fight and die for a cause they neither supported nor believed in. The chronology was consistently heartbreaking.
The author acknowledges the problems of writin ...more
-A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
পরদার সামনের আর পরদার পেছনের যুদধের মধযে পেছনেরটাকেই আমার সব সময় বেশি গুরুতবপূরণ বলে মনে হয়। যদিও সামনের যুদধের কথাই আমরা সরবতর ফলাও করে পরচারিত হতে দেখি, ইতিহাসের পাতায় সামনের যুদধের নায়ক (অথবা খলনায়ক)দের কীরতি অমর হয়ে থাকতে দেখি। আর অনযদিকে পরদার পেছনের যে যুদধ, তার যে নায়ক বা খলনায়ক, তার কথা অনেককষেতরেই থেকে যায় লোকচকষুর আড়ালে। অথচ সতয হচছে এই, সমমুখ যুদধে যেখানেঅসীম শকতিধর সেনাব ...more
This is one of those books that I always thought that I should read, but never got round to doing. Well no excuses now, having read and thought about it - this is a very impressive, important and flawed work.
Written by someone who experienced many of the events first hand and with a great many primary resources (got to love the German flair for record keeping) this is ultimately a very uneven account that ...more
Equally the great weakness of this book is ...more
Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and singer, was among the most tormented Jewish artists of his generation. The wound of the holocaust bled in his soul like a stigmata, and yet he was deeply fascinated by the omnipotent Nazi perpetrators, whose faces were becoming more and more familiar to the public in those years - the 60s - thanks to the greedy attention of the media. Wiesenthal's historical manhunt, Eichmann's trial, the r ...more
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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