The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known.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 their files, the Allied demand for unconditional surrender produced an almost h...

Details The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

TitleThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Release DateNov 15th, 1990
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Politics

Reviews The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

  • Julie Christine
    Three years ago I implemented a personal tradition: to read a "Monster Classic" each year. This is my term, referring to a piece of writing that is great in reputation and girth. The how and when of it is to begin the Monster mid-summer and read it in fits and starts over the course of several months, with a goal of finishing before the end of the year. The why of it isn't so simple. Most avid readers I know have daunting lists of books they want...
  • Wyatt Nordstrom
    Well, I did it. After two years, I have finally finished this beast. The first 600 or so pages are pretty slow, but it flies after that...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, sub...
  • Lyn
    Darkness. 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 th...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    Whew! After six months of exhilarating yet exhausting reading, I have finally managed to finish this massive tome - William L. Shirer's definitive account of the rise and fall of the Third Reich under the evil and mad genius, the warlord Hitler. Hitler expected that the Reich will last for a thousand years - in reality, it lasted just over 12 years. In those twelve, the Fuehrer managed to create hell on earth for the people whom he ruled over as ...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, William L. Shirer 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 St...
  • Erik Graff
    This was the first, really serious grownup book I ever read.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 som...
  • Michael Ferro
    Shirer's masterpiece has long sat untouched on my shelves—it's ominous block swastika unsettling all guest who entered my home (not always fun to explain to people that you're not a Nazi...). That said, I decided to read this book in tiny increments alongside other books for the past few months, and at over 1,000 pages, it took a bit to finally knock this one out, but wow... what a book. I truly find it surprising that authors and journalists w...
  • Esdaile
    I have a very strong feeling of enthusiasm and at the same time of aversion for this book, which I read when I was 16. William Shirer wrote a no-holds barred account of the rise of Adolf Hitler from the perspective of a fanatical (in the full sense of the word) opponent of everything Hitler stood for. Shirer was also a journalist writing as though he were a historian, so his writing reads easily and persuasively but is not necessarily a font of h...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    I went into this believing I had a well-grounded understanding of Prussian history and a basis of the Hitler regime. Ummm this book is everything I don't know.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 th...
  • Joseph Spuckler
    Listened to as an Audible audiobook.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...
  • Trevor
    The detail with which this book deals with the Third Reich and the unspeakable evil that was Hitler's Germany is almost too much to take. Some of the discriptions, particularly towards the end of 'medical' experimentation, are simply too shocking and too challenging to read in one sitting. If you need to be reminded of just how evil the bastards in charge of Germany in the 30s and 40s really were then this is the book you need to read. Like I sai...
  • Mikey B.
    I had read this book about thirty-five years ago. Since then I have gone through several books on World War II – Churchill’s great memoirs volumes, Toland and Fest biographies of Hitler, books on the Nuremberg trials…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 pro...
  • Nick T. Borrelli
    Three historical periods always have fascinated me and I usually will read anything published with regard to them. The first is The American Revolution, the second is The Civil War and the third is Nazi Germany/WWII. William Shirer has penned the definitive account of this horrendous time in world history and I believe it is the most comprehensive and compelling telling ever published. I did read Richard Evans' trilogy but I still view Shirer's b...
  • Roy Lotz
    Reading this book is an ordeal. It is very long and very depressing. Charting the Third Reich from the birth of Hitler to the collapse of Germany, Shirer tells the whole story with the sweep of a novelist and the detail of an accountant. He wrote the book after having access to huge stores of documents captured by the Allies after the war. Diaries, schedules, testimonies from the Nuremberg trials, the minutes of meetings, and much more were the r...
  • Michael
    I actually do hate this book, which would earn it 1 star according to goodreads' rating system, but my personal ethics prevent me from going quite so far. The reason I hate it, really, is because it remains wildly popular (you can find it in pretty much any bookstore that has any non-fiction in English at all), in spite of the fact that literally mountains of far better works on the subject have been written. When I come back and look at it objec...
  • Mark Lawrence
    This is quite a dry book full of technical detail about the state of Germany, of its politics, and, as promised, the rise of the Nazis.Buried deep inside is a brief section (copied below) that looks up from the statistics of the holocaust to give this harrowing eye-witness account, which has stayed with me for the 30 odds years since I read it. Particularly, the part where the girl points to herself and says her age - probably because I was aroun...
  • Max
    Was the Third Reich an extension of the national character and value system or was it an episodic totalitarianism derived from concentration of power and fueled by modern technology. Shirer’s narrative supports the former but the latter view has many proponents. One relevant piece of history I have not seen mentioned in the context of this argument is the German colonization of South-West Africa, now Namibia. I first stumbled on this awful hist...
  • WarpDrive
    This is a classic. A very detailed, almost day-by-day account of this momentous period of World history. Relevant primary sources, including documents used in Nuremberg, are persuasively referenced throughout the account. 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 ...
  • Todd N
    This book was a Christmas present from a friend, though I also bought a copy on the Kindle so that I could read it outside of my house without having to lug around a brick-like book with swastikas on it. The Kindle version is especially handy if you are not quite at the bring-Nazi-related-stuff-to-the-office stage at your job yet. (The down side of the Kindle version is that the it is horrible at handling footnotes, and this book has many that ar...
  • Zack
    Excellent.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 reme...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    Believe it or not, I have read this massive book twice. Shirer, who spent much of the years leading up to WWII in Germany, fills in all the blanks and tells a tale of a country spiraling into madness and the ultimate failure of the "1,000 Year Reich". Suffice it to say, this is probably the finest book ever written on the history of Nazi Germany and is a "must read" for all history lovers. "Berlin Diary" also by Shirer is a good preface to this b...
  • Bettie
    [image error]No matter how many times I encounter Hitler's ascendency, I still cannot help but ask - 'how could it have happened'. These events, regardless of which author you prefer to tell them, are the scariest of Hallowe'en fodder. Taking a break now for some fun, the first of 7 x 8 hour audio tracks is enough for one go."Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George SantayanaTaken a year of dipping in and out but no...
  • Kate
    Everyone has that holy grail of a book. Some people work like dogs to finish books by the great Russian literary masters; others tough it out through the oeuvre of Steinbeck. They may not enjoy it, but, by G-d, you are not a real reader until you slam that back cover onto that tome of pain and frustration.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...
  • Matt
    Shirer's key piece of historical literature on Nazi Germany draws not only on a plethora of sources, but also on key documents from within the Third Reich. He uses this vast collection of material to give the reader a better understanding of the Reich during its creation, sustenance, and eventual downfall. While its length may be daunting for many readers, Shirer's analysis of the Reich argues that there are three entities that were duped at vari...
  • Michael Perkins
    “History doesn’t repeat itself, but human nature remains the same.”― Ken Burns---------Nazi tactics never seem to go away. Just watched "I am not your Negro" based on the testimony of James Baldwin. It was the incitement of hate that got Medgar Evers, MLK, and Malcom X assassinated. Trump's chant of "send her back" already caused death threats to spike way up for these Congresswomen. Now we have this abomination....“History doesn’t re...
  • Fede
    A poet recommended this book to me some years ago... without knowing. 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. Wiesen...
  • Jim
    William L. Shirer's classic examination of the Nazi era from its roots in the end of World War I to its (governmental) demise at the end of World War II is simply one of the great works of history. Built both on Shirer's own experiences as a reporter and eyewitness to Hitler's regime and upon the captured documents of the German government, Shirer depicts, brick by brick, how the edifice of Nazism was built and how, ultimately, it collapsed, larg...