I am embarrassed to say I have known about this book pretty much since I was able to read and understand complex stuff. In my teens I tried to get my hands on anything WWII trying to figure out how and why things went the way they did, and I did see this book back then recommended by the historians and critics. The problem was that I had already been bitten by the fame of books and they turned out to be duds. So, I sort of put it on the side thinking I could always go to it later… and I forgot about it for 40 years, I guess.

Holy crap, it is full of info and nuances that I never knew. I guess I knew about Hitler pretty much as the monstrous caricature we all grew up with and basically nothing about him till he became chancellor. The reality is not as simple, but it is not some huge, twisted conspiracy ran by some secret cabals. The sumbitch had the gab, the hate and the time to strike it successfully.

I am up to the Beer Hall Putsch, and I shall continue going through the 1,200 plus of pages. Good thing that page count never scared me.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany: Shirer, William L., Rosenbaum, Ron: 9781451651683: Amazon.com: Books

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”
  1. I’m aged 70 and just got around to this book last year. Amazing how simple it would’ve been to:”cancel” Adolph, how many chances to change course were passed by and what a pathetic, but charismatic, human he was.

    I recommend to you the work of Max Hastings, particularly “Armageddon” as it deals with Germany’s military failure.

  2. I read it when I was in high school (not a school assignment; just out of general interest)… not gonna admit how long ago that was.
    Maybe time to dust it off for a re-read.

  3. I’ve not made my way through the entire thing. Just as I’ve not gotten through Winston Churchill’s _The History of WWII_.

    My daughter is interested in WWII. She studies it and reads about it. All good.

    My wife and I were at a meeting with daughter’s teachers and in conversation, her history teacher mentioned that she was also very interested in WWII.

    I then proceeded to mention four of the reference books on WWII, this being one of them. She not only had not read them, she hadn’t even heard about them.

    Not what I would call an “expert” in the history of WWII.

  4. Churchill’s history books are outstanding. The WW2 one, definitely, as well as his “History of the English-speaking peoples”.

    While we’re on history book reviews, I’m going to mention a book that is quite obscure but worth reading: “The final fall” by Emmanuel Todd. The original is French, there’s an English translation that can probably be found with some effort. It was written before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and described how you can tell the SU was unstable and what sort of things would cause it to come apart. The actual event looked a whole lot like what the author described. A big reason why the book is interesting is its discussion of historical methodology.

    There exists a book with a similar title but discussing red China (by Gordon Cheng); I have not read that and don’t know if it takes a similar approach.

  5. One of the interesting things about Shirer’s book is that he was there as a reporter, watching events unfold.

  6. Worth every page… the medical experiments are particularly germane to today’s fashion in human rights and medical treatments applied to “lesser humans” under coercion.

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