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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

From Academic Kids

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English.

Shirer, a radio reporter for CBS, covered Germany for many years until December 1940, when increasing Nazi censorship of his broadcasts made work impossible for him. This fourteen hundred page book, first published in 1959 and still in print, is not just an objective examination, but colors its historically accurate information with denunciation of the evils of Nazism and tyranny. Despite receiving popular acclaim over the years, academics in universities and colleges have often dismissed Shirer's book as a work of a journalist rather than by a 'true' historian.

The book is based largely on the captured documents of the Third Reich, including the diaries of Reichsminister Goebbels and General Franz Halder. Other sources include confidential speeches, conference reports and tapped transcripts of telephone conversations. At the time the book was written, only a part of the diaries of Goebbels was known, and many other things were unearthed later due to new documents becoming accessible, especially from Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union. So it may be assumed that the book, published well over 40 years ago, is partly outdated now.

The book was adapted into a television program for the ABC network in 1966. It was probably the first program to be marketed as a miniseries.

See Also

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