William Shirer based his book on six years working as a reporter of the Third Reich, captured documents – including diaries of people like the propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and the Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano ‒ as well as British Foreign Office reports and testimony from the Nuremberg trials. All 1143 pages of the resulting basically neutral account of NAZI Germany from 1932 to 1945 (add another 100 pages for the index) are amazing, even though the book does not always escape an American interpretation of German history.
Nevertheless, when weighed against the monumental undertaking of chronicling this period in minute detail, such personal interpretations are possibly neither here nor there and can be either accepted or rejected by a discerning reader. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a book, which, at the same time as it is a historical record, is also a great page-turner. It gives a thoughtful understanding of these eventful years, not only in relation to Germany but also to the rest of world, and is worth reading.
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