This is the second time that I have read this book. The first time was when I was in high school in the late 1960’s. I felt that it was time to go back and reread about a time in our history that was well documented by an author who was a witness to many of the events that took place.
I have read a great deal about World War II, especially about the war in Europe, and this stands out as the definitive narrative of the events that took place in Germany at that time. At times the amount of detail can be exhausting and this is not a book for anyone looking for a light overview of the events.
Shirer details the thoughts and actions of the principle individuals who assisted with the rise and fall of Nazi Germany through notes and reports by the individuals themselves, eye witnesses or self observation.
It is a study of what can happen when an oppressed people are desperate to follow anyone who can promise them a better tomorrow by rebuilding national pride. It also chronicles the difficulty in changing course when they realize that they are following a madman to their potential doom.
I recommend this book for anyone who is a serious student of the events occurring leading up to and occurring during World War II. As I mentioned earlier, it is not for those who are looking for a light overview of the events.